On the needles: Katie’s Kep

I’m knitting away on Katie’s Kep, a free pattern from Shetland Wool Week. Anne Lindquist at For Yarn’s Sake put together 5 different color kits, based on the ones in the pattern. This made it really easy for me to choose my colors without agonizing over what goes with what. Thanks, Anne!

I’ll be teaching a stranded colorwork Zoom class with this pattern in January for For Yarn’s Sake, twice! Both classes are sold out already. Should we add another one?

I’ve been struggling a bit with this project. It’s not a pattern problem; the pattern is well written and easy to follow. The charts are great. The problem is my needle; the stitches keep getting caught on the join between the cable and the needle of this 16” ebony circular. Yesterday I decided I’d had enough, so I walked up to Close Knit and purchased a new needle. I wanted a wooden needle, hoping to avoid gauge changes when swapping. The old needle is ebony, and the new needle is from the Knitter’s Pride Ginger line. The smooth join makes knitting this project much more enjoyable!

While I was swapping needles, I took the opportunity to measure for gauge and try on the hat while the stitches had room to spread out. It’s definitely big enough for my biggish head! The hat is supposed to measure 56 cm, which Alexa says is 22 inches. And that’s pretty much what I have. (I love that I can ask Alexa to do my conversions for me, so I don’t have to look it up and do the math.)

You might wonder how I got so far without checking gauge. I mostly don’t do gauge swatches for hats, knowing that I don’t usually wear hats, and that the hat is a sample and will fit *someone*. By the time you cast on enough stitches to knit a gauge swatch, you may as well have jumped into the hat project, if you’re willing to rip if it’s way off. And so I do. (Hint number one from class.)

Also, stranded colorwork always looks lumpy and bumpy before it’s blocked. Fear not; things will calm down. Clearly, I haven’t washed and blocked my swatch (for looks nor for gauge), since I didn’t knit one. I’m fine with that. Again, you have to assess your own risk tolerance. (Hint number two from class!)

I may order one more ball of the background color; the pattern doesn’t use much of the patterning color, and with one more ball of background I think I could get a second hat. Eventually. When I catch up with myself! (The kits have 2 balls of the background color, but you won’t use all of the second ball.)

Have you knit stranded colorwork? Did you enjoy it? Have you *cut* your stranded colorwork?

Oh! I’m also teaching a class on cutting your first steek! Homework is knitting a simple coffee coaster, in the round. We reinforce the steek and cut and finish during class. February 21 through For Yarn’s Sake. Cutting a coaster is much less fraught than cutting your first steek on a sweater you’ve knit for months!

Log Cabin blocks

And! I’m also teaching Log Cabin knitting on February 7 for For Yarn’s Sake. Easy-peasy garter stitch knitting.

Okay, back to my knitting. Actually, I have to take one more picture, and then I can publish my Leafy Origami pattern. So many (figurative) hats to wear: Photographer, knitter, designer, publisher, teacher… At least they don’t mess up my hair. Onward!

6 responses to “On the needles: Katie’s Kep

  1. Kathryn Gearheard

    Delighted to see you doing the Shetland hat kit. I’ve knit four of them over the years and been to Shetland Wool Week 4x. I am as fanatical about fair isle as you are with brioche.

    I knit a Norwegian stranded yoke sweater in high school and have been crazy for color work since. Through the miracle of the internet I became good friends with Hazel Tindall with whom I’ve been able to sit and knit with several times. She uses a knitting belt with astonishing speed. Despite her efforts I have yet to master it but I must.

    I went to a tea in Lerwick where women were walking around knitting fair isle on their belts while still carrying on eye to eye conversations. It was something to see.

    It’s so nice that For Yarns Sake is now carrying so many fair isle books including Misa Hayes Journal. They sold so many they had to place a second order. Misa is on Instagram and her videos are well worth watching..

    • Anne definitely loves Fair Isle and Shetland knitting! I looked at all the books she had a few weeks ago, and it’s a great selection.

      I like bigger yarn, for the most part, but I do love stranded knitting. I’m planning a yoked sweater for DH in January; it’s Dreyma by Jennifer Steingass.

      So cool that you know Hazel Tindall!

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  2. I too have a 56cm head.
    Mine, however, isn’t looking like it on account of having been shorn all over with clippers set at what the young Chinese man told me was 6 when I had asked for a no. 4. Turns out they measure by mms whereas non-Asian hairdressers have a set of numbers relating to who knows what ..
    He said “too shor’ !” when I mentioned 4, and insisted on 6. Just as well: I would’ve ended up with a no. 2 – or even 1 !!! 😀

  3. The hat is going to be lovely!

  4. Great photo of you!! Happy Holidays!

    • Hi, Andrea: Thank you! That’s a spur of the moment, no makeup don’t care, thank goodness for portrait mode iPhone snap. The blog must go on! Hope you are well, Michele

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