How I Celebrated National Craft Month

I previously alluded to a knitting project I started before learning this was National Crochet Month. Luckily March was also National Craft Month. With no further ado, here it is:

It might look familiar to family, friends and anyone who’s visited my Ravelry page (not sure if the link will work for non-members or not). In the past four years I’ve made about six different versions of my Super Long & Funky Stocking Cap. This one is the longest yet, coming in at 73″ (including tassel). The colors? Peacock, Winter White, Lemongrass and Royal Purple. (In the photos, the Lemongrass looks more lemony than it does in person.)

Each hat is unique, not just in terms of color but by design. Call it my version of Fair Isle Knitting. I’ve never done any official Fair Isle knitting, so any classic Fair Isle patterns you may spot in this hat are purely coincidental.

The truth is I get bored using the same motifs over and over so I pretty much improvise my way through each hat, knowing how many decreases it takes to taper down to the point, and roughly where they need to be to reach the desired length. Sometimes I play with stitch patterns as well as color, but for this hat I used a simple knit stitch (because the hat is worked in the round the result is a smooth stockinette). One friend asked me to work some fun fur into a hat, and it looked pretty cool.

Also cool? The inside:

Even non-knitters might guess from the photo above that this technique is called stranding, where two or more colors of yarn are worked continuously throughout the project. Stranding is often confused with intarsia, where each color is worked from its own bobbin, like your favorite Argyle sweater. Easiest way to tell the difference is to look on the reverse side. Intarsia won’t have lots of strands.

I’d never designed anything more than a scarf before I made my first Super Long & Funky Hats. I used special knitter’s graph paper to chart different motifs and even did math (gasp!) to figure out the decreases for those first two hats. Now I just figure it out as I go along. That’s the fun of making these hats. The only thing I know when I cast on is what colors that particular hat will be.

This was my big Craft Month project. What did you make?


About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on March 30, 2012, in Creativity, design, Knitting, motifs, Projects, stocking cap, stranding and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. i love the colors you chose! i admire your color work. when ever i try, mine always comes out as way to tight…

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Thanks, Lissa. I wish the green tint of the Lemongrass showed up better. I love the combination of purples, teals, and greens…even yellowy greens.

      I haven’t blocked the hat yet (in a rush to get the post up while it’s still National Craft Month), so you can kind of see there some of the motifs are a bit tight. The snowflakes always do me in, even when a consciously try to keep the stitches looser. Keep practicing – I don’t have the technique down perfectly yet, but it’s getting easier for me with each project!

  2. Paula–no need for that hat in Phoenix! But its a beauty none-the-less! Keep up the crafty work.

    • Paula Hendrickson

      I can see why the hat might be a bit much for your Phoenix weather, Bonnie…even if wool breathes!

  3. Hi Paula: Great color combo!! You’re very color savvy!! I love it!! Who could NOT like peacock, lemongrass, and royal purple!! I’d strut around with this hat on proclaiming I’m a royal princess!! After all, these are royal colors, and I really SHOULD carry traditions on!!
    All I would need is something to match, like a bag, mittens, or leg warmers, and a princess I would instantly be!!

  4. craftingismybliss

    Love your hat. I have a stocking cap on my list of things to make as well. I would probably only make mine with stripes. I haven’t mastered colorwork yet. I am currently finishing a WIP that has been sitting for 18 months. A big granny square afghan made with Peaches and Creme cotton yarn. I’m on the last ball of yarn now and I finish it this weekend.

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Stripes are classic – the big decision is how many colors. Have fun with it!

      Congratulations on finishing up the WIP afghan. I know how hard it can be to generate the enthusiasm to pick up an old project. With the cotton yarn that afghan should be ideal for summer. Great timing! What colors is it?

      • craftingismybliss

        I used Peaches and Creme Cotton in an old colorway called “Sea Mist.” The yarn is is short sections of lime green, bright blue and white.

  5. Paula Hendrickson

    I know that yarn – in fact, I probably have some hidden away in my frighteningly huge yarn stash! Sounds lovely. Be sure to post it on your blog when you’re done – and let us know here so we can hop over and take a look!

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