hat – OMG Yarn (balls)
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Free Pattern: Simple Ribbed Beanie

November 12, 2018

Simple Ribbed Beanie by Melina Flynn
Note: I got married this summer, so my name is no longer Melina Martin Gingras

If you haven’t learned by now, I LOVE making hats for myself and my entire family. In fact, as part of my morning routine, I tend to skip doing my hair for dropping off the kiddos at school, so hats are my thing before I’m officially home and have gotten ready for the day. I could never have too many hats. 😉




I have wanted to write a very simple knit beanie pattern like this for a few years, so I am happy to share it and it calls for MY YARN.

If you’re newer to knitting, know that you can complete this hat using a 16″ and 9″ circular needle rather than switching to double-pointed needles at the top. You’ll also learn a new method of decreasing stitches.

Yarn

  • You’ll need one skein of OMG Rushmore: Sport Weight, 345 yds, 100g/3.5 oz.
  • Alternatively, you could use 100g of Wool of the Andes Sport in your favorite color. NOTE: The link is an affiliate link. You can always check out our disclaimer page for more information about affiliate links.

 Yarns from knitpicks.com

Gauge

  • 6 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch on US 4.

What you’ll need:

  • A 16″ circular needle, size US 4.
  • A set of 4 or 5 dpns or 9″ circular needle, size US 4.
  • A tapestry needle to sew the side seams and weave in ends.




Glossary:

  • CO: Cast on
  • K: Knit.
  • K2tog: Knit two stitches together.
  • P: Purl.
  • P2tog: Purl two stitches together.
  • psso: Pass slipped stitch over stitch just worked.
  • Sl1: Slip one as if to knit.

Sizing:

  • Small/Baby (Medium/Child, Large/Adult)
  • Finished measurements: 16.5″ (20″, 22″)

This hat is meant to be worn with negative ease, so the finished measurements will be smaller than your head size. If you need to cast on more or less stitches, make sure you increase or decrease by multiples of 8.




Hat Pattern 
Using 16″ circular needle, CO 104 (120, 136) stitches using a long-tail cast on.

K2, P2 around (for the whole round) every round until hat measures 6″ (7″, 8″) from the cast-on edge.

Begin decrease rounds as follows, switching to dpns or smaller circular needle as you see fit:

  • Round 1: *K2tog, P2, K2, P2; repeat from * to end of the round.
  • Round 2: *K1, P2, K2tog, P2; repeat from * to end of the round.
  • Round 3: *K1, P2tog, K1, P2; repeat from * to end of the round.
  • Round 4: *K1, P1, K1, P2tog; repeat from * to end of the round.
  • Rounds 5-6: *K1, P1; repeat from * to end of the round.
  • Round 7: *Sl1, P1, psso; repeat from * to end of the round.
  • Round 8: K all stitches around.
  • Round 9: *K2tog; repeat from * to end of the round.
  • Round 10: *K2tog; repeat from * to last stitch of round, K1.

Break yarn, leaving an 8 inch tail. Thread tail through all stitches on needle, being careful that you don’t drop any stitches. Pull tail tight and thread through center to the inside of hat.

Weave in ends.

Lightly steam to block.




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How to Dye Yarn with Kool-Aid

October 3, 2017




Way back when, in 2011, I had just become a stay at home mom and I needed to find some ways to pass the time. I opted to hone my fiber arts craft and spent the days knitting and crocheting.

One day, my mother mentioned to me that I should try dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid. And I did! I was a long process. I didn’t know about putting yarn into hanks yet, so I ended up with a ton of yarn barf.

Of course, over the years I taught myself a few different dyeing techniques and learned ways to make dyeing easier for myself. Recently, I was looking for something to do with my 8-year-old and 3-year-old sons toward the end of the summer break and I decided to go back to basics.

Since speckle dyeing is the trend right now, I wanted to teach the boys that technique, but without using the professional powdered yarn dyes I use. I thought, let’s dye yarn with Kool Aid!

Even better, why not make something for them that they could show off out of that yarn that they made. The idea was instantly a hit with the kids; they always love watching mom dye yarn, looking like a mad scientist in the process.

