Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hatty Holidays LInk Round Up - Vogue Knitting Turban,

Vogue Knitting, Vintage Chic, Turban, Designed  by Lola Ehrlich
Vintage Chic, Vogue Knitting 2011/2012 Fashion Preview
A random list of cool hats, casual, fun or classy:
  • You've seen Chanel bags, how about a Chanel knit hat? Simple, no chains to weight it down.
  • The turban is back....classy or just a microwaved leftover? With or without hair. The Vogue Knitting models (above) show plenty of lush,  long, wavy longs. They're just missing gloves, a cordette clutch, and a cigarette holder...otherwise, they look like 1940s starlets. Any ideas on the yarn used? Vogue Knitting won't tell...yet. Can I just contrast it to this actual 1940s jersey turban? Which would took chutzpah to wear? Vogue's patterns or the jersey one? A cocktail will help the chutzpah part, I promise.
  • Judith M Millinery has a 20 percent off coupon good through the end of January. She has amazing hat-making notions that you can't even find in New York City's Fashion District (sadly...).
  • What's a cute rain hat without a matching umbrella? Here's a how-to using oilcloth...which I think would a little bit stiff. Ripstop or a thinner water-repellant fabric would be a better choice. Still a great way to salvage a frame.
  •  Thinking of last minute gifts? Have needles, will travel to nearest yarn store? Here's a round-up of last-minute hats to make on the double.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Linky Wednesday - Free embroidery tutorial, Knit Handy iPhone/iPad app

Beret designed by Angela Combest of Fleur de Fiber Yarns

Rhinestone detail, Angela Combest beret

Side view, Angela Combest beret. Yarn: Acadian Two-Wheeler, also available at Windy Knitty

Here's a round-up of mostly hat-related links this week:

  • Here's a great interview of a Vogue Knitting hat designer Deborah Newton, who doesn't mind when readers call her designs ugly. Interesting!
  • Gosh. This special edition Interweave Knits Accessories, 2011, is practically a book with more than 40 patterns, and tons of hats! I've already taken a look,  it's a great value at $14.99 and if you buy it before the end of the year at a local yarn shop, you get a rebate from Interweave.
  • Also from Interweave is the Knit Handy app by Ann Budd. I've downloaded it, and it's a great tool (along with my app Yarn U, of course).
  • Details matter. I love this French knot tutorial for 3-d hydrangeas, great for embellishing just about any hat, woven or knit.
  • Finally, eye candy at this Australian vintage shop, l'uccello. Buttons, vintage ribbons galore!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hatty Holidays, Linky Tuesday - Yarn v2.0 for iPhone/iPad Lives!

Gone with the Wind Hat, Windy Knitty, Chicago
Hat knitted with Schulana Malawi yarn (now discontinued)

Leftover Malawi used to make Lacy Collar Designed by Claire Montgomerie  

I made a second version of the Lacy Collar by Claire Montgomerie from the book Knitting Vintage. This collar is most addictive, and easily knit in sections. This one came out bigger than the first one even though it was DK weight just like the Classic Elite version and I used the same circular needles. Anyhow, here in no particular order some great links for this week. Most are hat-related, some aren't.
That's it for now. Happy hat-making!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hatty Thanksgiving - a Round of Links - Quince & Co.

Milliner Joy Scott models her work at the Curly Tale Fine Art Gallery, Chicago

Scott used a multi-colored sinamay from London for her cocktail hat
Scott embellished her hat with a miniature paper umbrella. Brilliant!

Here's a list of links...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Tyrorean Hat Goes to "Hats...Art for Your Head!"

Scarf? A Missoni-like fabric still at Vogue Fabrics, Evanston

Purchased at Silver Moon, when it was located on Halsted Street, Chicago

Modeled at Windy Knitty, Chicago

The tyrolean hat is often mistaken for another style. Some admirers think it's a fedora or a porkpie. But it's neither. It's a tyrolean style hat, when all things alpine were popular in the U.S. in the late 1930s. There were tyrolean jackets, suits, sweaters...and then hats. Mine is a thin black felt embellished with  what looks like matching horsehair on top. It's a clever embellishment, very subtle: the felt and the horsehair are swirled together and cut at an angle (difficult to see here, but I do have a close-up somewhere). If I had that time machine that so many DIY bloggers talk about,  I'd return and get this hat in a kelly green and fuschia. I get so many compliments on this simple hat I really do wish I could replicate it easily. But I'd at least need a hat block...and the crown vaguely looks like a Civil War soldier's hat, but the brim is short and sweet, typical for the Depression. I imagine this hat was very versatile during that time...perfect to wear with a suit or a princess-style black coat. 

