Category Archives: Knit & Crochet

Mermaid Hat

Rachel, my best friend from childhood, has been asking me to knit her a hat for three years. When I visited her in Seattle in 2012 we even picked out the yarn and everything.

She requested a cable hat and I’ve never had such a hard time finding a pattern I liked. I started three different patterns including the classic “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Nation” one, but I just didn’t like them.

So I tucked the ball  of purple yarn away in my stash and temporarily gave up.

Three years later I called Rachel to tell her I was coming back to Seattle for a work trip and asked if she would like me to bring her anything from home. She reminded me of my hat promise. I was determined this time that I would have a finished hat by the time I reached The City of Flowers.

I went back to Ravelry and found just what I was looking for. It must not have been posted when I last looked up cabled hats.

Presenting the Mermaid Hat:

The Mermaid Hat | this gorgeous cable hat knits up in no time on size US 10 needles. Free pattern available at http://s6girl.blogspot.co.uk.

The Mermaid Hat | this gorgeous cable hat knits up in no time on size US 10 needles. Free pattern available at http://s6girl.blogspot.co.uk.

I used Blue Sky Alpaca’s Worsted Hand Dyed yarn in Mulberry. The downside was I only bought one skein and ran out of yarn two rounds before the end. Luckily I had left a long tail when I started so I had to Frankenstein the yarn toward the end, but it all worked out. PHEW!

I really loved the little braided stitch going up the hat between the cables. It is a good pattern for folks who have gotten down cables but are still not ready for anything complicated.

The Mermaid Hat | this gorgeous cable hat knits up in no time on size US 10 needles. Free pattern available at http://s6girl.blogspot.co.uk.

Get the free pattern here.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat

This morning I found a stack of hats I knitted for my son that he has worn from birth to present.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

It’s hard to believe he fit into that teeny green hat! The biggest, most worn hat is definitely too small so I decided it was time to make him a new one.

Since Jack is 3 and has all the opinions in the world, I thought it would be fun to let him choose the colors for his hat. I opted for an ear flap hat to keep his body warm during recess.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

We had a really fun time together today picking colors as we went along. When I sent a photo to a friend she said, “It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure hat!” We have a title, folks!

Continue reading Choose Your Own Adventure Hat

Alaska Flag Hat – A Free Pattern

Earlier this summer I made a patriotic hat that I just knew I’d wear at least once before fall. Sure enough it was cool and rainy on the Fourth of July. I was finishing up the pom pom of my Old Glory Hat last month before meeting with my friend Fernanda about some flower arrangements. She lit up when she saw the stars and stripes; she was gaga for the giant pom pom.

She offhandedly suggested I made an Alaska flag hat. I was up for the challenge.

I started this hat on a road trip to Homer where I would be meeting Fernanda and a group of people on Yukon Island for a writing retreat with Julia O’Malley.

By the time my carpool arrived in Homer I was finishing up the North Star.

I think I’ll be making quite a few of these babies.

Alaska Flag Hat | A Free Knitting Pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Alaska Flag Hat — A Free Knitting Pattern

Materials:

  • Lamb’s Pride bulky in Lemon Drop and Blue Boy
  • Size US 10 circular needle
  • Size US 10 double pointed needles
  • Darning needle
  • Place marker

Alaska Flag Hat | A Free Knitting Pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Abbreviations:

  • CO – cast on
  • K2, P2 – knit 2, purl 2
  • st st – stockinette stitch
  • K2tog – knit two stitches together

Alaska Flag Hat | A Free Knitting Pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Directions:

CO 72 st. K2, P2 ribbing for 13 rounds. Place marker.

Switch to blue and knit in st st for 36 rounds or until piece measures 8 inches total length.

Begin decreasing as follows:

*K2tog, k6*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k5*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k4*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round. While doing this, transfer to the double points as you go so there are about 11 stitches on each needle (four in all).
*K2tog, k3*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k2*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k1*, repeat till end of round.
*K2tog*, repeat till end of round. Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Weave in all ends.

Big Dipper Motif:

Stitching motifs as I knit is hard for me because I end up pulling the yarn too tightly behind the work. Instead, you’ll be top-stitching the design. It’s super simple to learn. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t learn this technique sooner as it’s much easier than fair isle or intarsia when it comes to non-repeating motifs. I recommend the tutorial from Wool and the Gang (pronounce “wool” with a British accent and it then it’s a play on words).

Alaska Flag Hat | A Free Knitting Pattern from Alaskaknitnat.comI made this chart by layering the actual constellation on top of graph paper. Yay science! That being said, you can rough it a little if you feel as though the spacing isn’t quite right. I ended up shifting the front star slightly. This is really a guideline.

I started with the lowest star on the dipper. It really doesn’t matter where you start the motif, but I eyeballed it so that beginning of the round was in the back. Some of the stars I did individually, gently double-knotting the ends as I went. But for the handle of the dipper I was able to continue without breaking the yarn. Triple knot the ends on the inside of the hat and trim.

Giant pom pom:

I used a small book to make the pom pom. Wrap yellow yarn around the book several times till it’s borderline too bulky to handle. Be sure not to wrap it too tightly so that you are able to slide it off the book easily. Gently remove the book. Take a 24-inch piece of yellow yarn and double it over. Tie this around the middle of the loops as tightly as possible. Double knot it. Use fabric scissors to trim pom pom to your liking, but be sure not to trim the long pieces you used to tie it together. Use these long pieces to sew the pom pom to the hat using the darning needle. Tie ends on the inside of the hat and trim.

Alaska Flag Hat | A Free Knitting Pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com
The perfect slouch

And, because I’m feeling patriotic, here’s the Alaska state song depicting our glorious flag.

Alaska’s Flag
Written by Marie Drake
Composed by Elinor Dusenbury

Eight stars of gold on a field of blue –
Alaska’s flag. May it mean to you
The blue of the sea, the evening sky,
The mountain lakes, and the flow’rs nearby;
The gold of the early sourdough’s dreams,
The precious gold of the hills and streams;
The brilliant stars in the northern sky,
The “Bear” – the “Dipper” – and, shining high,
The great North Star with its steady light,
Over land and sea a beacon bright.
Alaska’s flag – to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier.

Old Glory Hat — a free knitting pattern

As a lifelong Alaskan I am familiar with how unpredictable the weather is. We tend to hope for the best and plan for the worst, which is why I’ve decided to design a winter hat in the summertime.

Fourth of July in Alaska can be a bit of a downer. For one thing, the sun doesn’t really set so fireworks are pretty lame. Also, it’s sometimes cold, rainy and windy; but we Alaskans don’t let a little crappy weather get in the way of summer holiday fun.

So I’ve designed a Fourth of July hat. No one in the rest of the contiguous 48 states (or Hawaii, for that matter) would find this hat particularly useful in the middle of summer, but hey, you can be patriotic year round, right?

Old Glory Hat | A patriotic, free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

Old Glory Slouchy Hat — a free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Old Glory Hat | A patriotic, free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

Continue reading Old Glory Hat — a free knitting pattern

The Aspen Ascot – a free knitting pattern

Happy Easter! It’s currently snowing here in Anchorage, which makes today’s pattern just perfect.

I was scrolling through some old knitting patterns on my blog and I came across my Chunky Ascot Pattern, which included a terrible Hipstamatic photo (before Instagram existed). I decided it was worth making a new ascot just to update the photo.

This pattern uses chunky yarn or you can knit two strands of worsted weight yarn together. It takes very little yarn, so it’s a great way to use up any leftover high quality fibers. I used Malabrigo and Manos de Uruguay worsted alpaca.

The Aspen Ascot is just right for a chilly spring morning when you don’t need a bulky scarf. The two spade-shaped ends create a lovely bow look.

The pattern isn’t difficult, but it does require thinking outside the box. You’ll use three double-pointed needles for the part where you create the loop. The instructions sound sort of whack, but trust the way it’s written and it should make sense in the end.

The Aspen Ascot | A free pattern from Alaska Knit Nat. Perfect afternoon project! The Aspen Ascot | A free pattern from Alaska Knit Nat. Perfect afternoon project!

The Aspen Ascot – a free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Materials:

One ball of chunky alpaca, or two strands of worsted knitted together

3 size US 10 double-pointed needles

darning needle

Abbreviations:
M1FB — make 1 stitch in the front and 1 stitch in the back of the same stitch, thus increasing the piece by 1 stitch

k2tog— knit two stitches together

Directions:
Cast on 2 stitches. M1FB of the first stitch, K the next stitch.
Continue to M1FB of the first stitch of every row till you have 16 stitches.
K 12 rows in garter stitch. I slip the first stitch of every row to keep the rows neat and even.
Next row: *Knit the first stitch, transfer the second stitch to the third double point needle.* Repeat * to end of row. You should have 8 stitches on each needle.
Starting with the needle that has the working yarn, K1, P1 for 9 rows. Cut yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.

The Aspen Ascot | A free pattern from Alaska Knit Nat. Perfect afternoon project!

The Aspen Ascot | A free pattern from Alaska Knit Nat. Perfect afternoon project!
With the other needle holding 8 stitches, leave a 6-inch tail and K1, P1 for 9 rows, but don’t cut the yarn when done.

Next row: *Knit the first stitch from both the front and back needles together, then knit one from the front and one from the back.* Repeat * till there is 1 stitch on each needle. Knit these two stitches together. You should now have 12 stitches on one needle.

Knit in garter stitch till the work is long enough to go around your neck and touch the loop you just created, about 12 inches.

Next row: *K1, K2tog* Repeat * to end of row. You should now have 8 stitches again. K1, P1 for 9 rows.

Next row: M1FB in each stitch. You should now have 16 stitches.

Knit in garter stitch for 12 rows.

Next row: K1, K2tog, K to end of row. Repeat the last row till there are 3 stitches remaining.

Bind off. Weave in tails. Sew on decorative button to one side of the loop if you desire.

 

Northern Lights Memory Blanket — A free crochet pattern

Hello Pinterest and AllFreeCrochet.com fans!

Thanks for checking out my Northern Lights Memory Blanket pattern. I have a little note for you. I wrote this pattern when I was a much less experienced crocheter. I don’t have a lot of experience writing crochet patterns and I have had a few people contact me about how the set-up rows are written in a confusing manner.

Unfortunately, as I’m a full-time working mom I don’t have the ability to recreate this pattern to check for errors. I based this pattern on the Granny Stripe Scarf from PurlSoho.com, so if you have difficulty following my pattern I recommend you read their instructions. Once the first few rows are set up it crochets very easily – just like a granny square. Instead of working in the round, though, you crochet back and forth.

Back to my original post:

A few weeks ago I tidied up my yarn collection and realized I have a whole lotta yarn. Too much yarn. I have a loose rule that I can’t buy more yarn until I use the last yarn I purchased. That doesn’t always work out, apparently.

I decided to work on a lap blanket to curl up on the couch with. I knew crochet was the way to go. It not only goes by more quickly than knitting but it also uses up yarn faster, which is just what I wanted. Instead of following a striped pattern, I opted to go with the flow. I started with some tripled up DK weight red wool I had used to knit a teeny tiny baby sweater. As soon as I reached the end of a skein I brought in a different skein.

As I crocheted along I was reminded of each project I had bought the yarn for. It was becoming a memory blanket. After I got through purple, the blanket was starting to remind me of the Aurora Borealis. I’ve not had the opportunity to see more than green and white with my own eyes, but the northern lights can be all colors of the spectrum.

Use your yarn stash to create a northern light memory blanket | A free pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Use your yarn stash to create a northern light memory blanket | A free pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Use your yarn stash to create a northern light memory blanket | A free pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

I’m overjoyed with the end product. It’s every color I love and perfectly cozy.

Continue reading Northern Lights Memory Blanket — A free crochet pattern

Malabrigo Cable Cowl

My local yarn shop started carrying Malabrigo yarn. I have never knitted with Malabrigo before, but I know some knitters who are total snobs about this yarn. They refuse to knit with anything else. I now understand why. The Malabrigo worsted merino is like knitting with clouds. It’s so soft and light between my fingers – an absolute joy to work with. It’s also reasonably priced for the quality. At around $12 per hank, it has so much potential for small projects without breaking the bank.

I really wanted to show of the lustre and quality of the yarn. I decided on a cabled cowl. I don’t have much experience with cables except that they aren’t really difficult; they just take concentration and the ability to keep track of rows.

I wanted to try something beyond a simple cable, but nothing too complicated. I settled on a lovely Ravelry pattern from Auriga’s Knits called the Spikelets Cowl. I recommend this pattern to those who have a little experience with cables but are ready to go to the next level. It was fun to knit, and even more luxurious to wear.

I used one hank of Malabrigo Worsted Merino in Purple Mystery.

Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat

Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet — A Free Knitting Pattern

Boy, sending mail to Belgium takes a while! I’m so thrilled to finally be posting this pattern. I had to wait for it to arrive in my friend’s mailbox before I could publish it. Enjoy!

Last summer an old friend of mine got married on the Greek island of Paros, which is known for its brilliantly white  buildings contrasted against the blue Aegean Sea. I wanted to send her a handmade wedding gift that represented the beautiful location of her wedding. Since I have limited artistic talent (I am not a brilliant illustrator as she is), I decided to knit her an ombre scarf. Ombre might still be considered trendy, but I know I’m a little past the height of ombre hype.

