New slouchy beanie hot off the needles

After last week's disastrous bulky beanie incident, I finished up weaving in the ends for another, smaller gauge beanie.  I was really excited to make this one because it was in my new favorite color scheme - burgundy, pink, light blue, red, and mustard.  If the colors and striping look familiar, it's because I was inspired by the Feminist Sweater.  

No pics this week of me actually wearing the beanie, since I can't take any selfies on my ancient iPhone.  It's completely filled to capacity and begging me to replace it with a brand new fancy pink 6s.

What are you working on this week?


When knitting shortcuts go horribly wrong...

The other night I decided to knit up a quick, super bulky slouchy beanie because FALL IS COMING, people!  The pattern called for size 13 dpns and circular needles, and yarn (obviously); I had the circular and the yarn on hand, but I couldn't bring myself to wait the two whole days for the dpns to show up from Amazon (none of the stores I visited had the right size).  So I figured I'd just improvise and magic loop the shaping on the top of the hat, except my circular was way too short to do it correctly.


cobberson why you check tension when knitting

The tension got way tighter than it should have been, so instead of a nice drapey slouch, the top of the hat is standing straight up.  Kind of like a hat you'd see on the Coneheads.

Moral of the story:  THIS is why you juggle multiple projects all at the same time.  When something weird comes up, like having to order a crucial item and it's going to take a couple days, you can work on something else properly rather than plowing through and hoping for the best.  

I consider myself a fairly strong knitter.  I've been doing it consistently/ obsessively for over ten years and don't shy away from more advance techniques like steeks (not for the faint of heart).  However, as you can see, no amount of experience is going to help you if you continue to ignore the basic necessity of correct tension.  

Check your gauge.  Not just with your test swatch, but throughout your project.  Especially if you put that project down for a while and come back to it.  Things change.  I am not ashamed to admit I hate swatching and rarely do it.  It's just who I am, even though I know better.   Most of the time, I jump right in, start knitting, and then after I've done a few inches, I think hmm, better check my gauge now just in case.  Lots of times, it's fine and I keep on going (for the record, I had the correct gauge at the beginning of this hat).Sometimes I'm off and have to rip it out, but it's not a big deal.  I'm telling you right now, nothing is worse than completely finishing something and realizing you just wasted your time.  So please check yourself - don't end up with a conehead hat or something worse!


5 Free Hand Lettering Tutorials

Clearly I'm in need of a tutorial, because this handwriting isn't cutting it.

I'm not actually sure how I ended up searching Pinterest for hand lettering tutorials last night, but I guess that can be said for pretty much any search online, right?  As you can see from the picture above, I never realized there was a technique to it.  I always assumed scrapbookers/ art journalers I saw online just had really nice handwriting!  Since I've always been plagued with pretty terrible handwriting, I thought I'd give some of these techniques a try and see what I can come up with.

The first hand lettering tutorial is some helpful encouragement from Elsie at A Beautiful Mess, who says the key to good results is practice, practice, practice.  She talks about her favorite pens and brushes, and you'll see as she fills a few pages with letters that she still makes mistakes.  I think it's awesome that she left that in the video, because so much of what's online is edited to be flawless. 

The next tutorial is from Caroline at Made Vibrant and there's also an e-course available with more in-depth information.  Like Elsie, Caroline recommends lots of practice imitating lettering you like in books and really studying all the type and lettering you see around you.

Gemma and Geneva from A Pair and a Spare have a more technical tutorial with paper and tool recommendations, as well as how to pencil in some guidelines to help give your lettering some consistency until you get the hang of it.

If you're looking for a giant list of tips and tutorials on hand lettering, Letter Shoppe has put together a list of 50, guaranteed to keep you busy.  There are posts and videos on tools, typography lessons, tech,and more.

Once you've gotten your hand lettering down, Hello Brio has a very detailed tutorial on how to digitize your letters using Illustrator's Image Trace feature.  

Have you found some really good hand lettering tips and tricks on Pinterest?  Leave them in the comments below!
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