Finished my Heel Stitch hat

orange Heel Stitch hat - Purl Bee pattern

Hey look, I finished something! This is the Heel Stitch Hat from the Purl Bee, inspired by a recent Knit the Look post. Cute, right? Apart from the 1×1 ribbed fold-up brim (which I knitted on 7’s), the only modification I made was to start the decrease rounds sooner than suggested. There is no row gauge or finished height given in the pattern, but judging by my own gauge, the 15-round decrease portion of the hat was going to be about two inches deep. The pattern calls for the hat to be 7.25 inches tall before you begin the decreases, which would add up to a taller hat than I like. I was tempted to start decreasing at 6 inches (not counting the ribbing) but the most interesting thing to me about this hat is the shape and decrease approach — it’s boxy! — and I wondered whether it might require the hat to be a little taller than a standard dome shape. So I knitted until I had 6.5 inches before starting the decreases. If I did it again — and I believe I will, still want it in that bright yellow — I’d knit 4 inches of ribbing (so the ribbing folds over ribbing instead of heel stitch) and maybe start the decreases even a little bit sooner. But thumbs up — great hat. The yarn is Sincere Sheep Shepherdess Worsted, which is just a joy in the hands. And soon on the hands; I have enough left over for some 70-Yard Mitts!

Speaking of boxy, after posting twice this week about boxy sweaters great for layering, I was wearing my Meg-made sweater yesterday. All the buzz around Stitches Midwest this weekend has me wishing I was meeting Meg and Jo there again, after having so much fun last year. I had promised Meg a modeled shot of the sweater at some point, so that’s below. Hi, Meg! (Don’t ask me why my right arm appears grossly enlarged — as far as I know, it doesn’t look that way in real life.) I’m hoping to persuade Meg and/or Iz to write up a pattern (or at least a basic recipe) for this one, to publish here on the blog.

knitted sweater handmade by Meg Strong

Speaking of Stitches Midwest — if you are there this weekend and have been wanting one of the Fringe Supply Co. totes, make a beeline for the Wool & Company booth! As of this week, assorted Fringe goods can also be found at Knitterly in Petaluma CA, ImagiKnit in San Francisco, and Maisieblue in Murphys CA. (Full list of Stockists is here.)

So what are you up to this weekend? I want to hear what you’re making …


Q for You: Do you plan your knitting/sewing projects?

orange Heel Stitch Hat knitting in progress

Happy Friday! So much activity around Fringe this week, and yet a little on the quiet side in the comments! So I have a new Q for you: Do you plan your projects?

There are a thousand and two things I know I want to knit (obviously), along with a stack of sewing patterns on my worktable at home, right next to my unused mini-looms. Plus there are things I’ve promised to make for people — that oft-mentioned sweater (plus a hat) for my husband, a wrap for my mother, etc, etc. I’ve got the most beautiful cardigan on the needles, along with 8 or 10 half-done or abandoned things. I have an actual list … somewhere … of planned projects in order of priority, and too many long-term knits lately have made me crave quick, simple, satisfying things. But do I pick something off that list (any of the lists)? Of course not. I’ve got a cute hat on my mind and a skein of orange yarn in my stash, and so that’s what gets cast on. Is it like this for you, too, or are you all orderly and deliberate about starting and finishing things?

There’s no right or wrong answer, obviously, but I’d love to hear about your system — or lack thereof.



QUICK APOLOGY: If I owe you an email, I apologize for the delay! I’ve been working straight 15-hour days and have family in town, and it’s the non-urgent emails that have had to suffer.

IMPROVED SHOPPING: One of the thousand things I did get done this week was to reorganize the shop into easy-to-browse categories, and I also added a Stockists page, so you can now see where Fringe goods might be available near you. The newest additions are Creative Yarns in Macon GA and The Grove in San Diego CA. And there will be a box going to Brooklyn General Store next week.


PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: Do you wind your own yarn?

Knit the Look: Bonnie Chen’s sunny beanie

How to knit Bonnie Chen's sunny yellow hat

What better way to perk up an outfit on a cool morning than to top it off with a sunshine-yellow beanie? I can’t quite decipher this one on model Bonnie Chen — looking at the slightly tighter photo, it doesn’t appear to be plain old ribbing, but I’m not sure what it is. (Are you?) So here’s my suggestion: Knit the Purl Bee’s Heel Stitch Hat. But since the heel stitch fabric is not reversible and will roll at the edge — and I like Bonnie’s rolled-up brim — what about knitting two or three inches of 1×1 ribbing before beginning the heel stitch pattern? That would give you a foldable edge that would have a bit of textural contrast with the main body of the hat. For the sunny yellow, knit it in Anzula’s For Better or Worsted in the color Ducky.

See Vanessa’s original post for more of Bonnie’s ensemble.

UPDATE: To see this hat knitted up with the recommended mods, check out my orange version.


Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission