Dec 18, 2013

Casie Hat




Using less than one hundred yards of bulky yarn, this beginner-friendly hat is perfect for last-minute gifts, stash-busting, and charity donations.

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD

YARN

1 skein Loops & Threads Cozy Wool (50% acrylic, 50% wool; 90y / 82m per 127g)

NEEDLES

US 11 / 8.0 mm 16” circular needle
US 15 / 10.0 mm 16” circular needle
US 15 / 10.00 mm double pointed needles

NOTIONS

Darning needle for weaving in ends
Stitch Marker

GAUGE

8 sts x 12 rows = 4" in stockinette

SIZES

baby (child, adult) = 15 (18, 22)” unstretched

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Dec 11, 2013

Sandoval KAL For Arizona || Update 1


We're almost halfway through December, which means this knit-along for Arizona homeless and transient folks is about half over. Have you been knitting away with me? While I don't have as many hats off the needles as I'd like, I have been carrying a set of size 9's and some worsted weight yarn in my bag everywhere I go, and slowly but surely managed to knit through these two Sandoval Hats over the past few weeks.

There are still a few weeks left in this knit-along, and I'm hopeful that as shop orders slow down I'll be able to knock a few more off my needles before mailing them off to Kelli. Honestly, knitting the Sandoval Hat is one of my favorite ways to pass those moments when I used to find myself "doing nothing" -- riding in the car (when I'm not driving), waiting for a movie to start, even while we watch a favorite television show. The knit 2, purl 2 pattern becomes easily felt by your fingers as you knit along, meaning you don't need to look down at your knitting every five stitches to be sure you're following the pattern correctly.

The pattern has four sizes listed as well, which means even after this knit-along is done, you can make this hat for everyone you know! (And look for a photo tutorial coming in January showing the different sizes and just how versatile they truly are!) New to this knit-along? You can learn more here.

Dec 9, 2013

HAT | GIVE | REPEAT 2014

If you’re anything like me, your yarn stash has begun to get a bit out of control. Whether you’ve got rooms dedicated to your stash or one small bag, thanks to a love of all things yarn-related I’m sure most of us have more yarn on-hand than we can find places for!

If you’ve got a firm handle on your stash, with every bit of yarn accounted for and a pattern assigned to it, with all your scrap yarn stored properly for use in striping and color work, I envy you! I know at one point I thought I was almost there with stash organization … and then I had a baby boy, and then I got sidetracked by a million other projects, and now I’m looking around, pregnant again no less, and wondering what happened!

In an effort to get my yarn stash under control, I’m claiming 2014 as the year I will knit from my stash as exclusively as possible! Lucky for me, I am mostly a charity knitter so this should be much easier than it sounds. So long as I stay out of the yarn shops and craft stores (hah!) things will run smooth as can be!

To give myself a bit of organization, I’ve decided to make this year-long stash-knitting odyssey a year-long knit-along on the blog, called HAT | GIVE | REPEAT 2014!! Because life is about to get all sorts of hectic and crazy by adding a new baby to our family (just a few months to go!), I've had to fight the urge to do monthly challenges and different charities. In fact, many of you may notice this post has changed quite a bit from when it was first published - originally, I had a much grander and broader plan ready to be set in motion. However, a few gentle reminders from some very important folks in my life helped me realize that having such elaborate goals for 2014 might not be the best way to go.

By summer things may well have reached a "new normal" and I may be ready again for some more focused challenges, but between now and my birthday in June life is going to move at a very different pace than I'm used to. Having a toddler and a newborn will do that! So to keep me knitting hats for others while acknowledging the bulk of my time will be spent with two adorable little ones most days, I plan to focus on one charity, and use those patterns I know and love best!

HOW MANY HATS?

I wouldn't be me if I didn't set myself a goal, however! While I won't always know just how many minutes I can spend with knitting needles in my hands each day, I also know myself well enough by now to know I do love to set goals, check boxes off on lists, and watch myself inch closer to self-imposed deadlines and goals.

Because of this, I'm setting a goal to knit 250 hats for HAT | GIVE | REPEAT 2014!! I won't be writing a new post for every hat as I finish it, because after seven posts of the same pattern made from the same yarn, that will get old for all of us! Instead I'll share mid-month and at the end of the month, hopefully showing off a stack of hats each time!

