Textile Byways: Granite Ridge Hat Pattern - Montana 2014

Posted by Kristine Vejar on November 06, 2014 2 Comments

One morning, we woke up - and it was snowing. It was the kind of snow when the flakes are giant and everything is quiet.

A perfect morning for a walk in the woods, wearing a cozy hat to keep you warm.

When deciding on the color of yarn to knit, I was drawn to Beach Glass because of its light color and because it reminded me of water flowing over rocks. The color is hard to capture through photography. It easily shifts with the light. It is a light grey-purple color with hints of green. There are many other colors to choose from.

The stitch pattern on the hat is a classic from Barbara Walker's amazing collection of stitch patterns, which can be found in her stitch dictionaries. I was drawn to the graphic nature of the zigzags. It is made through a combination of slipping stitches while holding the yarn in front of the work, knitting, and purling. I found the stitch pattern mesmerizing as it worked back and forth, and before I knew it, the hat was off the needles.

Granite Ridge Hat Pattern

Finished Measurements
19" circumference
8.5" from cast-on to top of hat (excluding pom-pom)

A Verb for Keeping Warm Clover (80% Montana Targhee wool - 20% silk; 200 yards / 50 grams), Beach Glass, 1 skein

One 16" US 5 (3.75 mm) circular needle, and one set of US 5 (3.75 mm) double pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge

6 sts / 1" and 11 rows / 1" in zigzag pattern.

Stitch Markers, blunt tapestry needle

K: Knit.
P: Purl.
WYIF: With yarn in front.
K2TOG: Knit 2 stitches together.
SSK: Slip, slip, knit.
SM: Slip marker.

Cast on 114 stitches. Place marker. Join in the round, careful not to twist.

Round 1: *K2, P4; repeat from * to end.
Repeat for 1/2".

Start zigzag pattern: 
Round 1: *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * to end.
Round 2: K1, *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * until 5 st from end, Slip 2 WYIF, K3.
Round 3: K2, *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * until 4 st from end, Slip 2 WYIF, K2.
Round 4: K3, *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * until 3 st from end, Slip 2 WYIF, K1.
Round 5: K4, *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * until 2 st from end, Slip 2 WYIF. 
Round 6: K3, *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * until 3 st from end, Slip 2 WYIF, K1.
Round 7: K2, *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * until 4 st from end, Slip 2 WYIF, K2.
Round 8: K1, *Slip 2 WYIF, K4; repeat from * until 5 st from end, Slip 2 WYIF, K3.

Repeat rounds 1-8 seven times (for a total of 8 repeats).

Decrease set-up round: Repeat round 1 once more, placing 1 new marker every 19 stitches, for a total of 6 evenly spaced markers (including beginning of round marker).

Round 1: K2TOG, *knit until 2 stitches before marker, SSK, SM, K2TOG; repeat from * 4 times and then knit until 2 stitches before end of round, SSK. 12 stitches decreased.
Round 2: Knit all stitches.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until there are only 18 stitches left on your needles.

Final Decrease Round: *K2TOG; repeat from * to end. 9 stitches.

To finish, cut yarn with a 6" tail. Thread through remaining stitches, carefully pull stitches taut and weave in ends. Block. And top with a pom-pom if you wish. Voila! You are done.


Tomorrow on the blog, read about how we mapped the land around the Montana cabin - and foraged materials for dyestuffs. Learn tips and tricks for your own mapping and foraging process.




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Textile Byways: Clover - The Newest Verb Yarn - Montana 2014

Posted by Kristine Vejar on November 05, 2014 3 Comments

A little recap: In October, I inherited Sweet Grass Wool, a Montana yarn and fiber company, lovingly run by Patti Bobonich. She uses Targhee wool grown by her neighbor, Carolyn Greene. I traveled to Montana to see Patti and to meet Carolyn and her sheep in person. The following two weeks on the blog are dedicated to Patti and Carolyn, and are about us discovering the beauty Montana holds.


i have inherited two types of yarn from Patti; a DK weight yarn, made of 80% Targhee wool and 20% silk - we've named Clover. And a bulky yarn, made of 100% Targhee wool, we've named Big Sky. The Targhee fiber features in both of these yarns was raised by Carolyn. 

Patti sent the wool to a mill which specializes in a rare form of spinning called mulespun. I believe there are only two, maybe three facilities that do this type of spinning in all of North America. If you know how to spin, the mulespun process is similar to using a long-draw to draft the fibers as you spin. Yarn which has been created using this type of process is buoyant and lighterweight than its counterparts which have been spun on a fixed spinner. Click here to see a video of the mulespun process.

Today, we are first focusing on Clover. Big Sky is still in production in the dyeing studio. Targhee wool naturally has a lot of spring, combine it with the mulespun process, and it results in a yarn which has a lot of loft. Clover has 200 yards to 50 grams. This is a similar weight to our yarn Creating - a yarn made of superwash merino and is worsted spun and tightly spun. Creating is often used to make socks and is considered fingering weight. It is typically knit on US 0-2 size needles and gets about 7-8 stitches per inch. Clover, while similar in put-up, due to the mulespun process, can be knit using a larger needle and a larger gauge - as the fluffy wool takes up more space per stitch. This results in a fabric that is lightweight yet still warm. Clover can be knit on US needle sizes 4-6, and gets 4.5-5.5 stitches per inch.

The name Clover references a four-leaf clover - and the fact that I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work with Carolyn's wool and this beautiful yarn designed by Patti. I also thought it was a sweet name as it was the sheep eat in the pasture.

For the most part, I created new colorways for the Fall / Winter 2014 season - with an emphasis on greens and greys - with a few pops of red and yellow thrown in for good measure. As always, all of the colors are created in my Oakland studio using natural dyes including marigolds, fustic, weld, logwood purple, madder, cochineal, and cutch.

We hope you enjoy Clover!


Very soon Big Sky will be available as well. Stay tuned. And tomorrow, the blog will feature a new hat pattern - using Clover.

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Stitch Exchange: Something Fancy This Way Comes

Posted by Kristine Vejar on October 23, 2014 55 Comments

On Friday, Fancy Tiger Crafts, located in Denver, Colorado, released their very first sewing pattern named the Sailor Top

Tasa, Sarah, and I have been awaiting the pattern and were thrilled to sew our very own.

Tasa made hers out of Liberty Tana Lawn. She thinks this is a lovely pattern, a really easy sew, is a great fit, and will sew it again for sure. She is looking forward to making it in a variety of fabrics and doing some embellishments on it! She is already thinking of making it in a wool/silk crepe for the winter and an eyelet for next summer. (Actually, Tasa has already sewed a second Sailor Top this weekend). Tasa added lightweight fusible interfacing to the yoke.

Sarah made hers out of Verb khadi - which is a lightweight fabric made of 100% handspun, handloomed organic cotton - made specially for us in the Great Rann of Kutch in India. She also really enjoyed sewing her shirt. She, like Tasa, added interfacing to the yoke. Sarah used 2.5 yards of khadi to make a size small.

I made mine out of Verb's line of naturally dyed lightweight linen - which we dye right here in our Oakland studio. I dyed my fabric with acacia. Also, I dipped embroidery floss into indigo and embroidered little doodles along the front and back yoke. Soon, we will have naturally dyed fabric and floss available online for sale. Stay tuned!

All three of these shirts are currently hanging in the shop - in the case you would like to stop in and see them in person or try them on. We also have hard-copies of this pattern for sale.

We wanted to give you an idea of how the shirts looked in action - so instantly thought - cake and tea break! Now sew yourself a Sailor Top and eat some cake :) I promise you won't regret it.


GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment within the next 48 hours - letting us know what fabric your dream Sailor Top would be made of - and enter a chance to win a digital copy of the Sailor Top pattern.

BONUS GIVEAWAY! Creativebug, a website dedicated to DIY classes, has given our readers a two week free membership. Jaime and Amber of Fancy Tiger have made a class teaching you how to sew a Sailor Top. Click here to learn more!

Next up on the Sailor Top blog tour is Miss Make! Her blog is well worth a visit - she's funny, talented, and makes adorable garments. I can't wait to see what she does with her version of the Sailor Top - and - she also just might be giving away a Sailor Top pattern too.


Next on the blog: Join us Wednesday to learn if you have won a free copy of the Sailor Top - and - on Wednesday - I will begin to write about our recent trip to Montana - where we went recently to meet the shepherds of our newest yarn (made of Montana Targhee wool), and have many more exciting new adventures to share with you!

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