2016 ‘Hooters” Calendar

2016 Hooters Calendar2016 Hooters Calendar

In 2003 a blog “Theedgeoftime.com” published the original Hooters calendar.

It looks like they’re no longer around, and I’m sharing my 2016 version. Please let me know if I’ve made errors.

Make as many copies as you like but please respect my copyright and do not publish or sell for profit.

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Fuzzy Wuzzy (Wuzza) Hat/Beret

Fuzzy Wuzzy (Wuzza) Hat (long version) FuzzyWuzzy 2013

I finally got the stick out of my butt and published my first free pattern.  It needs a lot of tweaking so constructive criticism is much appreciated.

Brown Original Fuzzy

Brown Original Fuzzy

I knit loosely, so please don’t go to my Ravelry site and use the needle sizes I chose.  The pattern  specification’s give the proper needle sizes.

I prefer top-down hats because they are easier and friendlier to make.  For example, with a striped yarn, you see from the get-go how the pattern is developing and whether you want to go forward with it or rip it out.  You can tailor the width and length to your own tastes, and get a better idea of how many stitches you’ll want for the band.

Here’s the short chart version for those who are addicted to charts and don’t need lengthy written instructions:  Fuzzy Chart_Page 1 of 1

The picture below is of a handspun Fuzzy.  This beautiful colorway is courtesy of Chameleon Colorworks:  Holiday.  It was a club selection; the club has been discontinued for now, but CC will take custom orders.

Unfortunately I can’t give many statistics on this hat because it was stolen in the holiday mail a few years ago.  This is, I repeat, hand knit in yarn I spun myself, so is a one-of-a-kind item.  If you see it around, please email me at Ravelry.

Christmas Fuzzy

Christmas Fuzzy

Posted in Berets, Tams, Hats, Caps, Beanies, Charting knitting patterns, Knit Tech, Knit Blog Tech, Knitting, Ravelry, Spinning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Hepzibah — the night before she died — RIP


Hepzibah, a UW Friends of Campus Cats adoptee.  She was an Abyssinian-Tabby mix, and very beautiful; especially her celadon eyes.  We were buddies for over 16 years.  She passed away March 16, 2010.  I still miss her.

What’s a knitting blog without cats?

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TKGA Masters Level 1

Notes:  After farting around for over half a decade I’ve taken on Level 1 in earnest.  Actually I was relearning a lot of new ropes, namely stranded knitting, and working on improving my knitting…a lot of apprentice work.  The new and very much improved 2016 TKGA Level instructions are exceptional.  They require a Preliminary Swatch (great idea!) and the Project is a mitten with a stripe at the wrist and top of the hand — a great improvement over a hat that wasn’t much of a challenge.

If you are going for the TKGA Masters in Hand Knitting please join Ravelry and then the Ravelry TKGA Masters Group.  Also bookmark ArendaHolladay.com and Suzanneknits.com — both offer a wealth of advice.

Now on to my old 2010 notes..

The Knitters Guild Association (TKGA) offers a 3-level program knitters may take to earn the Master Knitter’s certification.  TKGA stresses that it’s not a professional certificate on the level of Master Electrician, etc., but it’s still a highly respected certificate I’ve wanted to earn for quite a while.  I’m working on Level 1 (of 3).

Wools I’d recommend for Level 1 are:  Plymouth Galway, Cascade 220, and Lion Brand Fisherman’s wool.  This level calls for a smooth worsted weight yarn in light colors.  Heathers and fluffy and novelty yarns are forbidden, as is Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride (a nifty, nice yarn — but too fuzzy for TKGA requirements) .   For my money Galway is the closest to a true worsted weight yarn; it’s 4-ply (think nice, round, plump stitches) and 100% wool.  TKGA recommends staying away from artificial fibers like acrylic because wool swatches block better, and blocking is a huge deal-breaker as to whether the swatch passes or fails.

