Wear this hat on your mountain hikes or your in-town errands. The Turk Mountain Hat knitting pattern is sized for adults. Unisex styling, classic yarn and a traditional shape combine for a super grab-and-go project.
The stitch pattern, with an unusual 1/1/1 cable, is a fun twist on more familiar cables. And it looks great on the reverse side too, so you can wear the hat inside out if you prefer!
Where is Turk Mountain?
Turk Mountain is in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, not too far from where I live. The Turk Mountain Trail is a popular hiking trail. I like to name designs for interesting and beautiful places. This one just happens to be close to home!
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About the Yarn
The Turk Mountain Hat is well-matched for any worsted-weight (medium-weight) yarn. A solid color will show off the unusual stitch pattern. It takes about 130 yards [119 meters].
I knit the sample with Kraemer Yarns Naturally Nazareth (100% wool, 200 yd [183 m], 3.5 oz [100 g], 1 skein #3121 Melon. I had lots of yarn left over; maybe enough for a child-size hat.
Knit the hat in the round, beginning with a 16″ [40 cm] circular needle, then use double-pointed needles to shape the crown. Of course, you can use the Magic Loop method to work in the round if you prefer. I used US size 8 [5 mm] to get gauge.
The Coins Stitch Pattern has an unusual 1/1/1 Center Cross Cable that requires two cable needles. Instructions for the stitch pattern are offered as both text and chart, and there are video tutorials to help with the cable and decreasing techniques. The cable makes this best for skill levels from advanced beginner through experienced.
Adventurous knitters may want to practice doing the 1/1/1 Center Cross Cable without a cable needle or with only one cable needle. It can be done, although some knitters found it more trouble than it’s worth and went back to using two cable needles.
The pattern is sold as an interactive downloadable pdf. Happy Knitting!
Whether you use them as dishcloths or as washcloths, knitted squares are a useful and popular project for knitters of all skill levels. Who doesn’t love a beautiful, soft hand-knit cloth to pamper their face, or a cute and sturdy cloth for that thankless chore that is kitchen cleanup?
This collection of six knitted washcloths (or dishcloths) helps you brush up on your knitting skills. Links to video tutorials help you with unfamiliar techniques.
With these patterns, knitting garter stitch was never so rewarding! Relax into the meditative rhythm of all-over knit stitches and enjoy the beauty of color.
Beginning knitters will be comfortable knitting stripes, then progress to knitting on the bias. After that, step up to the joy that is a mitered square. Garter stitch intarsia techniques take you from beginning to intermediate skills in easy steps. There’s no purling needed!
This post contains affiliate links, which help support me but don’t cost you anything extra. Many thanks to Trailhead Yarns, who provided the yarn for this project.
The free pattern for the easiest cloth, Team Colors, is presented below. Buy a printable downloadable pdf of all six patterns, and knit your cares away.
Use a cotton or cotton-blend fine- or light-weight yarn to make these soft and absorbent projects. The pattern calls for five colors, so this is a perfect time to try out a colorful pack of mini skeins!
This is the story of my first knitting project. It’s a story that spans 50 years. It’s about yarn and memories and connections that come full circle. And it includes a free beginner pattern. This striped garter-stitch scarf is a good beginner project for novices who have the patience to knit a whole scarf. Don’t want to knit so much? Make it a coaster or cowl instead.
This post contains affiliate links.
In the Beginning
When I was about six, one of my favorite books was A Gift from the Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. In the story, The Lonely Doll —whose name is Edith—knits a scarf for her dad, Mr. Bear. She knits diligently at every possible opportunity and (spoiler alert) the scarf ends up too long. It’s worth reading the book for all the adorable details.
Like my doll heroine, I wanted to knit a striped scarf for my father’s Christmas present. The scarf must be red and black, the team colors of his beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs.
My First Knitting Project
My maternal grandmother lived with us and was happy to teach me to knit. We started with a skein of black Germantown worsted wool, some leftover bits of red Germantown, and a pair of straight needles. She showed me how to cast on—the German twisted cast on, no less!—and how to do the knit stitch.
I knit and knit. The stitch count changed from row to row, but that didn’t matter to me.
I knit and knit and knit. I learned to change colors, although not always on the correct side.
I knit and knit and knit. The scarf grew slowly. Yarnover holes and incomplete stitches magically disappeared overnight. It’s the only time in my life that the Knitting Fairy has corrected my knitting.
I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit. Now it was starting to look like a scarf. I tried it on frequently to see if it was long enough.
I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit and knit . Nana kept urging me to knit a few more rows, but I was on deadline and anxious to finish on time. (Sound familiar?)
Just in time for Christmas, the scarf was long enough. Because the edges were so wobbly, Nana single crocheted around the whole thing to tidy it up. We wrapped it up in anticipation of the big reveal the next day.
On Christmas morning, Daddy opened the package. He made all the appropriate noises about how beautiful the scarf was, and how hard I must have worked to make such a special gift. Apparently it was the best gift ever!
I never saw him wear it, and I eventually forgot about it.
About 25 Years Later
Visiting my parents’ house, I caught a glance of red and black rolled up in the back of a drawer. It was my first scarf! Daddy had saved it all those years!
But that photo doesn’t really do it justice. Let me help you understand the scale of this scarf.
It is 4″ wide x 22.5″ long. Despite all my efforts, and even trying it on my skinny six-year-old neck, it was way too small to be worn by an adult male! Furthermore, we lived in Georgia where scarves aren’t even needed. The scarf came home with me, to remind me how much my technique had improved.
About 25 Years Later
As I wandered the aisles of a trade show, my eye caught a familiar sight: Germantown yarn from Kelbourne Woolens. I’m pretty sure I squeed out loud. I may have jumped up and down a little bit.
About Germantown Yarn
For that first scarf, and for many projects after that, Brunswick Germantown Worsted was my go-to yarn.
Knitters who have been around for a long while will remember this ubiquitous yarn. There weren’t nearly as many yarns available as there are now, but Germantown was a classic worsted weight standby that came in many colors.
When Kelbourne Woolens owner Courtney Kelly heard the story of my first scarf and what Germantown meant to me, she immediately suggested that I make another scarf, and provided the yarn for me to knit it.
My First Scarf Knitting Pattern
So here, fifty years after the original scarf, is the pattern for My First Scarf. This version is meant to be easy enough for new knitters to knit, and long enough and warm enough to actually be worn by an adult.
Presented in Georgia Bulldog red and black, of course. Note that black is not the best choice for beginners; feel free to use different, lighter colors for easier visibility.
The free pattern is below; you also can purchase a printer-friendly pdf.
Want to knit it in Germantown yarn? You’ll get 10% off the price if you use code EDIEECKMAN at checkout here.
Kelbourne Woolens Germantown (100% North American wool, 220 yds/201 m, 100 g), 1 skein each #005 Black (A) and #625 Scarlet (B), or colors of your choice.
US size 8 (5 mm) knitting needles or size to obtain correct gauge
Leave a 4-5″ [10-13 cm] tail of yarn each time you change yarns so that you’ll have enough yarn to securely weave in the tails. Each time you change yarn colors, the yarn tails should be on the rightmost edge of the scarf.
For the next several weeks, over on the Plymouth Yarn Magazine blog, I’m going to be hosting a free Crochet Along (CAL). I’d love to have you join us.
We’ll be crocheting a 5-Panel Blanket. Each panel is made with a different stitch pattern, and along the way I’ll show you not only the stitch pattern, but tips and tricks for making your crocheting easier.
Don’t love the colors? Not a problem! Choose colors that suit your decor. Find all the details here.
Gather up your yarn, and join me and Plymouth Yarn as we crochet along together.
Wear your heart on your head with this easy beginner crochet pattern for Valentine’s Day, or any time of the year.
The hat is worked in joined rounds from the top down in joined rounds. The heart appliqué is crocheted separately and sewn on.
This post may contain affiliate links, which help support me but don’t cost you anything extra.
This free pattern is sized for babies. An ad-free paid version includes sizes for baby, child, teen/adult small and adult medium/large, and includes a crochet symbol diagram for the heart. This pattern uses American crochet terms.
About 90 yards [85 m] of medium weight yarn in a main color and about 10 yards [10 m] in a contrasting color.
The hats pictured used Red Heart Soft yarn in Off-White and Cherry Red. (Really Red is another good choice.)
Distaff Day, or St. Distaff’s Day, occurs on January 7. The twelve days of Christmas are over, and it’s time to get back to work, for real.
Distaff Day is a way to recognize and celebrate women’s work in the home. Spinning was hugely important throughout history, and in European traditions it became synonymous with women’s work.
Today, some spinners celebrate January 7 as a kind of event, getting together for spin-ins and other fun.
Even if you’re not a spinner, I think it’s good to stop and think about all that unrecognized work that women have done to keep generations of people clothed. If you work with any kind of fiber to create fabric, you are doing the same thing. And we don’t need to be gender-specific here. Let’s recognize and celebrate all fiber crafts done by everyone!
What is a Distaff?
A distaff is a tool used to hold unspun fibers. The fiber is loosely wrapped around the distaff. The distaff can be held under the arm when drop spinning, or attached to a spinning wheel.
There are different styles, but a basic distaff is simply a smooth stick with a finial of some sort. Russian-style distaffs look more like boards, and can be highly decorative.
Who was St. Distaff?
Nobody. There wasn’t an saint, or even a person. (My opionion? The name probably came about because it is the “13th day of Christmas” and somebody back in history was trying to be clever.)
The 17th Century poet Robert Herrick wrote about shenanigans that happened on “S. Distaff Day”.
Saint Distaff’s Day, or The Morrow After Twelfth Day
Partly work and partly play Ye must on S. Distaff’s day: From the plough soon free your team, Then come home and fodder them. If the maids a-spinning go, Burn the flax and fire the tow; Scorch their plackets, but beware That ye singe no maidenhair. Bring in pails of water, then, Let the maids bewash the men. Give S. Distaff all the right, Then bid Christmas sport good-night; And next morrow everyone To his own vocation.
If you’d like to read a bit more about the history of St. Distaff’s Day, and spinning in general, check out these links: