Free Crochet Pattern: Swish Swish Hat

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This pattern was originally featured in the Design Create Repeat August 2019 blog hop! See all patterns featured here.

If, like me, you’re always on the hunt for a chunky beanie that can serve you fall to spring, my Swish Swish Hat is perfect for your library. Its simple construction is interesting enough to stand on its own or you can spruce it up with buttons, pins, or your favorite crochet appliqué.

I’m really not a fan of long introductions to these type of posts so let’s get right to it:

Terminology

Pattern is written using English crochet terminology (not UK)

  • ch: chain

  • dc: double crochet

  • FPdc: front post double crochet

  • BPhdc: back post half double crochet

  • hdc: half double crochet

  • st(s): stitch(es)

Supplies

  • Worsted Weight Yarn (for the sample, I used I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby)

  • Size I/5.5mm crochet hook

  • Sewing scissors (for cutting yarn when done)

  • Tapestry needle (for weaving in ends)

Pattern

This pattern is available for $1 on Ravelry and you can access it by clicking here or on the “Buy Now” button below:

I hope you all enjoy this pattern! If you have any photos, definitely post them on Ravelry because I'd love to see everything you make. Thanks for taking the time to drop by and check it out.

For more knit and crochet patterns, make sure to visit my Patterns page!

Shawl Mashup Class with Stephen West

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This past Saturday, I finally did something for me. I know a lot of people think I’m already selfish because I tend to disappear and not talk to anyone for entire weeks at a time - fine. My work life is going bonkers and if I don’t sit and stare at a wall sometimes or turn my phone off/ignore all my incoming texts, I would probably jump off a cliff. That’s just self care. But this was actually investing in myself.

No, I wanted to look forward to something that would feed my soul (if I even have one left) so I booked a shawl design class with one of my favorite knitwear designers, Stephen West.

Yes. That Stephen West.

Back in December, I received an email from one of my LYSes, Conversational Threads, that he’d be hosting a couple classes over a weekend in February. I debated whether I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and show up to a knitting class by myself with one of the most modern, talented, and prolific designers of my time. Spoiler: I did. Once registration opened, I spent 30 minutes trying to get around the perpetual busy signal and reserve a spot (space was limited and the classes were popular) and lucked out. I feel like someone, somewhere knew I needed this.

The class itself was great. I’ve always been too terrified to knit with yarn and no intention. I think it’s because I might single-handedly support the hand-dyed fiber industry with my income so I felt like I’d be wasting my money if I screwed up my own design. But it turns out that’s nearly impossible to do. As long as you know the basic shapes and understand how to get there, you can make anything a design feature - even unintentional holes (ask me how I know).

It also helps that Stephen West might be one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. It’s rare to run into someone who’s passionate about their chosen field so everything about the class was refreshing, probably contributing to the calming loveliness of the day. But he also has the patience of a saint and that’s not common, either. I’m a terrible teacher, which is why it’s almost comical that I’m a consultant who occasionally travels to speak about how to do stuff, so I always 100% appreciate anyone who can take a step back and instill knowledge in another human being without getting riled.

I also walked away with a few new friends and realized I need to start meeting more of “my people” at knit nights. Knitters are an interesting breed and I love surrounding myself with the uncommon and unboring. It’s kind of cool how I never leave a yarn shop without a good conversation or connection with someone else, all because we fell in love with textiles or a certain colorway, and I need more of that mojo in my life.

Suffice it to say that this was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in a long while and I felt 100% happy and in my element. If you ever have a chance to chill with Stephen West in a fortress of yarn, do not hesitate.

Anyway, I’m off to keep working on my shawl design and probably watch a terrible true crime documentary of some sort. If you’re interested in seeing more, check out the rest of my fangirl-squee pictures below.

More Photos from Stephen West at Conversational Threads:

In Progress: 2019 Temperature Blanket [01]

Ask me about my least favorite projects to knit or crochet and I’ll return you a list that looks like this:

  • Blankets

  • Amigurumi

  • Baby stuff

Now ask me about all the projects I’m currently knitting or crocheting and I’ll return you a list that looks like this:

  • Blankets

  • Amigurumi

  • Baby stuff

The weird thing is, I’m not even thinking about running into traffic - yet. I’m enjoying working on all three (yes, three) of the blankets I started over the holidays and chomping at the bit to tear apart my “My Little Pony” and “Disney Princess” amigurumi kits I bought with Christmas money (for those of you asking, yes, I’m a child).

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One of those blankets is my Temperature Blanket. What the heck is that? Basically, each day, I record the temperature at 12PM and crochet a row in a color I’ve pre-selected that coordinates with that number. The row takes only about 10 minutes for me to complete so it’s perfect for a quick lunch break recharge OR is really easy to catch up on over a weekend. It’s classic potato-chip crocheting.

This whole concept isn’t new and loads of people over the years have made their own so I feel like I’m late to the party - BUT I’ve been getting back into the instant gratification and thick, cozy texture of crochet lately so I was jonesing to pick up something that could be ongoing.

I’m using the Granny Stripe pattern from Lucy over at Attic 24 except I didn’t chain to start - I did a foundation single crochet because I just really hate chaining, especially on blankets where that means your foundation won’t stretch. I think part of the reason I hate crocheting blankets is because the first row always seems wonky for me. So far, my edit looks good and I actually got the math right so kudos to the art major over here.

At-A-Glance: The Details

Yarn: Hobby Lobby <> I Love This Yarn
Pattern: Granny Stripes from Attic 24
Methodology: See image below for the temperature tiers I’m using

I still can’t believe I’ve got three blankets on the go and a commission on the way that I’m unnaturally excited to start. This is the “new year, new me” I wasn’t anticipating. But every amazing thing in my life has been unexpected so I’m rolling with it.