I hope to never wear this hat out it's so sweet. In any event, it's going on an adventure tonight at "Hats...Art for Your Head!"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hatty Link Sunday - free Stacy Charles Takhi hat pattern

Stacy Takhi Charles, free pattern                             


Plenty of hat love this week here in Chicago and nationwide.

1. Five milliners will be participating in "Hats...Art of Your Head," the opening is this Thursday, Nov. 17. I look forward to seeing Eia's and Jenny Pfanenstiel's work.  
2. Optimo Hats has a new downtown location in Chicago's historic Monadnock building. The window display must truly rock! 
3. Better late than never: check out this Amelia Earhart Halloween costume and a how-to on sewing jodhpurs if you're ever in need. The hat and goggles are flea market finds.
4. A self-fabric button how-to. Very couture. Handy for hat-making too.
5. The latest incarnation of the Tam, to be published in Interweave Knits and in stores Nov. 29. Looking forward to that...supposedly there's a review of my app, Yarn U, in there!

That's all for now. Over and out.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hatty Saturday - Free Sockhead Hat Pattern, La Fete De Catherinettes, Philip Treacy

Sockhead Hat Designed by bohokits. It's free!

Sockhead Hat, Fleur de Fiber (Arcadian) at Windy Knitty

Designed by bohoknits, download free pattern here
These links are no particular order, mostly millinery-related, but not all:
  • Do your swim suits take a beating in chlorine-treated water? Do you fear they've become a little too revealing even though you're covered from here to there? Try sewing your suits with reversible laminate bright tricot Spandex. Not cheap, but it won't become sheer either after several dips in the pool.
  • I knew this was a Philip Treacy before I clicked on the link at OMG. Yes, Sarah Jessica Parker has a sense of humor.
  • Here pipe cleaners are used for gift wrap, but they make dandy cocktail hat embellishments. Think spider legs, leave stems, etc.
  • The buttercup beret, yes, designed by Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns. A knitting pattern, it's It's free here.
  • For fingering-weight yarn fanatics, here's an American-made line....and get this, it's tweedy! Great for vintage hat and sweater patterns.  I give you (or rather Jared Flood) LOFT, not to be confused with Ann Taylor LOFT.
That's all for today, friends. Over and out!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yarn U v1.9, now with locations, Twitter handles...and Happy Halloween and a LIst of Hatty LInks

Rat in Beret Made from Berroco Vintage Yarn searches for new yarn  
Rat stops to sniff...he smells a yarn he likes.

Just Another Day at Windy Knitty...Fiber-obsessed customer

Rats! The Blue Alpacas Sky Fine yarn is out of reach!

Close-up of Beret, Made by Tara, a Windy Knitty Customer of the Human Kind

I don't know how many rats wear hats, but I saw at least one of the stuffed 'faux' variety wearing one at Windy Knitty recently. He looked pretty fierce in a fashion-forward kind of way. I can't tell you too much about the pattern. I'm certain it was improvised, since most patterns aren't written for heads quite that small.

Now that it's Halloween,  here's a round-up of hat-related links:
  • Pamoolah of Ravelry has a booklet of 1930s hat patterns at Etsy. If you like to knit with fingering weight yarn and you love hats, this might be up your alley and down your lane. Log into Ravelry to see to her own interpretations of these classics.
  • I'm loving this how-to for hat stands, which aren't cheap readymade.
  • La Fete de Catherinettes...once a big deal in France, now a 'niche' holiday that's fun to celebrate. Here's what happening in Chicago.
  •  This quick-knit beret pattern has a 1930ish feel. Great price too!
  • Version 1.9 of my app Yarn U is now live. What's new? Twitter handles and locations for yarn distributors.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Linky Friday (with Hats, of course!)

Crochet Beret by Jill (YarnOverChicago @ Ravelry) at Windy Knitty, Chicago

Beret Close-up, Dream in Color Classy Yarn
Jill H. teaches how to crochet this pattern at Windy Knitty, for the schedule, check here

This is a quick list of links I loved this week:
  • Anthropologie's newest hat collection...The Fuzzy Beanie one is my favorite, and I want to recreate it on my needles. Any ideas, any one? Any one?
  • The Zelda cloche from the latest Knitscene. Very 1920s. I might break down and buy this magazine. 
  • This hat at Lorna's Laces is so much fun. The little tendrils are like hair...or dreadlocks. Perfect way to weather Chicago's fierce winds. Do it in a style!
  • Vintage 1940s hat with corn. Yes, corn. It must have been owned by a Midwestern farmer's wife. Must have. 
  • For chunky yarn lovers, I give you the Cozy Warm Hat over at the Purl Bee. Cute, hard to screw up on the needles. Totally fun.
I realize this is mostly a link list of knit hats. Maybe I'll mix it up more next time. Until then...have a hatty weekend!

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Fabric of the Moment: Shaggy Suede, available at Vogue Fabrics

    My favorite shaggy suede hat, made by me, at Windy Knitty
    This fabric (one of more than 100 listed in my iPhone/iPad app Fabric U) is little known in the sewing world. If you like to sew, you know about fake fur. You might even know about faux sherpa fabric, the stuff of the retro World War II flight jackets. But shaggy suede? Probably not...even though it's virtually all over the RTW world. You'll see in cute children's jackets made by the Gap, or even a stylist coats like this one seen on the Sartorialist but it's not exactly shaking up the fashion scene even in Lucky Magazine or even Teen Vogue. Yet it's the coolest, most washable winter coat fabric out there. Here are some pros and cons for this fabric, also called sueded cuddle.

    • Doesn't need to be lined
    • Machine washable
    • Edges don't need to be finished; use pinking shears to finish
    • Messy to sew with!
    • Tad on the expensive side ($21 a yard)...make an expensive muslin first with cheap muslin
    • Limited color selection

    If you decide to bite the fabric bullet,  I would suggest renting a sewing room when you're cutting this fabric. Otherwise, you'll be seeing lint all over your house for months.  Maybe even a year.  Here are some pattern ideas:
    Me? I've got a out-of-print Simplicity coat pattern that I want to use. Need to dig it out before snow falls!

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Yarn U v1.8 now live...Linky Saturday

    Louisa Harding Design       

    Some links to consider on this gorgeous Saturday:
    • The Sunday pictorial hat, a premium for those who've purchased a Stitch in Time, vol. 2
    • How to roll Sinamay, a hat fabric, in this month's Hat Talk
    • Knit Picks' newest yarn, Stroll Glimmer, a fingering weight yarn perfect for vintage patterns
    • Yarn U v1.8 is now includes prices. Next up? Locations for various manufacturers
    • Great selection of vintage hats at this Etsy seller. My fav? One made with petals made from petals.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Knitting Vintage by Claire Montgomerie - the Lacy Collar

    At Windy Knitty, Chicago, the Lacy Collar from Knitting Vintage
    Row upon Row of Yarn Overs Makes This Easy for Lace Lovers.
    Paired with the matching High Society Hat Designed by Annie Modesitt
    The ribbon and button are from Vogue Fabrics, Evanston, IL
     The lacy collar, designed by Claire Montgomerie

    Tell us a little bit about this lacy collar. It looks a bit vintage.  You know, it does look vintage, although in all likelihood a collar of this kind back in the 1930s and 40s would have been done in a fingering weight yarn or a crochet thread of some sort. I did mine in a DK weight, which makes it look a lot less delicate, but heck, it was leftover from another project so I went with it.

    Do you frequently use your leftover yarns for new projects? All the time. Actually I should do it more often. I looked in my yarn bag recently, and I've found at least two other yarns lurking in there that I could use for multiple versions of this collar. I will make this collar until I get tired of the pattern. I give that at least two or three more times. Actually, if I retire it if for a while, it's easy to return to the pattern like I've never looked it before.

    What kind of yarns would you recommend for this pattern? Oh, just about any will do as I said before. The book suggests experimenting, even trying beaded yarn, which I think would look smashing for the holidays. I could see even dressing it up with a little holly pin.  It would be interesting to see this in a tonal yarn from Dreams Everlasting or Three Irish Girls. I'd imagine it would look especially retro and pretty in a crochet thread by DMC or Aunt Lydia's.