Here we go!




What You’ll Need:

  • White vinegar
  • A Liquid Measuring Cup
  • One hank of an animal based fiber yarn (we used my OMG Liberty yarn base; a worsted weight 100% Superwash Merino Wool) – cotton and acrylic yarn will not work for this technique
  • One Large Pot (at least 4 QT)
  • Water
  • Stove
  • Kool Aid packets of any flavor without sugar added
  • Ice Cube Trays, at least 2
  • Freezer
  • Sink
  • Dish Soap
  • Laundry Rack or Hanger

Instructions:

Prep Work – Make Kool Aid Ice Cubes

  1. Using hot water, mix approximately 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of water with one Kool Aid packet until the powder is completely dissolved. Use as many different colors as you like, but remember that the colors may mix, so remember your art classes from school. Purples and greens together will end up brown or other weird colors.
  2. Pour mixture into ice cube tray. If you are using multiple colors, use multiple trays. My mixtures of each color created about 6 to 8 ice cubes.
  3. Place trays in freezer and let freeze.

 Prep work – Soak Yarn

  1. Fill sink with luke warm water and add 1 cup of white vinegar.
  2. Place desired amount of yarn in water and soak it for 20 minutes.

 On to Dyeing Your Yarn

  1. Place presoaked yarn in a large pot. It does not have to be in there in any specific way, but make sure the entire bottom of the pot is covered and your yarn lays flat.
  2. Add about one cup of warm water evenly to the yarn in the pot. This is so that the yarn does not burn when heated on the stove. Make sure that there is not too much water in there. The yarn shouldn’t float and there should not be enough water for the colors to distribute through the water.
  3. Place ice cubes randomly on the surface of your yarn.
  4. Put pot on stove and heat yarn on medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Make sure that the yarn does not burn. If your water boils off, add more to the pot.
  5. Remove pot from heat. Your yarn is hot and so is your pot. Use oven mitts to carry the pot and dump yarn in the sink.
  6. Let yarn cool for 10 minutes in sink.
  7. Wash yarn with a little bit of dish soap and cold water until the water runs clear from the yarn.
  8. Hang yarn to dry.




That’s it! You have a skein of yarn dyed and ready to craft with.

3-year-old Sharky chose Grape, Pink Lemonade, and Cherry for his flavors/colors.

 

8-year-old Peanut chose Blue Raspberry, Pink Lemonade, and Cherry for his Kool-Aid flavors/colors.

 

Of course, I started knitting these hats right away.

Want to learn how to make the kids’ cute cabled hat that I made with their yarn?

Kool Aid Hat Preview

How cute are Sharky and Peanut?!

You will need the following knitting skills to complete this project:

  • Knit
  • Purl
  • Knitting in the Round
  • Purl two together
  • Knit two together

The gauge is approximately 5 stitches per inch in the cable pattern.

The pattern is written for use with OMG Liberty (my worsted weight yarn) or Lion Brand Wool Ease (worsted weight). Sizes range from baby (about 12 months) to adult.

Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease is just a little bit different than OMG Liberty, so instructions include the different needle sizes needed.

Tip: I’ve made several of these hats to test the pattern. If you find yourself playing yarn chicken with OMG Liberty in the adult size, use the smaller cast on for stitches, but follow the rest of the pattern as is, it’ll fit adult size too.

Click here to buy the pattern.




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Beginner Friendly Knit Patterns: Hand-Picked for You by OMG Yarn

March 27, 2017

One of the many things you end up doing as a yarn shop owner is scouring Ravelry and the internet for patterns that will keep beginning knitters confident in their newfound craft. They need to keep buying yarn, right? Well, now that I don’t have the yarn shop, I find myself still eyeing up some of the gorgeous new patterns that are surfacing as the result of this maker movement taking over.




I have a ton of things listed from my yarn shop days in my Ravelry queue, but I thought I’d share the wealth and created a Pinterest board that includes some of my go-to patterns for Knitting 101.

A couple of my favorites…

The Garter Stripes Cardigan – by Melina Martin Gingras

This was the first pattern I had ever written. Ever. It came about because I wanted to make a simple yoke cardigan pattern for a baby and I couldn’t find one anywhere! It’s now my go-to pattern for whenever someone I know has a baby. I’m even working on one right now for my littlest, Ola. It’s great for learning how to knit sweaters. This can be used with OMG Rushmore yarn (available in my Etsy shop) and knit in a single color or multiple colors. The original was knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, another one of my favorite yarns to work with.

Supporter Scarf Number One – by Nicole Drouillard

This is my favorite HUGE scarf pattern to pass on to other people. If you’re into sports or making gifts for your favorite sports fan, this quick knit scarf is perfect! (Did you see the big picture at the top of this post? That’s the scarf!




So take a peek at some of the projects that I have saved on the Beginner Friendly Knits Pinterest board, save, share, and knit! You’ll make a million of each of these!

Here’s my Beginner Friendly Knits Pinterest Board, which of course, takes you to the patterns:

 

Moving Onward and Upward: “Resist” Beanie Pattern Now Available on Ravelry

March 21, 2017

I can be fierce and I can be strong. I stand in solidarity with my re-sisters.

International Women’s Day was on March 8th, so now what? Do we just go back to the inequity, lack of support and less than human treatment from before that day or do we plunge ahead with the call to make things better for all women?




I, personally, would like to see a better world for all three of my kids, not just my daughter. I have two very intelligent, caring sons and a beautiful daughter who would all like to see a world of possibilities for everyone in their lives.

As a business owner in an industry that is characteristically female, I would like to commit OMG Yarn and myself to the empowerment of other women seeking equality.

Let’s stop marginalizing women and their accomplishments. There was nothing I hated more than hearing, “Oh your husband must be a great accountant,” when I would talk about the success of my little yarn shop and other business endeavors. I earned my Masters in Business Administration when I was 24 years old. That was after completing a 4-year education in only 3.5 years at a competitive school. Did I mention I was there on a full scholarship based on academics? Do you see how I had to qualify that?

When you look at the statistics, African American women lead the way as the most educated group in America. So yea, as a group, they’re fiercely killing it, but still experiencing institutional racism, misogyny, wage gaps, injustice in the legal system, and much more than I care to share. Not right. Right?

Let’s stop shaming women for their choices. Every day, we make choices and someone is always standing there to shame us. Whether it’s the choice to work versus be a stay at home mom or any other choice, every woman deserves support, whether you think they’re deserving of it or not. I have translated for a patient who wanted to report a domestic violence nightmare. I have held hands in support of undocumented women experiencing the horrors of escaping oppression in their home country only to witness worse here. I don’t judge anyone for what they do and that goes a long way for bridging gaps.




So let’s support women for all that they do. The single moms holding down three jobs and going to school to make a better life for their children, my hat’s off to you. The mothers marching against injustice, my hat’s off to you. The women who make our lives brighter and more beautiful in every way, my hat’s off to you.

The top of the hat is a beautiful spiral.

I’m not just saying all this either. I do what I can to raise awareness through the arts. I always have and always will.

To show my ongoing commitment to the cause of women’s rights and the craftivism movement, I created the Resist Beanie. Honestly, I was inspired by the hard work of Donna Druchunas, a knit designer I have admired for some time.

The Resist Beanie is a crocheted hat with a filet crochet brim that spells out the word “resist” in filet crochet. With spring and summer fast approaching, the need for a lighter, cotton hat to support change has come up. Though it fits the average-sized head snugly, this hat is light, comfortable, and breathable, ideal for warmer weather. A portion of the proceeds from this pattern will be used to support local causes for the resistance, including small businesses that are mostly female-owned/operated.




The pattern is on sale through my Ravelry Store here. It is my new favorite hat and I’ve been wearing it since I finished it a few days ago.

I can be fierce and I can be strong. I stand in solidarity with my re-sisters.

I am committing to making the world a little bit more awesome for the next generation, and the road will be paved with yarn.

References.

Stewart, K. (2016, May 27). Black Women Are Now America’s Most Educated Group. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from http://www.upworthy.com/black-women-are-now-americas-most-educated-group.

