Knitting Boredom

I’m working on a new project made up of triangles that join together as you work. You’ll be seeing some of it soon but I have to tell you that I’m bored.

This is a good sign. To me it means that I have the fundamental parts of the construction figured out. Once I’ve figured things out I get bored.

When do you get bored? Maybe there is too much stockinette stitch in your pattern. I can hear my friend Jen saying “that’s what a knitting machine is good for, all that stockinette stitch”. You may or may not agree with her but it does free her up to do all the interesting bits. What do you do when you get bored?

I think boredom can improve your knitting. Let’s say you intend to knit a dozen hats for charity or for everyone on your Christmas list. You start with your favourite hat pattern. Now knit another, maybe in a different colour. Cast on for the next and the next. Are you bored yet? Where would this take you? You still have 9 hats to go. Would you buckle down and just get them knit, grinding your teeth? Would you cruise through ravelry and buy a new pattern for each hat? Would you buy variegated yarn to jazz things up so you have something pretty to look at? What are you going to do?

Now let’s pretend you only have one pattern. The desert island scenario. Your internet is not working, your car is in the shop, you are stranded with your yarn stash and one hat pattern. Now what do you do?

  1.  Work some colour blocks or stripes into the hat. Not too hard and kind of fun.
  2.  Introduce some cables, lace or textured stitches into your hat. More of a challenge. Remember that cables will pull your work in and make the hat a smaller size. Lace will stretch and make a larger size. You can adjust for this by working increases for the cables or decreases for the lace work above the brim treatment and then adjust back to the original number of stitches before working the crown.
  3.  Knit the hat in the opposite direction. You might have guessed that this is where I would go. I love playing with the construction of garments. Knit a standard brim-up hat from the top down. Read the directions for the cast off backwards to the beginning. Cast on the number of stitches you previously cast off. Increase for the crown instead of decreasing. Here is a stretchy bind off for the brim of your top down hat . It’s important that it is stretchy: Knit 2 sts, *insert your Left needle into the fronts of the 2 knit sts on the Right needle, from left to right, and knit these 2 sts together (just like an SSK), K1 so there are 2 sts on Right needle; repeat from *.
  4.  Knit the same pattern in a different weight of yarn. You do have your stash with you. This is a challenge and if you know my Cabin Fever books you know I’ve already done this in the Need A Hat book where all the hat patterns are written for all gauges. Here are two ways you can do it yourself. Decide on the size of hat you want, say a 21″ hat, and multiply it by your new gauge (#sts = 1″) for a new number of stitches to cast on, example: 21″ x 5 sts = 105 sts. Feel free to adjust to an even number if needed and knit your hat from there.  OR since your desert island hat pattern probably comes in several sizes, take the stitch count for each size and divide it by your new yarn gauge (#sts = 1″) for a new set of sizes. Follow the instructions and stitch count for the new size you need, examples: 104 sts in worsted weight yarn makes a 21″ hat (104 sts divided by 5 sts = 1″),  104 sts in DK weight yarn makes a 19″ hat (104 sts divided by 5.5 sts = 1″).

NAH hat P1020855Snowshoe Hat in Aran & Fingering weight yarn, Need A Hat book

If you have done any of this, you are designing. Yes, you. Did you enjoy the excitement of experimenting?

There is always uncertainty about the results. Was that difficult?

I can’t wait to hear about your adventures and experiments. Thanks for reading,


ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

Deb on Instagram

Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

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