Explicate

I have a somewhat fraught relationship with what some folks call mindless knitting. I often reach for my knitting when I need a distraction from the world. If a project is too mindless, it won’t provide the necessary level of diversion. Worse yet, if it’s too mindless, I’ll get bored and never actually finish. And then the project will go to the pile of abandoned dreams in the corner and make me feel no end of guilt. But not this time! This time I absolutely raced through what is, by any reasonable measure, fairly simple knitting. Because this time, when I was done, I knew that I was going to do something absolutely enchanting. I was going to embroider all over my knitting! Should this have been enough motivation to push me through yet one more round of plain stockinette? Probably not. Was it? Oh very much so. Will it work for you? Every knitter is different, so I can’t make any promises, but I suspect it very well might!  
January 23, 2023|

Decorum & Comportment

Do I realize that not everyone will want to walk around with two wee pointy bits (ears? horns? who am I to say) sticking up out of the top of their heads? Oh yes, that’s why I made them optional. Am I going to wear them sticking out and absolutely revel in any funny looks they garner from passersby? Also very much yes! But you, should you happen to be feeling a bit more subdued, can absolutely tuck them in if you prefer. The hat is equally adorable either way. Don’t worry, you don’t have to commit to one option or the other. You can totally pop the points in or out as the mood strikes. And, as we all know half the fun of being a knitter is having truly smashing accessory sets, you can do it while sporting the delightful matching mitts!
April 18, 2023|

Correlation & Causation

Ok, let’s get this out of the way right up front. They’re reversible! They’re reversible, and not just in the ‘looks the same on both sides’ sort of way. They look totally different (and, if I may say so, totally awesome) on both sides. Which, if I’m being honest, absolutely fills me with glee! Because how can you not like getting two totally different looks from the same piece. For you, who are no doubt more fashionable and more organized than I am, this means you get to decide which side you like best and show that one off. For me? Well for me it means I can yank my hat or mitts out of my coat pocket and put them on on the way to the mailbox and not worry about talking to my neighbor for ten minutes with my clothes on inside out (again, this is not something that would happen to you, because you totally have your act together and would never have that problem). And no, no before you ask it isn’t any harder to work reversible cables than it is to work regular cables. The process is exactly the same. Set some stitches aside, work some other stitches, then work the ones you set aside. It’s just, if you set the right stitches aside, you end up with something that looks like you did a magic trick when you’re done. And who knows, maybe you did!  
April 19, 2023|

Expound

You know that thing where the simpler something is, the more the details matter? Well the knitting here is about as simple as it gets (it’s very nearly all stockinette in the round), but that just gives the details room to shine. You’ll start by working a turned hem (which has quickly become my absolute favorite way to start a hat, it’s just so tidy, and it keeps your ears extra warm and cozy) in a contrast color. Then you’ll work the body in your main color, carrying one single column of contrast color stitches up the side as you go. You’ll end by working a tiny little starburst with the contrast color at the very top of the hat (which is far cuter than it has any right to be). This actually makes for a lovely (if somewhat restrained) hat all on its own, and you could totally stop here if you wanted to. But I don’t think you will. Because once you’re done knitting, you get to adorn your hat with some absolutely delightful embroidery. As with the knitting, the embroidery is surprisingly simple. You’ll work a few rows of backstitching to build a framework then weave a lovely little lattice between the rows. I promise the lattice is not nearly as complicated as it looks (it’s really just two steps repeated over and over). You can totally do it, even if you’ve never embroidered anything before. Though once you start, you may find it hard to stop!
May 22, 2023|

Tacit & Implicit

These shouldn’t be this enchanting. They really shouldn’t. That bit of fancy business there is just cables (easy cables at that, borderline boring cables). No really, I promise. It’s made from simple little two by two cables, lined up right next to each other and then stacked up one atop the other. There’s absolutely no reason for it to be this charming. And yet... I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s something to do with how orderly and tidy and logical they are? Or maybe it’s because they are cables but somehow don’t actually look like cables? Or maybe it’s just me and I am alone in finding them unspeakably endearing? But somehow I don’t think so. I suspect you probably find them every bit as delightful as I do. Though I was so enamored of this whole project that I had to knit two different hats, which might be a tad bit excessive. It’s totally cool if you just want to make one!
August 9, 2023|

Binding

Look, I probably shouldn’t love these as much as I do. I fully acknowledge that they’re a modest amusement at best, a scandalous waste of time at worst. But somehow I find them unspeakably charming and am completely unable to resist. They just hit all my sweet spots. They turn a very modest collection of supplies (a single sheet of material, a few feet of ribbon or tape measure, a bit of sewing thread, a scrap of yarn) into something both adorable and useful using only the most basic of knitting and sewing skills (a bit of knitting too small to be a respectable swatch, a handful of straight lines of stitching). They offers the faint hope that I will maybe, just maybe, finally be the sort of person who always knows where their scissors and darning needle and tape measure are. And they let me go ‘ooooh, tiny book!’ which is clearly just one of the things my brain likes to do! Now, will they be enough to finally turn me into a truly organized person? I mean I assume not. But I’m willing to find out!
October 3, 2023|

Constellate Hat & Mitts

I’ve never been any good at knowing when to stop. And I used to feel sort of bad about it—to think that, if only I could be a bit more moderate, a bit less enthusiastic, things might be easier. But these days? These days I just embrace it. When I like something, I really really really like it. And that’s ok. Actually, it’s kind of fun! So given how I feel about the first of these patterns, it should surprise absolutely no one that I wasn’t ready to be done after just one hat. Not even after one hat worked two different ways. Because wow does working this with a contrast color do something sort of magical. I should have known there there would need to be mitts (also worked two different ways because once you know, how could you not). Oh and just possibly a bonus version of the hat just for super secret friends, because sure why not. This is just how I’m wired. And I’m totally going to bring you all along for the ride. Though whether that’s a promise or a threat is up to you!
October 16, 2023|

Gleaming

Patrons at the Utter Nonsense or Rampant Nonsense levels get this book as part of their membership. Joining either of those for a month cost less than buying the book directly, and you'll get a whole bunch of other nifty stuff  too (like these patterns at the Rampant Nonsense level and these at the Utter Nonsense level). If you looked at these and though "ooooh, I wanna color them" you're not alone! I've made a little coloring book with images of a couple of my favorites. It's free, and you can download it over here. There's an expanded version of that coloring book with some extra images that you'll be able to download if you buy the book! And if you're worried they're hard, I've got a little free download over here with some sample folds so you can try it out ahead of time to make sure you can do it. Every year, right about when the time changes and the sun starts setting well before dinnertime, I am overcome with the urge to make these. I fold them by the dozen and absolutely fill my windows. I can't explain it. I can't justify it. I have absolutely no idea how something made from nothing more than a few sheets of paper and a couple of stickers can be so utterly enchanting. But somehow they are. They satisfy my brain in much the same way as knitting. You use simple materials (yarn, or paper), and a tiny handful of fundamental techniques (knit & purl stitches, or straight & diagonal folds), and repeat the same actions over and over (stitch after stitch after stitch, or fold after fold after fold). And somehow you end up with something that feels like so much more than the sum of its parts. They've been a touchstone of my year for longer than I can remember (the family lore is that they were one of the holiday crafts the nuns at my German kindergarten taught me to make). They make even the darkest winter days seem just a bit brighter and more bearable. And, while I certainly don't have the commanding presence of an elderly German nun, I absolutely love the idea of sharing them with all of you. I hope they bring you a little light when the world feels dark!
December 5, 2023|

Forthwith & Posthaste

I have a small weakness for speckled yarns. And by ‘small weakness for’ I mean ‘complete inability to refrain from buying.’ But, just to make things fun, I also have a hard time actually using all those gorgeous speckled yarns in projects. Because sometimes the lovely speckles I adore so much don’t play nicely with the complicated stitch patterns I tend to want to use. But I’ve finally figured out the secret to actually using my (possibly alarming) stash of speckled yarns. The secret is (as it so often is) restraint. The secret is that you only get one showy thing per project. So if you’ve got some gorgeous speckles that want to strut their stuff, you have to give them a restrained stitch pattern on which to do it. In this case that means a lovely long stretch of stockinette up top (speckled yarns really shine on stockinette). But I couldn’t knit a whole project in plain stockinette and retain my will to live, so there’s a rather delightful bit of dramatic swoopy business down at the beginning (speckled yarns will also generally behave themselves over ribbing and nice straight lines, assuming you make the lines long enough that they stand out against the exuberance of the fabric). And of course there’s a pretty crown and thumb, because why even knit hats or mitts if you can’t have those! And don’t worry, you absolutely can make this with a non-speckled yarn and it will be lovely. But if you happen to have an opinionated yarn you’ve been having trouble finding just the right project for, this might well be it.
February 5, 2024|
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