 I will also be sharing photos of each hat as I finish it on Instagram (I'm @shemakeshats, and I'll be using the hashtag #HGR14 the entire year), sometimes wearing the hats, sometimes tossing them onto our wooden bench on the front porch. But each hat will be photographed separately for Instagram (and for posterity)!

WHAT ABOUT PATTERNS?

While I love to try out new hat patterns, and will most certainly do so throughout the year, for this big challenge I plan to focus on a few old favorites. This means I'll be working lots of Casie Hats, Sandoval Hats, and Waffle Hats off the needles in the next year. I can make hats from these patterns practically blindfolded, and despite my best efforts I don't find myself getting tired of them, even after making 20 or more in a row! Some months I may switch things up by choosing a different pattern to focus on, but these three patterns will make up the bulk of the hats I knit this coming year.

WHERE THE HATS WILL GO

For 2014, I will be focusing my hat donation efforts to Completely Kids.

Early in December I had the pleasure of taking them 200+ hats through the Nebraska Hats For Hope Initiative. The hats were both made by me and donated by amazing folks from around the country, and have already been distributed to some kids in my very own neighborhood!

After dropping those hats off, however, I learned the organization actually works with 2,000+ kids each year, ranging from pre-K through middle school.

THAT'S A LOT OF KIDS, PEOPLE.

And most of them live in and around my very own neighborhood.

Now, I'm not totally crazy. I know I can't make 2,000 hats in one year on my own, and thankfully I'm part of the Nebraska Hats For Hope Initiative, so I won't have to! However, I also know I have bin after bin of yarn that can quickly be made into hats for these kids; hats in all sizes and shapes and colors, hats for littler kiddos and about-to-be teenage kiddos.

INVITING YOU TO JOIN IN!

And because these sorts of things are always more fun in groups, you all will be invited to join in on the fun! With each HAT | GIVE | REPEAT 2014 post there will be a “linky exchange tool” thing at the bottom of the post for you to use - link up to your blog, your Ravelry page, your Flickr, or just about anywhere else you’re sharing your goals for that month, your hats in progress mid-month, and your finished tally at the end of each month!

While I'd love for you to join in with me and make hats for Completely Kids, I know many knitters already have their favorite charities to donate to -- so keep making hats for those folks if that's where your heart leads you!

This challenge is about getting hats on people's heads, wherever you may be and however that looks for you! For me, it means hats for kids in my area, using a few specific patterns. For you it may mean something completely different!

With all the changes and challenges a new little brings to any family, I’m excited to have this bit of structure in place for my knitting life for the year. I’m sure there will be months where less will get done (March with a newborn, as an example) but I’m also sure that by giving myself this challenge I will end up with far more charity hats off the needles to show for my year than I would otherwise! So who’s with me?

Comment below if you’re in, and let me know if you know of some good charities to feature throughout the year! Are there any of my hat patterns you can’t wait to work through?

Dec 6, 2013

Philly Care Caps

ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Philly Care Caps is a group of volunteers who create handmade hats for little ones at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). We welcome all types of crafters even though most of our hats are knitted and crocheted. Volunteers can come from all over the country – you do not need to be in Philadelphia to be a volunteer. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia cares for more children with cancer than any other pediatric hospital in the country. This is why they’re always in need of soft, comfortable chemo caps for patients in the hospital and in the clinic. Patients range from newborn to mid-twenties, however, hats for toddlers and teenagers are in highest demand at the moment.
HELPFUL HINTS
Please consider the following when creating your care cap:
  • Use a soft material that feels good on sensitive skin (just use your judgment here). .
  • Care Caps should have a snug fit. Simple beanie patterns can be found on Ravelry for free. If you decide to go with a rolled brim hat, try substituting a 2×2 rib for elasticity.
  • Be creative! If you come up with a pattern that works for you, great! Tell us about it and we’ll consider posting it for others to try.
  • Think like a child. Toddlers and younger children will more often love bright colored hats than teenagers will.
MAILING ADDRESS
To send your hats to this group, please e-mail them at PhillyCareCaps@gmail.com -- this way they know to expect your hats when you're ready to send them!

Dec 5, 2013

An Interview With Stitch and Unwind!

I don't always pop my head in here on Thursdays, but am making an exception today to share some fun news! I was recently interviewed by Stitch And Unwind, an amazing online publication about knitting and crochet, and the interview went live today! Read all about She Makes Hats and my mission to cover the world in handmade hats in my lifetime in the article Tis The Season: Charity Knitting! And welcome to those of you stopping by here for the first time -- have a peek around!!