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Baby Hat Pattern

For some reason, when you’re a knitter, everyone thinks that “you could totally sell things” that you’ve knit. It’s mostly well-meaning, and if you’re an Obliger like me, you feel compelled to actually do it. So I did it. I started my Etsy shop┬áto sell baby hats. I went with baby hats because 1) I have/had a baby and 2) they’re one of the few things that you can actually profit from when you factor in materials needed and time it takes to knit it.

So, I embarked on making simple baby hats that were generic but unique. In doing so, I came up with a recipe for different sizes that I liked along with a method to put simple stripes in if desired. To make my own life easier, I wrote my pattern recipe down for all the sizes I offer in my Etsy shop, and thus my first published pattern was born! It’s a free pattern called Jogless-Join Stripes Baby Hat and it’s available on my Ravelry shop. Go download it if’n it interests you!

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Superwash Wool and Me

One of the things about my knitting that is unique is my rule about superwash yarn – I choose not to use it when I can. Let me preface this by saying I do have a proficient understanding of chemistry – I was a biochem major in college, so the use of the word “chemicals” is probably not going to appear without a qualifier. I’m definitely not an expert on the subject of superwash wool, though. Ashley at Woolful has a wonderful blog post that goes much more into depth than I am going to here.

To sum it up, superwash wool is when wool is descaled and coated in a type of plastic so that the fibers don’t felt and shrink when agitated a lot, as in the washing machine and dryer. In general, when I’m concerned about the toxicity or processing of a product, I am not concerned about the end product being a dangerous substance. This used to be my main concern when being more careful about unnatural chemicals in my home, products and environment. Generally, the most damaging part of using man-made chemicals to create or adulterate an item is in the manufacturing process. And mostly I’m concerned about the environment – plastic taking the Earth’s lifetime to degrade, degrading plastics leeching substances into the soil, the chemicals being released into the environment polluting the soil and water harming flora and fauna from the microscopic level up to big-ass birds and trees, and the carbon emissions of powering the manufacturing. This probably isn’t an exhaustive list.

Anywho, what I’m trying to say is that when I can, I choose wool that has not had the mainstream superwash treatment. I don’t mind hand washing my hand-knits. It makes me nervous to even put superwash items in the washing machine. I do make some concessions so I don’t go crazy, though (like letting myself buy whatever sock yarn I want because FUN and using superwash for non-knitter gifts). There are definitely plenty of companies that offer yarn that is the least amount processed as possible, so I don’t struggle with locating yarn to knit with. That being said, there are tons of indie dyers who have amazingly beautiful handpainted yarn, which is hard to resist.

Although it’s a small part at the moment, I hope to affect the environment positively an eensy bit with my knitting!