Needles:  Whatever you have been using and have been happy using is always your best choice.  I use Addi Turbo Circulars, and Knit Picks Options Interchangeable Circulars (Nickle-plated). After doing a half dozen Preliminary Swatches on three different yarns (Galway in Dark Blue, and Pink; and Cascade 220 in Summer Sky) I decided to take Arenda Holladay’s advice and try Lion Brand (no heathers or darks) in off white, and Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool.

Here is a picture of the first of the 2011 Plymouth Galway swatches that I blocked.

I wet-blocked this because it’s a cable and thus draws in quite a bit.  These generally need a good soaking so that the fibers are pliable and amenable to “the rack”.  I soak in luke-warm water 10 minutes, gently turn over and soak another 10 minutes.  Then I carefully scoop up the swatch, do a small squeeze using the palm of the hand holding the swatch, stick it in a small lingerie bag, and put in in my top loader washing machine on  a short final spin setting.

Looking at the above swatch with 2016 eyes, I’m inclined to think I over-blocked it and that the finished swatch should have looked more like Mae West.

This process does not stretch the swatch out of shape.  A note:  I generally wet-block 100% wool, but this method is not good for all fibers.  Knitty.com has a good tutorial on blocking for different fibers.

Block ’til your head drops off!  Blocking makes for a more professional looking and better fitting garment.  I cringe when I look at some of the stuff on Ravelry that hasn’t been blocked because the beauty of the stitches and patterns they make don’t show.  Lace demands to be blocked to show off the lovely patterns created by all those little holes.  However….

A word to the wise about blocking cables.  I recently pulled out a lovely cabled hat because after I blocked it all the integrity of the pattern disappeared; the poofiness and character of the cables flattened.   I will knit this pattern again, but won’t make the mistake of blocking it.

A cabled hat that has been knitted in the round is often a horse of a different color.  Eyeball your cabled creation and if you like the way it looks and wears, let it be.  If it needs some blocking, do it as gently as possible; it will probably get by laid flat.  My mistake was using a balloon to block mine.   Even though I blew up the balloon to have negative ease it stretched the fabric.


Posted in Cats, kitties, Knitting, The Knitting Guild Association, The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) Masters of Hand Knitting Program | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defarge007’s Favorite Ravelry Hat & Beret patterns

Spud Says Hi: One Hat/Two Hats -- aka My Easter Hat

Going to try linking to Ravelry and see what happens. My Ravelry moniker is “defarge007”.  [Works great!  Just remember to create a nifty word describing the link, select/click on the word, then hit the link icon in the menu (it looks a little like an infinity symbol, or a sideways number 8), and stick in the url — which you have already copied — right? ]

defarge007 on Ravelry         or


I have been spinning on a regular basis since 2008 and have a very large bin of hand spun yarn, most of it 3-4 ounces (90-120 grams), suitable for hats, and I spent most of 2010 knitting hats.

Favorites Hat/Beret/Headwear patterns:

I’ve noticed that most of the hat and beret patterns on the first couple Most Favorites pages list are not complex lace or cable designs, although Star-Crossed Slouchy is still holding the numero uno spot.  Woolly Wormhead hat/beret patterns are a favorite of many Ravelers.  I like challenging lace and cable designs, but am not crazy about color knitting (Fair Isle).  You can count on the Most Projects list patterns to be well written and easy to follow — for obvious reasons.  They don’t come in at the top of the lists unless they’re well written and Ravelry-ers love them and knit them often.

The exception to this rule are new patterns that haven’t made it through the ropes.  When I note a new pattern I like I open it and see what other knitters have to say about it.  I also note the name of the designer.  I’m a big believe in giving new designers a go and go through the Recently Added to Ravelry lists at least twice a month.

Freebies: patterns you can either download on Ravelry and save in your personal Ravelry library, or patterns that take you to a web site.

FREE:  The Star-crossed Slouchy Beret by Natalie Larson remains on page one of Ravelry’s Berets/Hats “Favorites” list:  Star-crossed Slouchy Beret; Natalie Larson

FREE:  Another Page One-er that, like Star-Crossed, looks good on almost anyone:  Wurm; Katushika:   Wurm; Katushika

FREE:  Here’s one of my favorites that should be on Ravelry’s “Favorites” page one.  It’s a lace no-SSK-er from the web site:  Spud Says Hi.   One Hat/Two Hats; AKS:   One Hat/Two Hats.  This hat pattern calls for 2 strands of fine weight (probably lace weight) yarn held together.  Try substituting DK weight yarn.

FREE: Druidess Beret; Princess Pea;  Druidess Beret

FREE:  Vivonne Bay Hat; Jude Webster; Vivonne Bay Hat;

About anything Angela Hahn designs.   The Beaufort Hat and Maple Seed Hat differ only in manner in which they are decreased.  Beaufort uses knit two togethers (k2tog), and Maple Seed uses slip-slip-knits (ssk).

FREE:  Beaufort Hat, Angela Hahn:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/beaufort-hat

FREE:  Maple Seed Hat, Angela Hahn:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/maple-seed-hat

The patterns below aren’t free, but are well worth their price.  Pay for them on Ravelry and/or another web site, and download them:

Quincy; Jared Flood:  Quincy; Jared Flood

Pinion Beret; Naomi Parkhurst:  Pinion Beret; Naomi Parkhurst

Plaited Tam;  Angela Hahn:  Plaited tam; Angela Hahn

More fun-stuff to come..

Posted in Berets, Tams, Hats, Caps, Beanies, Knitting, Spinning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to create pdfs using CutePDF

If you haven’t uploaded “Cute PDF Writer” – CutePDF – to your computer, you should.  This is a free pdf creater that was recommended to me by the computer techs at my work place — so it is Geek-Approved.

When I am taken to the designer’s web site where the pattern has not been made into a pdf document,  I select the pattern, copy it, paste it into a Word document, then select Print from your File menu, then select CutePDF.  You’ll see the document being made and then get a pop-up that lets you choose the pdf name and where to save it (I generally chose Desktop).  Then, voila! — an awesome pdf pops up. 

Please remember to include the designer’s web site name and the designer’s name and the pattern name at the top of the Word document before you create the pdf.  Also include their comments (either on Ravelry and/or their website) about copyrighting.  Most designers include a statement stating that anything made from the design cannot be sold or distributed commercially without their written permission.  It is illegal and unethical not to respect their wishes and their copyright statement in any document you create.

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Why Defarge007

Post May 10, 2010 from Tale of 2 Knittys (a domain I’m not renewing).  This explains why I chose the above domain name and why I chose Defarge007 as a user name. – jvm

I’m a member of Etsy, a site that sells  creative, mostly hand made stuff, and Ravelry, a site oriented to fiber fanatics. When it came down to picking a user name for them I thought “who is the most famous knitter in literature” — and Madame Defarge, a character in Charles Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities” came to mind. (Never mind that she was nasty and came to a justly deserved end — like me she was never without her needles.) The “double-O-seven” was something that came to mind, and when I put defarge-double-o-seven together I laughed my fool head off, and the moniker stuck.

Tale of Two Cities is about London and Paris during the French Revolution, but frankly the British/London (James Bond) connection tacked on to the French/Paris “Defarge” didn’t cross my mind when I created my user name. It was a case of serendipity.  My thinking at the time was that “007” would moderate “Defarge”, but I suppose most people would think of Defarge007 as a double threat.  Not so!  I promise!

When I created the blog I knew I had to make a connection to “defarge007” and Tale of 2 Knittys came immediately to mind. Regrettably I found that a site with a similar name was also out there after I purchased the domain name — a common blogette phenomenon.  After May 2011 that won’t be an issue.  I’m not renewing the domain name and am putting it up for grabs.

I plan to use this site to post knitting and spinning related issues I have a hard time finding on the web, and pictures of stuff I either knit or spin, or just find funny and/or interesting.

Posted in Etsy, Knit Tech, Knit Blog Tech, Knitting, Ravelry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment