All posts by Caleb Gonzales

knitted hats for men

Manly, Stylish, Knitted Hats: 12 tips

A wise man once said, “Chuck Norris likes knitting sweaters; If by ‘knitting’ you mean kicking and by ‘sweaters’ you mean “babies.” But let’s face it. Even Chuck Norris knows that knitting is suave. He just doesn’t want you to know he knows. It’s 2018 and all sorts of rugged and debonair gentlemen knit. Russell Crowe knits, for example. It helps him quell his manly rage. If Wolverine knits, any man can securely do so. Yet the question remains: Can you wear a warm hat that you knitted and remain a rugged and handsome man?

The answer is yes. It all depends on the type of hat and how you wear it. The last thing you want is to show up to work with a mop of messy hat hair. So, let’s take this apart and examine it one concept at a time.

What Kind of Hat is Stylish?

 

According to recent GQ articles, you want a hat that:

1. Does not slouch.

No one wants to be greeted by a guy that looks like he just returned from begging in the subway station. The slouching beanie does not say, “pulled together.”

2.Does not have a bill.

It’s just not in style.

3. It matches the color of your clothing.

This alone makes any hat sleeker. Although matching may not always be necessary, if you are wearing your hat to work or out on the town this looks more professional. This way, the hat seems like it fades into the background instead of seeming to shout, “Hey I’m wearing a bulky beany on my head!” You will look less like a kid on the way to his school bus.

4. Is a subdued or “winter” color.

This is not a hard and fast rule, there are many great colors to wear. Neutrals also look nice. But in general, there are more dignified colors to wear than say, a blinding, bright orange.

5. Has a pompom. Pompoms are in.

‘Nuff said. (But you don’t need to wear the pom if it’s not your thing. Hats without it are just as good.)

6. For a more casual look consider a bold graphic.

Having a logo of a favorite brand or sports team knitted into the hat is masculine and stylish.

How Can I Avoid Hat Hair?

Part of it is about the hat, but part of it is also about the hair.

  1. Consider wearing shorter hair in the winter. Shorter hair is less likely to mess up.
  2. Wait until your gel dries fully before putting on your hat. This might involve getting ready a little earlier.
  3. Slide your hat on from front to back to avoid a cowlick.
  4. Do not knit a hat that is too heavy or extremely tight fitting. The hat needs to have as little impact on your hairdo as possible. This means giving your hair some space.
  5. Do not use wool. This material is not only heavy, it also produces static. There are, however, products available to reduce the amount of static in your hair.
  6. Restyle your hair. Let’s face it. If you’re wearing a hat your hair is likely to get a bit mussed. Keep some mousse or gel handy so that you can swish some through your hair to get it back in place after you take your hat off. It doesn’t take it too long to give it a quick touch up.

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So What Does This All Add Up To?

All in all, knitting yourself a hat is bound to make you stand out as resourceful, eclectic, and sophisticated. You may even…(dare I say?) impress with your “sensitive side.” Warning: knitting may inspire an audible “Awwww,” in ladies (as in “Awwww, that’s so sweet and charming.”)

A man who knits and looks good doing it is a man who is confident in his masculinity.

One last parting piece of advice: Chuck Norris. That’s the advice.

 

Lucy Neatby

Lucy Neatby’s Collections

Knitting is both a skill and ability; although everyone can learn the techniques over time, there is still an immeasurable amount of spontaneity that lets individuals not only master several patterns but could also create shortcuts and individual styles on how to do things the easier way. Of course, experience and practice can only attribute to this, and with just the right amount of patience, things would be mastered in due time. However, there is no shame or limitation in learning. Books or instructional materials not only add knowledge to previous ideas but could also even help enlighten people to do things a different way. But an alternative that proves to be much more entertaining than static, boring photos or step-by-step diagrams is well-lighted and well-produced videos. They are easier to follow primarily due to the teacher’s engagement with the audience, plus, anyone can just pause the program, study the technique a little bit closer, or even backtrack should there be some confusions.

Lucy Neatby’s Knitting Gems

 knitting gems part 1
The Lucy Neatby Knitting Gems is a four-part series DVD collection which tackles a range of topics that demonstrates more than just discusses techniques in stitching and knitting. Each DVD is composed of an average of an hour and a half of detailed presentations, with eye-view shots that evenly focus on the threads and the items being made so the viewer would not easily be lost on the progress of the activity. Also, the material is very friendly to individuals who knit on either hand, and she mixes the touch of professionalism with candidness in her teaching.

Varying strategies are being taught in all of the four Knitting Gems DVDs, but unlike books or handout sheets that only show one angle of the knitting patterns at a time, the video materials ensure quality output with every second spent of watching. All of the videos show well-lighted sceneries, with emphasis placed on each knot or purl made by the materials. Also, Lucy Neatby is careful to show the delicateness of the craft while speaking very clearly and slowly, and this avoids any mistakes on the actual handiwork being done by the viewer.
As this collection is composed of four DVDs, it is an understatement to say that the lessons just cover a handful of strategies and methods of knitting. Aside from introducing viewers to creating armholes in knitted vests and sweaters, weaving techniques are also given to make the activity a much easier thing to do. There are TONS of new materials to use, and these ideas could help create more and more types of products. The only limit there is one’s imagination.
From edges to cord and braid styles of stitching, Lucy Neatby will be there with the viewer with every step of the way. She will be able to do a thorough lesson for each of the methods summarized at the back of each DVD set, and she could even give tips on how to include buttons with their matching eyelets or even beads and use them in a hook or a purl row into the knitted product. Interested in knowing about dangling beads and techniques in using cable needles? What about engaging in a practical work of bind-offs, decorative twined chains and scallops? No problem–she would be able to show all of those in clear detail. There are also varieties of twists and knitting kinks which could be incorporated in the stitching. Plus, methods on how to re-condition wool or a yarn material is included as a bonus to the videos, not to mention those nifty procedures on how to salvage what would have been a hopeless piece of knitted product. In no time, they will be considered as perfect yet again.
Handy and most definitely useful, the Lucy Neatby knitting stitch pattern DVD lets anyone learn a lot at their convenience. These can be watched at the comfort of the viewers’ bedrooms or living rooms, and wouldn’t it be more fun to do the stitching and the knitting with friends? Try one out, and you would most definitely not be disappointed.

Lucy Neatby’s Knitting Essentials DVD

knitting essentials

Lucy Neatby understands the dilemma of most knitters especially when it comes to tricky flows of the yarn, so she has created a series of lessons in DVDs to be able to reach out to a broader audience and help them with their knitting patterns the easier way.

 While some may already consider themselves as well-versed in the subject of knitting, they will still be left surprised with the number of techniques that are left undiscovered. What you thought you already know could still improve, and through this knit stitch pattern DVD, anyone from an amateur to an expert knitter could learn a handful more ways on improving their knitting progress.
The Lucy Neatby Knitting Essentials allows users to learn different methods of knitting.
From bind-off to cast-on, students of all ages would be able to see how to do a flat or a crochet chain, and they could even understand how provisional edges work, and what techniques they could do to maintain such a skillful task. The very knowledgeable instructor also provides briefs on what to do with circular needles and answers common confusions on the different styles of cutting or ending a knitted piece of clothing without compromising the end pieces of the yarn that sometimes leads to messy outputs. There is even a portion which lets people learn how to recycle their waste yarn and utilize them to create more structured pieces of creation by grafting. Plus, she also gives out tips on various topics such as sock toe chimneys, yarn butterflies, slipknots and even hill stitches and valley loops.
Affordable and very much worth every penny in your pocket, this DVD is indeed a gem in any knitter’s collection. Now there is no need to fumble or consult with equally confusing manuals–just a few minutes with this video and lots are already in line to be learned. And compared with face-to-face tutor sessions, anyone can pop in the DVD in the player at any time of the day, and Lucy Neatby will be there to help you with every strand of the way.
needle sizes

What size needles do I need?

The sheer variety of knitting needle sizes and forms can be overwhelming for a novice. Should you use straight, circular or double-pointed needles? Can you use size seven knitting needles rather than size eight if that is all you have available? What is the difference between bamboo and plastic needles?

It is enough to drive you mad.

Before you go crazy and purchase every knitting needle size and kind available, have a peek at this manual. We have divided up yarn weights as they look at the Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Yarn Weight System.

This isn’t a hard-and-fast manual to the knitting needle sizes you need to use with every yarn. By way of instance, even though the recommended needle size to get a lace-weight yarn is 000-1, occasionally a pattern will call for a size five needle, which makes a loose lace stitched with a great deal of drape. (Always check your pattern first). However, the guide can assist you in making a choice involving, say, a bamboo double-pointed needle or a circular plastic needle.

LACE WEIGHT

Knitting needle sizes: 000-1

clover knitting needles

Some lace-weight jobs are large shawls that need tiny needles. But knitting on straight needles can take a toll on your wrists, particularly if the project gets heavy. That is when needles such as the Clover Takumi Bamboo 48in Circular Knitting Needles pictured above come in handy.

Circular knitting needles like these aren’t just reserved for projects which are worked in the round. You may even use them for horizontal, back-and-forth row jobs that are thick, like lace shawls as well as heavier afghans. The cord takes all of the weight off your wrist so that the project weight may rest on your lap.

SOCK WEIGHT

Knitting needle sizes: 1-3

If you are not yet addicted to knitting socks, then you soon will be! The sock pops up on all us knitters sooner or later. Most socks are knit with a size 1 or 2 needles, but you could also find sock designs that were designed for thicker non-sock yarns. Along with socks, you can liven up amazing shawls with sock-weight yarn and these tiny needles.

I adore these Clover Takumi Bamboo 5in Double Point Knitting Needles for knitting socks since the brief length of the needles means you spend less time pushing your job around on the needles and more time knitting. Plus, the bamboo aids the yarn grip the needle so that the yarn doesn’t slide off unexpectedly.

SPORT WEIGHT

Knitting needle sizes: 3-5

While not as thin as sock yarn, the sport-weight yarn may still use those tinier knitting needles which may cause your hands to cramp up. Straight needles work well with this size if you are working with a light-weight apartment job but opt for those longer circular needle sets if your project is heavy. I recently knit a sport-weight sweater on size three needles, and you can bet I had been using those long circulars to support the weight of the garment.

DK WEIGHT

Knitting needle sizes: 5-7

DK weight is just slightly lighter than worsted weight, which makes it super common for everything from sweaters to gloves and scarves.

As soon as you start working with plenty of different yarn weights and then decide that you are going to become a knitter for the long haul, then consider investing in a pair of needles such as the Addi Interchangeable set (see our circular needle review here) pictured above. This specific set ranges from knitting needle size 3-15.5 and includes five unique cords. It is like having 60 different knitting needles all rolled into a compact set.

WORSTED WEIGHT

Knitting needle sizes: 7-9

Worsted weight yarn is possibly the yarn you will use most often. It’s paired with knitting needles in the medium size range — possibly even the same knitting needle sizes which you just learned to knit with.

If you’re in doubt about the weight of the yarn, you’re using or the knitting needles sizes, consult with the yarn label for support. Yarn labels always include a gauge, in addition to a recommended knitting needle size which you could use as a starting point. You might discover that you knit tighter or looser than the judge given; in that case, you will have to change your needle size.

Want to find out more about worsted weight yarn? Have a look at our review on worsted weight yarn which includes loads of patterns.

BULKY/CHUNKY WEIGHT

Knitting needle sizes: 9-11

The knitting needle sizes are growing bigger, and since they do, you’ll discover that the knits work up faster and faster. Bulky or chunky weight yarn is famed for being a fast knit. You can use practically any knitting needle type for this yarn, but remember that if you are working with something big, these long circular needles will be a lifesaver for holding all of the weight of the undertaking.

SUPER BULKY WEIGHT

Knitting needle sizes: 11-17

Super bulky weight is enjoyable to work with, and it is not just because it knits up fast. You can experiment with textures such as wires which will honestly stand out when they are knit up in a super bulky fiber. Imagine a super bulky weight blanket that includes a gorgeous cable wrapping down the middle or just a hat knit up in a fundamental seed stitch. The super bulky weight yarn, together with large knitting needles, will make any stitch stick out. The Lion Brand Circular Knitting Needles serve as a great choice here.

JUMBO

Knitting needle sizes: 17 and bigger

Make way for thick knits! Jumbo is the latest yarn weight category and utilizes the largest knitting needles of all. If you are working with a small project that is not overly heavy or wide, we recommend the Lion Brand Yarn Knitting Needles, size 35 or 19 mm.  These needles are made from plastic, keeping them lightweight and comfortable to wield. The needles come in sizes 11-35, so they’re fantastic for both super bulky weight jobs and jumbo jobs.

Beginners, what kinds of knitting needles have you tried so far? Experienced knitters, what are your favorite go-to knitting needles?

how to knit a big hat

How to knit a big hat – Part 1 of Video Series

Another amazing video series by Davina from Sheep and Stitch. This video tutorial series is broken up into two parts. Here is Part 1.

Today we are knitting large hat from beginning to finish.

Now, this hat is a free knitting pattern that you could get from SheepandStitch. The Big Hat is not for novices. If you feel skilled enough, then you are ready for the Big Hat in case you've mastered the cast-on, the cast-off, the knit and purl.

The knitting of this hat, an pretty much any other big knit can be vastly sped up by using a knitting machine for some of the straightforward sections.

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Make sure you check out part 2 of the how to knit a big hat tutorial series. Here Davina shows you how to decrease the stitches from 44 to a handful,  and also explains how you can add a pom pom to your newly knitted hat.

 If you liked this part of how to knit a big hat then be sure to take a look at some other knit stitch patterns which we reviewed.

All right, what a wonderful guide by SheepandStitch, featured right here on Tradewindknits.com, your go to website for knitting tools and resources.

how to knit a scarf

How to knit a scarf – Useful tutorial video

In this video, Davina from sheepandstitch.com, is going to teach you how to knit a beginners scarf step by step. This tutorial is for beginners and newbies that are not completely new to knitting.
She is going to go through each of the steps, and it is going to be a lot of fun.

If you just need a little refresher, or if you've always wanted to knit, then this program is for you. And if you are already a seasoned knitter think about sharing this course with someone who has yet to experience the joy of knitting.

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One last thing, if you want to speed up the entire progress, you can get a knitting machine, knits that could take 2 days can be reduced to a mere 45 mins!

If you are looking for anything related to knitting tools or resources, check out our homepage, as it has a nice overview of everything you need.

how to knit a big hat2

How to knit a big hat – Part 2 of Video Series

No-one does it better than Davina from SheepandStitch.com, in this second part of the video she shows you how to finish what she started in Part 1 of the tutorial. In this video she decreases all the way from 44 to 6 stitches, with a couple of grunts for good measure.

If you are interested in reading instead of watching, click the drop down box below the video to see our transcribed version of the knitting tutorial. To see all knitting resources go to our homepage, otherwise if you are looking for a good set of circular knitting needles, read our review.

Or maybe you need a knitting kit to keep your yarn and needles neatly organised. If you've gotten all of this then just enjoy the video already!

Transcribed text from the video