Crossed Furrows Hat Pattern

The genesis of this hat pattern is pretty straightforward: I had yarn leftover from the Crossed Furrows Cowl. It used three colours, but one of them had more of a supporting role and the third really only had a cameo.

I started wondering how to use up that leftover yarn and how to do the plaid stitch in the round, and suddenly I knew what to do with the leftovers. I would make a hat.

Crossed Furrows Hat pattern detail

Except that it wasn’t just one hat. I started wondering some more, and a two-colour version also sprang into being. And then a tester wondered about turning it into a slouchy hat, and suddenly two hats became four!

Presenting the Crossed Furrows Hat to use up the leftovers of the cowl, or any aran yarn you desire. Sized from Baby to Adult Large.

Crossed Furrows Hats knitting pattern aran

Use the code ‘staywarm’ at checkout to get 25% off until Sept 7. I’ve also made a little bundle of the two matching patterns – you get both for $6.50 rather than $8. It’s automatic, so if you’ve already purchased the cowl, you’ll get the discount too – and this deal doesn’t expire!

On a personal note, I was pretty excited to convince my mom to model with me!  We had a great time, and it made it a real family affair. Dad had taken the original photo of the crossed furrows, Mom was modelling with me, and my daughter Sandra was behind the camera for the photo shoot. She helped us stay very serious and focused.

knitting hats crossed furrows laughing


Want more details?  There’s a fair bit more about yarn, yardage, etc, at the pattern page: Crossed Furrows Hat

wheat field green black crossed furrows



Cobblestone Intersections Cowl pattern

cobblestone cowl pattern release
It’s been a while since I entered this as one of the two patterns I submitted to the DesignAlong contest.  In the meantime, I’ve learned a lot about designing, about working with test knitters, about how to load things into Ravelry.  And now I have this pattern to present to you, tech edited and test knit, ready to fascinate your needles right now and be ready before the chill winds of autumn arrive.

Until August 5th it’s 25% off to celebrate. There’s no code, the shopping cart will enter it automatically.

Cobblestone Cowl knitting pattern

I wore it all winter and it kept me warm and made me happy.  I wanted wearability and warmth so it’s knit in Cascade Superwash Aran.   It’s a deep, warm cowl which features a simple, reversible texture pattern separated from a garter stitch section by a crisp line. It has a tidy slip-stitch edging and a nearly invisible join.  The cowl is knit side-to-side and the ends are grafted together. Full instructions for grafting in garter stitch are given in the pattern.  You could go with a three-needle bind off if seams don’t bother you, but why be intimidated by the grafting?  It’s simple and you can wear it any old way without worry if there isn’t a seam.

cobblestone cowl knitting pattern texture detail

When I travel, I love to watch the textures of the landscape change.  Maybe it’s the prairie girl in me – the textures of the fields and the big skies are the main attractions here. It’s like my eye is set to macro – I’ll miss a cathedral because I’m looking at brickwork.  I’ll have my eye on the jagged edge of a leaf and nearly miss the flower.  I especially love it when textures meet or overlap. This cowl’s structure was inspired by Germany’s sidewalks.   I really enjoy the many ways that rough cobblestone can be found next to bricks and intersected by a smooth line of concrete.

introducing the Crossed Furrows Cowl


Crossed Furrows Cowl is now out! I’ll try to keep the use of exclamation marks to a reasonable number. Since I am so excited, though, I’ve used ‘happy’ as a coupon code for 50% off. (Lasts until May 22.)


Knit in aran weight yarn, it’s easier than it looks.  You’ll need three colours, but you only use one per row.  There’s a link to a one-row buttonhole tutorial that I filmed, as well, so this pattern is very beginner-friendly.  In fact, the skills used in this pattern are:

•knit and purl
•casting on
•binding off
•slipping sts purlwise

wheat field

Here’s the picture of a field of emerging plants that my father took and which inspired the colours I wanted to use in this cowl.  My furrows may not cross – the slipped stitches behave in an orderly fashion – but I just had to use the reference in the name.

Big Happy Thanks to:

Jeni Hewlett of Fyberspates Yarns for providing the yarn used.  Scrumptious lives up to its name and has an incredible balance between the soft wool and the silk.  I have very sensitive skin, and this yarn feels fantastic even on my neck.

Thanks also go to A Playful Day Podcast host Kate, who was the creative force behind the DesignAlong contest.

Another Kate, Kate Atherley of among other things, was the tech editor.  I like to think that my editing skills are pretty sharp, but that’s for English, not for knittish.  It’s amazing what she could do to catch errors and smooth phrasing to make the pattern more knit-able.

And the test knitters: Rora114, Triners, bijouxmaster, MissScarlet, vestasahla, Fa1ryElephant, Mathildeknits.  They found errors, asked good questions, and knit cowls in amazing colour combinations.

Imagined Landscapes


That, my friends, is my logo!  And my business name.

The plaid cowl – soon to have a new and official name – is nearly ready.

I have a few rows left to knit of the sample, and the new silver that Jenni of Fyberspates sent is doing delicious things with the green and slate colours.

I’ve even got a guest post coming today over at A Playful Day.  It’s a little bit of a behind the scenes look at the process so far and I hope you enjoy reading it.

September Morn


I finished a sweater, the kind of sweater I’ve been craving all winter long.  September Morn by Thea Colman.


I made a few changes: knitting it at the same gauge but in sport weight rather than worsted; I carried the ribbing all the way down the sleeves because while stopping it looked great in her version many of the versions looked oddly goofy at the transition; and I carried the ribbing detail from the raglan into the body for a ‘seam’.

My collar won’t do ‘cowl’, it’s just a turtleneck.  I’m not certain why that is.  I did follow the directions and I also made certain to block the top half wider.


I’m really pleased.  And the blizzard this week meant that, as usual, March isn’t too late for finishing sweaters around here.

colour tricks

Yesterday I wrote about choosing colours for the plaid cowl.  As promised, I’m going to discuss the hiccup I encountered when it turned out that colours had played tricks with my eyes when I picked colours with Jeni.  Colour has such an emotional and psychological role in our lives that, even though I had done the swatches I shared with you yesterday, I managed to mess up.  I did not order one each of a light, medium, and dark tone.  Instead, I ended up with a dark and two mediums.


I had planned to do the cowl with a lovely and vibrant horizontal run of leaf green, but I had a feeling that wouldn’t work. I knew it was time to swatch.  And this project offers ample swatching opportunities.  With a main colour and two contrasting colours, there are 6 possible combinations. The contrast colours aren’t equally used, so there will be one that gets twice as much visual space on the cowl.  So, for example, using green as the main colour still leaves me with two options: dark grey as contrast colour 1 and blue as 2, or blue as CC1 and grey as CC2.

If you’re the type to love to play with swatches and enjoy the surprises they can bring, then have at it!  But if you’re looking for more guidance, the pattern gives advice, as does yesterday’s post.

This stitch pattern looks good a lot of ways but, if you’re like me, you’re a knitter who envies weavers the ability to produce plaid.  It’s why I starting playing around with the stitch pattern, after all.

_DSC0006 _DSC0009 _DSC0010

So let’s look at the three swatches I did yesterday, with each of the three colours as the main colour.  For contrasting colours, I used the lightest colour as the one that would be the thinest.

On the left, the green works reasonably well, but there isn’t a strong sense of the crossing of colours.  It’s that crossing of a horizontal and a vertical that makes this stitch pattern mimic plaid.

With the middle swatch, the dark colour just steps back into the background, allowing the texture of the contrast colours to really move forward, which doesn’t work for the look I want at all.  It might be nice, but it’s not plaid.

On the right, we have the blue as the main colour, and the thin band of green seems to hold it’s own weight as a vertical accent.  It’s the one I like best, especially in person.

Why does this work?  After all, in the black and white photos I take of the three colours the blue and green are indistinguishable from each other!  But colour as a physical fact also gets layered with our emotions, our psychology, and our perceptions.  There is something about the way the green shimmers, especially in person (no doubt due to the amazingly glorious 50% silk content).  There is such energy to the green that it picks itself up and lifts itself lighter than the blue, as it were.  I’m so glad I didn’t have to write a sheepish note to Jeni of Fyberspates explaining that my psychology had overruled my swatching brain.


choosing colours for the plaid cowl

Our brain plays funny tricks with colour.  It says, “Oh, look at that!  It’s so bright and vibrant!”  But our sense of relative colour gets thrown off.  Is the green light or dark?

Look at how changing the photo to black and white reveals a few things.  Compared to the pale wood, the leafy green no longer seems to float like a line of light before us.

Working with a few different swatches and with the test knitters, it’s clear that it’s best to have a light, a medium, and a dark yarn, relatively speaking and to make the medium colour the main colour that moves horizontally across the cowl.  With the medium going horizontally, the pop of the light yarn going vertically provides the contrast which brings out the plaid effect.  It’s the two crossing each other that way that seems to work.

Here are the pictures I sent the test knitters to show them what I meant.  Yellow is light, green is medium, and navy is dark.

In the swatches with the light and dark colours as the main colour (left top and bottom), the plaid effect is fairly lost  in the general texture.  But with the green and yellow crossing each other in the top right photo, the plaid pops out.

Yet desite all this knowledge, in the excitement of talking to Jeni from Fiberspates on Skype, I managed to forget to stop, breathe, and make absolutely certain I had all three tones.  And so tomorrow, I’ll share with you what swatching has taught me about how the pattern works with a dark and two mediums.

Doorstep excitement

It’s a wonderful moment, isn’t it, when the world at large arrives at your doorstep and offers you mystery?  Letters filled with words that add up to laughter and tears.  Packages filled with cookies from Oma or supplies to make things that weren’t there suddenly come into being.

Today held that sort of moment for me.  A ring of the doorbell.  A curious peek through the window.  And then a package marked ‘Royal Mail’, which will always thrill me.  We might have the same queen on our stamps but Canada Post is not Royal Mail.

It was the yarn from Fyberspates for the new version of the plaid cowl for A Playful Day‘s Designalong!  The Scrumptious base of yarn living up to its name, managing to produce a glow from the silk mix even under grey and snowy skies.  Water, Slate, and Moss nestled in the package.

With this, the publication of the cowl really is nearing actuality.  I’ll swatch a bit.  I’ll knit a bit.  Soon there will be a new cowl to wrap around my neck.  Sandra and I will have to brainstorm using our best brains for a great photo shoot location in the ugly brown that March brings when the snow is finally gone.

Make your passion your work 

They say it’s a good idea. Right now I’m finding that making my passion my work is…like work, only a bit more daunting because I’m simultaneously making up the on-the-job training. 🙂

I have a note-taking-while-designing  notebook, an ideas notebook, and a bullet journal notebook. Maybe there should only be one, but it’s making sense this way. 

I’ve also got an email thread about 60 emails long with my test knitters and it’s starting to be less full of glaring mistakes I ought to have caught and more full of gorgeous photos of what the plaid stitch looks like in other colour combos. And that may be so addictive I never stop designing! Seeing something I made play out in other colours and fibres is so motivating! 

I’m working on a second pattern and will need test knitters soon. Keep your eye out for a call for interested knitters very soon.