The Kitten Hat: Free Knit Pattern for the Littlest Resisters

February 27, 2017

Disclaimer: Of the few things I feel strongly enough to speak out about, Women’s Rights and equality are amongst them. I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to continue posting about the pink hats that have taken over a lot of fiber arts discussions in a big. I, for one, am a big fan of not rocking the boat, because I don’t like attention or confrontation. So if you’re opposed to a free pattern for these cute little cat-eared hats modeled by my gorgeous little girl, this post is not for you. I still love you though. There are plenty of other patterns that probably will be for you and they’re coming soon.  I will always be a safe space for everyone. EVERYONE. Knit and crochet on, sisters (brothers and non-binary gendered fiber artists).

The Kitten Hat

For those not in the know, I’ve made a giant pile of pink hats with my friend Beth of The Big String. A portion of the proceeds from the hats went to women’s issues, supported local female-owned small businesses, and also helped this little blog get off the ground. Making all these hats has its advantages, mostly that the pattern keeps evolving. It’s not quite the pattern that initially started circulating. We had to change with what worked and what didn’t for making these hats wearable, comfortable, and as quickly as possible. We even busted out my mother’s Ultimate Sweater Machine for a few, because the demand was so high. I’ll probably share my notes on using the machine to knit these hats sometime soon here too.




I also had my kiddos add a little extra positive energy to each of the hats that were sent to others. They proudly donned these hats and wore them around the house, happy to help mom not drown in the sea of pink yarn. Peanut would even announce the current hat count to everyone in line at craft stores and shout that “mommy bought ALL of the pink yarn!”

As we got more and more involved, I noticed that the original hat pattern could technically fit all three kiddos and myself, just with slight modifications. For baby Ola, I had to fold up the brim, meaning she needed a shorter brim. For Sharky, it was just a hair too big, so that meant a shorter hat body, but same brim length. Peanut could wear the adult hat just fine, but the ears were not as defined. From there, the Kitten Hat was born.

Pattern

The Kitten Hat comes in two sizes: baby (about 4 months and older) and child (aged 2 and up). You’ll see notes for where you can size up or down to customize these hats if your kiddos have bigger or smaller than usual head sizes.

The hat is worked flat and then sewn along the sides for the fastest construction. Feel free to add some duplicate stitch sayings, like “resist” or “persist” to personalize the hats even more. Use different colors or stitch patterns for further customization. Make this hat your own.

TIP: I have found that a slightly stiffer fabric helps the kitty ears stand up better, so you’ll notice that I am using a smaller needle size for what the yarn calls for. It works. I’ve made a bajillion of these.

Yarn

  • One ball Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Yarn, 100% Acrylic Yarn, 3 oz./85g, 145 yds/133 m  in your color of choice
  • OR any heavy worsted weight yarn that will get the gauge listed below

Gauge

  • 4.5-ish stitches per inch in stockinette stitch on US 8

What You’ll Need

  • A pair of US 7 straight needles
  • A pair of US 8 straight needles
  • A tapestry needle to sew side seams and weave in ends

Glossary

  • K: Knit.
  • P: Purl.
  • RS: Right Side.
  • WS: Wrong Side.

 




Hat – Instructions are for baby size with larger/child size in parentheses.

Cast on 34 (38) stitches on smaller needle using a long-tail cast on.

Establish brim ribbing as follows:

Row 1 (WS): K2, *P2, K2; repeat from * across.
Row 2 (RS): P2, *K2, P2; repeat from * across.

Repeat Rows 1&2 for 2.5″ (3″).

Switch to larger needles. Work in stockinette stitch (knit row on RS, purl row on WS) for 6.5″ (9″). Ending with a RS row.

Note: For a child that’s between 2 and 4 years old, you can shorten that larger length by about a half an inch to make the ears more prominent.

Switch to smaller needles.

Establish brim ribbing as follows:

Row 1 (WS): K2, *P2, K2; repeat from * across.
Row 2 (RS): P2, *K2, P2; repeat from * across.

Repeat Rows 1&2 for 2.5″ (3″).
Bind off loosely. Sew side seams. Weave in ends. Lightly steam to block.

 

Some really cute outtakes from photographing Ola in her hat. She needed a nap.