Friday, August 30, 2013



The latest hat in my current series, entitled “Striped Hats:  Somebody Will Like Them”.  Looking at this, I worry about it sitting in a heap somewhere, picked over and disdained in favor of something store-bought.  I get too attached.  But, as Carolyn always says, somebody will like it, and somebody will love that it’s striped.  The pattern for this one is so easy—here it is:  Cast on 80 (I’m using chunky yarn) on a 16” circular needle, US size 9.  Work three garter ridges, or however many you want for a sufficient edging.  Switch to stockinette stitch and work in the round until when you try it on, the hole at the top is past the top of your head.  Make stripes as you please, or not, whatever.  Then begin decreasing as follows:  knit 8, knit 2 together.  Repeat, around.  Knit one round plain.  Next round:  knit 7, k2tog, around.  Knit one plain round.  And so on, decreasing in this fashion and changing to double pointed needles when it becomes necessary, until you have 16 stitches left.  Knit two together, around—8 stitches left.  K2tog, around—4 stitches left.  Cut yarn, run the tail through the remaining four loops, and weave in the ends.  Done. 

I knit frantically, in an attempt to distract myself from worrying about my poor, busted sewing machine, which came back from the repair shop not fixed.  You know how when they shut off the water to flush the hydrants or whatever, suddenly all you want is to take a bath?  You’d do anything for a bath?  You find yourself heating water in pots on the stove and hauling it to the tub like an old pioneer lady?  I caught myself wondering if I should go ahead and finish piecing this quilt by hand. 


I could probably build a functioning sewing machine out of twigs from the yard in the time it would take me to piece this by hand, but the thought did cross my mind. 

Instead, I polished some silverware, and worried about Miss Kastner.  I found these and a whole bunch more like them in a wet ziploc bag at a yard sale for two bucks. I know, right? That little fork might be perfect for this.


I did one time piece a bunch of quilt squares by hand, a Drunkard’s Path in black and cream, dang, that thing was pretty, and I can remember taking the workbasket on a camping trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and sitting beside the campfire stitching away on it.  It felt like the exact right thing to be doing.  I wanted to bake cornbread and smoke a pipe as Dean played the harmonica.  Somehow, away from the woods, that project got tabled, and now I can’t find it.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?  Somewhere out there in the storage bins is an almost-finished Drunkard’s Path quilt top, hand-pieced by me in the mountains of North Carolina.  If I weren’t so skeered of the snake, I might go look for it. 


  1. The stripy had is fun - someone wil LOVE it, for sure! Sick sewing machines are no fun at all - I know how you feel there (mine broke last year, and I didn't know what to do with myself). I hope it'll be workign again soon.....

  2. Feeling so much for you and your broken sewing machine. I hope that you don't resort to fashioning a replacement from sticks!! Too sad to think of it. The hat is lovely though and you are right, I am sure that it will be loved - by you! Hope that your machine is fixed soon. Funny how we get attached to seemingly random things isn't it?

  3. It's so frustrating when a sewing machine is on the fritz. I feel for you Kristen. Love the striped hat though. I love how you always seem to have the most perfect colors that go together. Have a great weekend!

  4. Poor Miss Kastner. I hope she's better soon. I understand how you feel but it's so not worth piecing by hand. Well, not for me because I'm not great at hand-sewing, but maybe you are. Actually, I'm sure you are. I love those rings and you should definitely make one. Do iiiit.

  5. That hat is going to be lovely and I'm sorry about Miss's surely not fun when we cannot do something we want when we want ... I would have the urge to run to the store n just get a friend for her ... Sewing machine is like a dog to me ... I cannot imagine my life without them :) hope you find the solution soon and I do think its wise to not start hand stitching the quilt , although I can see why you want to see it done... It's going to be gorgeous "

  6. Haha, I love your idea to build a sewing machine from twigs! I would dearly like to see it! :-D

  7. Don't blame you - i knock on the garage door before entering as we came across a mice family once.... Years ago!

    Rachell - The Little Room of Rachell

  8. Oh dear - Poor Miss Kastner - I understand how you're feeling but hand sewing that beauty would be such a huge task, I'd be thinking twice before starting!!!
    Is a new sewing machine on the cards for you or would you feel a traitor towards Miss K? But she's let you down and you have work to do - much needed and worthwhile work ... ... ...
    Wishing you the best Kristen,
    Joy x

  9. Aside from all the wonderful stuff you create, you really are funny! Have a great weekend Kristen! xo

  10. Stripes are so much fun to knit, and your hat in progress is a winner.

    Another winner is that quilt, whose completion has stalled.

    I do hope you will find a repair shop/technician who can bring your beloved sewing machine back into full operation. I do know what you mean about missing something more when it is elusive. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that....


  11. I think it's a requirement when you start quilting, that you must start a drunkards path quilt by hand, and then not finish it. I had a pink and white one from 1980 something, halfway done and I have no idea where it went, LOL.
    Sorry about your machine. That quilt is so pretty and so close to being finished, you must be knitting about 100 miles per hour to make up for it.
    Liking the color of the hat.


  13. Maybe head to the thrift shops and look for an old machine? My mom found me an old singer for $15 and thats all I use for piecing quilts now. It doesn't do anything but a straight stitch but its so sturdy and dependable all it needs is some oil now and then.
    Love your blog by the way,

  14. Oh the worry. I have a fork bracelet that my bloke made for me at the wooooing stage! I love it and everyone comments on it. In fact I am going to post about it in the next few days to show it you. It is good because sizing isn't so crucial as with a ring... you don't need more worry what with your machine and a spoon strangling your finger! Chin up Jo x