    Anything else we should know? Try a rhinestone button for a little sparkle. I used a clear button because I wanted the pins I use to be the stars of the show. I can't wait to try out my vintage religious flower pin,  and some things I inherited from my grandmother. Also be sure to wear the collar so it doesn't get lost on your clothes. It would look terrific with an angora sweater, a stretch lace top or a little black dress. Oh, it would look really great with a LBD...especially if you make it in white.

    But it looks a little girlish...can women wear this to the office? It depends on your office. I think creatives could get away with more than those in the banking or investment biz. The collar is a bit bulky so it doesn't play well with jackets. But to answer the other part of your question, yes, women can definitely wear this collar. It's not just for teens. It's all about attitude and how you wear it too. It's certainly romantic but I think it could be paired with a pair of jeans just as easily as a tiered cream skirt embellished with Cluny lace. 

    Huh? Never mind. This collar is cute and washable, which necklaces aren't.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Annie Modesitt's Modern Cloche v2.0 - the Madison Square Garden

    At Windy Knitty, Chicago
    Another shot at Windy Knitty.
    The Knitting Today pattern plus Classic Elite Classic Silk yarn.
    What can I say? I can only recommend two-thirds of this hat, the Modern Cloche?

    Yes, I think I can safely say that. I loved doing the leafy sideband pattern. I think I could have gone on forever doing that. It was so pretty. The sideband pattern alone I think I could do again and again. And I might in a different weight of yarn...I might even just do it as a lace trim in a lace weight yarn. After the disaster of my first Modern Cloche (which ended up shaped like a bucket so it would fit my 22-inch head),  I decided to drop down two sizes - to the 18" inch measuremen, figuring that my natural fiber yarn could stretch if I needed it.

    That turned out to be a good call. I tried on the sideband after I formed a loop using the mattress stitch. It fit! So that would be recommendation to you if you're keen on making this hat. Drop a size or two unless you like bucket hats. I don't. I like hats with enough ease to get the thing on and off my hat. That's about it.

    Oddly enough, the brim was the next thing to make on this hat. The brim is the last thing on the previous Annie Modesitt hats I've made. So I was a bit bewildered doing the brim before the crown. But I dutifully did I was told.

    The seed stitch was easy enough...and I did it all on my circulars. I used my bamboo circs...and the size 5 Denise circular tips to do the I-cord Bind-Off. My yarn actually seemed to slip better on the Denises than my bamboo. I don't know why. Others who have made this hat complained that it was hard to do the seed-stitch with the doubled yarn, but that wasn't so difficult. The I-Cord Bind-Off was much trickier and seemed to go on forever...but I learned a new technique. I've never done the I-Cord Bind-Off. It's very pretty.

    Now for some thoughts on the brim. I'm used to the 1930s-style short brims on Annie's other hats (The High Society hat comes to mind). It opens up a bit as it leaves the crown...but the brim on this cloche is very tight and completely covers the face, in fact you really can't see very well at all. It would be a traffic hazard to try crossing the street in this hat. The brim doesn't look that perilous on the model in *Knitting Today*, and I really can't figure out why. I also think the I-Cord Bind-Off makes for a very tight finish, it pulls the entire brim in, again making it hard to see.

    Onto the crown. The hardest part is picking up the necessary amount of stitches. And that's always been the case on all my Annie hats (here's a link to her Gone with the Wind hat). It seems like I'm always desperate for stitches to pick up from the moment I dig in my circulars on the sideband.  The lace pattern is positively a piece of German Chocolate Cake after that...easy to follow...and I ended up using my Denise circs again as the stitches decreased because I really don't like using DPNs if I can help it. Yes, there were two sets of circulars in the last few rows of the crown.

    Would I make this hat again? Maybe...I really do like the sideband and the crown, but I would switch off the brim...actually that was my original thought when I did the first version. I was going to use the High Society Hat brim but then I thought it would be fun to learn a new technique. So don't be surprised if you see me making this hat yet **again** but with a different brim. I really like to wire my hat brims, and it was virtually impossible to do that with this hat. Annie did say in her earlier notes on this hat pattern (you can see them with the original pattern here on Ravelry) that she had suggested a wire brim to her editors, but they thought it was too difficult. I don't think it's hard, but it might make this hat even harder to get on and off with the already tight fit.

    Which brings me to the Classic Silk yarn (also listed in my iPhone app, Yarn U)...I've loved using this yarn for the past two years. It's pretty and the pastel hues are great (and there are some new colors in the latest batch. I'd love to try the green but it's gone from my LYS and I'm ready to move onto another fiber now). The Classic Silk can be a bit splitty and it really really **despises** being frogged. There have been times when I thought I've frogged too much with this yarn, it's going to fall apart before my eyes! That hasn't happened, thank God.

    Ok. I think I'm done. Modern Cloche? You were fun. You're cute, but I think you're going to stay perched on my model display head where you're safe and I don't have to wear you on my work or play.  I like hats, but I don't want to my head crossing the street!

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Linky Tuesday: Yarn U v1.7 is live-200+ yarns, 1,300+ pics

    The Scarves/Riva/Debbie Bliss

    So more cool links to check out:

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    The Park Place Modern Cloche (Annie Modesitt pattern) Finished!

    For those of you on Ravelry, you can check out some more detailed notes on this pattern here. <a href=""><img src=";t=.gif" style="border: none;" /></a>

    After botching the crown placement, (I attached it to the brim not the sidepiece), I am surprised I still want to do this pattern yet again. But I do. I feel like I know what needs to be done to make it outstanding the second time around.

    Here are some preliminary thoughts on this great Annie Modesitt pattern, originally printed in Knitting Today. (She tells me she will be able to sell the pattern as a stand-alone on her site soon).  Anyhow....

    • Needles. The pattern calls for DPNs, but since I really despise DPNs more than unsweetened chocolate, I went the circular needle route, starting out with a pair of bamboo circs I used for Modesitt's High Society hat. In fact, I would say it's my go-to set of needles for her hats which seem to call for size 5 needles. When I needed to split the hat-in-progress to two circs, I used my Denise needles...and I found the silk/cotton Classic Silk yarn 'slipped' better on the Denise circs. I also used the Denise no. 6 tips as DPNs when I was doing the seed stitch brim. Worked better than a charm and saved me the cost of buying new needles!
    • Ease. There's a lot of ease in this pattern which you don't discover when until you're done. I did the pattern for the 22-inch headsize, and I had at least four inches of ease on side of the hat. So, yes, the completed hat fits my noggin, but it's huge and not snug like the model in Knitting Today. I'm considering dropping down a size or two for the next rendition of the Modern Cloche. My hat looks more like a bucket hat (not the look I'm after) and less of a cloche. Oh well. Next time!
    • Yarn. The pattern calls for a worsted linen/cotton yarn, but I think that's too thick. I used a DK weight....but whatever you use you want something summery with a lot of natural fiber...which will probably stretch and contribute to that ease issue I mentioned earlier.
    That's it for now. I'm already at work on the second edition of this hat...What to name it, I'm not sure, but I must be gone for now!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Linky Wednesday - Baby Phat ribbons, Stylish Helmets and More

    My Modern Cloche...before I stitched on the crown to wrong side!
    Ok, here's a round-up of some cool stuff found on the Internet:
    That's it for now. Off to work on that hat crown and other stuff.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Linky Love Tuesday:...Hat Block Making Class, Liberty of London 1937 Catalog

    Another beret by Jill (otherwise known as YarnOverChicago on Ravelry)

    Some random links:
    • There are still some spots in Jenny Pfanensteil's Hat Block Class on the 5th. I've made a hat block, it's just the thing you want if you are all about hats.
    • I'm on the fence with turbans. Sometimes I like 'em, sometimes I don't. The blogger at Advanced Style is having a hey day with them.
    • The latest version of my app Yarn U is now live. That would make this version 1.6 with nearly 200 yarns. 
    • Liberty of London lovers out there? Check out this 1930s catalog for the classic prints. I think I'll have the white Siberian fur trimmed jacket, please!
    • And a blog new to me. If you're a knitter,  you might like this too: Swatch Diaries.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    Annie Modesitt's Modern Cloche, Hats Plus and More...

    This is YarnOverChicago's Crochet Beret (designed by Teresa Richardson). Yarnover used Crystal Palace's Cotton Twirl, now in the latest version of Yarn U, version 1.6.
    Picture was taken at Windy Knitty, Chicago.
    This slouchy hat was made in brown (hard to tell here in my Hipstamatic shot).
    This man's hat is at Hats Plus on Irving Park Road in Chicago.
    Another man's hat at Hats Plus. This is perfect for summer. Check out the store's Hat Chronicles.
    Finally, my latest hat project: Annie Modesitt's Modern Cloche from a recent issue of Knitting Today. Yarn? Classic Silk by Classic Elite Yarns.