I had a difficult time finding yarn that was the right color, so I settled with a “Frozen”-esque ice blue. Elsa wasn’t whom I had in mind when I made this scarf, but I do love the colors anyway.

I wanted to try an unusual stitch pattern instead of doing my basic ribbing or garter stitch. I don’t have a great attention span for stitch patterns that take 14 rows to complete, so I found a lovely pattern that is repeated every 4 rows. This way I can set it down anytime and be certain where I left off. I went with St. John’s Wort Stitch.

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet | A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

St. John’s wort is a flowering plant that is used medicinally as a sort of cureall. It’s supposedly good for treating anxiety, depression and cuts. I made this scarf so my friend can feel cozy and safe, so it’s fitting it is named for a healing, cheer-you-up herb.

I hope my friend is able to think of this scarf as a warm hug from her past. We haven’t seen each other in more than 10 years, so I wanted her to have a little reminder of home and of her happy day in Santorini.

Ariadne sketch by Tamar Levi
Ariadne sketch by Tamar Levi

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet | A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

1 hank Heritage Cascade Sock Yarn, color 5630 (or any sport weight yarn in ice blue that is more than 200 yards). I’ll call this color B

1 hank Heritage Cascade Sock Yarn, color 5682 (white). I’ll call this color A.

1 skein Dale Påfugl mohair, color 0010 (or 100 yards of any mohair brand in white). I’ll call this color 1.

1 skein Dale Påfugl mohair, color 6815 (blue). I’ll call this color 2.

US 10 needles

Continue reading Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet — A Free Knitting Pattern

Tapered Flower Headband — A Free Crochet Pattern

I’ve been trying to polish up my site and I realized one of my most popular patterns was full of dead photo links. I also realized it wasn’t even a pattern but just some nice photos of my wearing a bunch of my headbands — pretty much useless to all of you! Instead of just updating the post, which was from three years ago, I figured I’d just start anew and reintroduce it.

This simple crocheted headband is my best-selling product. I sell out of it at Bella Boutique every holiday season. You can’t go wrong — it’s colorful and has a huge flower on it. I also love embellishing the back of the headband with a vintage button.

The pattern is inspired by Knitty.com’s Calorimetry Headband, which I like, but is really too wide for my head. I also get bored by the ribbing pattern. I wanted something that I could create quickly for my short attention span. I relied on this pattern for the base and then added a simple trim and my own flower pattern, instructions for which can be found here.

Many thanks to my old friend Laura for taking (and recovering) these shots. She was just starting out her photography business when these were taken and they are lovely!

Tapered flower headband | A free crochet pattern from Alaska Knit Nat
© Laura Stennett Photography

I originally made two versions of this pattern, one with worsted yarn and the other while crocheting two strands of worsted at the same time. I prefer the double stranded version because it’s fuller looking. You can do a single strand but you may have to extend the ends by a couple of rows.

Continue reading Tapered Flower Headband — A Free Crochet Pattern

Quick, Chunky Crochet Hat — A Free Pattern

I knit a lot of gifts this last holiday season. With the completion of a belated scarf last week, I’m just about knitted out. I needed a new project that would satisfy my short attention span and was something different.

I found a simple crochet hat pattern on TangledHappy.com that used the herringbone half double crochet stitch. I’d never heard of it, but after a couple of video tutorials, it looked easy enough.

I didn’t have the hook size the pattern called for, but I had something close, so I used what I think was an N size hook (it’s unmarked for some ridiculous reason). This made the gauge off for the original pattern so I had to wing it, which is why I’m posting a pattern on my blog. I also added contrasting trim and pompom.

These are incredibly quick to complete. I made two yesterday and one this morning. They are a great way to use up excess yarn, especially if you double up worsted weight and crochet two strands at once, which I did with the blue hat shown in this pattern.

Quick Chunky Crochet Hat | A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Quick, Chunky Crochet Hat with Pompom — A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Materials:

1 skein of chunky yarn such as Lopi or Lion Brand Thick and Quick OR two strands of heavy worsted yarn crocheted together as one strand.

1 skein of contrasting yarn, weight can vary

Size N crochet hook

Darning needle

Two toilet paper tubes (opional)

Sharp scissors

Removable stitch marker

Continue reading Quick, Chunky Crochet Hat — A Free Pattern