Hope you all are having a great start to 2019 :)

So did 2018 happen or...?

My “holy crap I’ve lost my mind and went rogue with pink, purple, and unicorns” Christmas tree.

My “holy crap I’ve lost my mind and went rogue with pink, purple, and unicorns” Christmas tree.

It’s about two months shy of a full year since my last blog update. Some of you might be wondering what happened to me - I’m asking myself the same thing. 2018 blew by and it was… pretty terrible. I won’t get into the details here because I’m not that type of person but my close friends and family will know why.

Anyway, the holidays are legit right around the corner, which breeds a whole lot of stress while also providing valuable downtime for me to reflect on the past 365 days and how much I did (or didn’t) accomplish.

For example, something that’s bugging me is the fact I barely touched my yarn. If my stash was going to outlast my life expectancy before, it’s just dominating my life and (in)sanity now. I didn’t add much to it, at least, with the exception of some must-haves, like The Cozy Knitter’s 24-stripe advent skein.

I also had grand plans to craft Christmas gifts for everyone this year but I’m plain old not in the mood - for either crafting or decorating. I went rogue with my Christmas tree and minimalist on the tchotchkes. With any luck, I’ll be moving out by April and I don’t feel like dealing with constantly revamping my house for the seasons. Maybe I’m old and jaded, which… fine. I embrace it at this point.

Dot mandalas have consumed my soul (or what was left of us)

Dot mandalas have consumed my soul (or what was left of us)

I started painting dot mandalas earlier this month, though, and that’s been a relaxing project during a season designed to make you rip your hair out with unattainable expectations. I’m an art major and haven’t touched any of my supplies in years because who has the time to indulge in activities that don’t generate money these days? So I’m glad I’m at least looking at my paint again.

What else have I been doing? I took a little working vacation to England for two weeks and had a blast. I’ve been knitting on my Hue Shift Afghan, albeit slowly. I’ve started a million pairs of socks that remain half-finished because I have no attention span. I’ve been cleaning and organizing my house to make things livable while I come up for air after my basement flooding over the summer (and destroying half my living space so I’m feeling claustrophobic, to say the least). I’m going to the Women’s March in DC with girlfriends of mine from a news group I’ve joined and I’m really looking forward to that. At the urging of my friends, I’m also about to dabble in the joy of solo travel, starting with Nashville over President’s Day weekend.

One pair of Halloween socks I started (but never finished) knitting in The Cozy Knitter’s “Haunted” colorway.

One pair of Halloween socks I started (but never finished) knitting in The Cozy Knitter’s “Haunted” colorway.

Oh, and I booked a shawl knitting class with the incomparable Stephen West when he visits one of my LYSes, Conversational Threads, in February. I feel like that’s probably the most relevant topic I’ve rambled about so far and I almost forgot about it. That tells you where my brain is right now.

Really, I’m just trying to get my life back - harder than you’d think but I’m a lucky gal who has the best people around to support me. Every time I think this year almost killed me, I have enough photos and “stupid quotes” documented on Facebook to help me feel like there’s a reason I’m here and I’m loved. And anyone who tries to knock me down can take a hike. I’ve spent the better part of five years being told I’m useless and you know what? Fine. I took that negativity, focused on my career, and became successful (go ahead and google me) so, ya know, silver linings and all that. But I’m too old to evaluate my self worth on a daily basis so if you’re just here to waste my time or cause drama, feel free to go pound sand.

On that note, I suppose I should finish up what’s left of my craft projects before Christmas and wrap up work for my highly anticipated week off. Tomorrow night brings ugly sweaters and beer back into my life and I plan to indulge for the next 10 days - don’t @ me!

In Progress: Changing Staircases Shawl

As mentioned in an earlier post, I recently took a work trip to Vegas. From where I'm located (PHL), that means I had nearly six hours of in-flight entertainment to scrounge up.

I needed something that didn't require scissors, so my Ho-Ho-Holiday Socks were out (thanks to contrasting heels) and I also wanted something that didn't require too much concentration. There's something about a plane that's distracting to the point where I have a hard time even reading most flights, so I tend to stick to music/podcasts and knitting.

That's when I remembered Trysten over at Dragon Hoard Yarn had published her Changing Staircases pattern for free back in September. I'd scooped it up knowing I'd have to pay for it the next day and figured it's something I'd want to knit up in times like these. Kudos to me for having forethought.

Plus, it gave me a reason to wind up and use the yarn I dyed at the beginning of January. I've been itching for a reason to use it and this was a perfect opportunity.

I haven't gotten much further than the photo, which I took before taking off, but I've found this project to be wonderfully satisfying since returning home. I'm almost positive I'm fighting off a bug I picked up being around thousands of people in Sin City (and I always get sick when I'm on the west coast - or flying, in general), so this has been a really good knit when I don't want to fiddle with tiny needles or think about anything that requires brain power. Work has been busy lately and all I want to do after 5PM is relax.

For what it's worth, my aforementioned trip to Vegas was pretty fab. On top of doing great things for work, I managed to squeeze in some me-time on the last night, where I saw Penn & Teller's show at the Rio - and even met them, too! I'm happy to be back home, though, and in the swing of winter where all I want to do is crawl into bed with a good book and keep warm.

Do I have any dedicated book-readers following my blog? I'm toying around with adding a section for book reviews. I've set a goal to read another 20 books this year (I read 21 last year) and realized I never really say anything about them; I give them star ratings with no explanation and then move on to the next. I want to be more intentional with my reads so I absorb what I'm taking into my brain. Any interest?

In the meantime, I'm:

Reading: Practical Magic
Knitting: Ho-Ho-Holiday Socks
Listening to: First Aid Kit - Ruin