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Dear Kay,

Hats for Syrian Refugees: Lots of hats are being knitted that will find their way to Munich, where many refugees have landed. Designer Laura Nelkin’s Ravelry group is very active in this effort, has two shipments already in the pipeline with hundreds of hats. (These are her hats below.) We all know that a hat is one of the quickest knits, so grab a skein of something warm and add to the pile. Details on how to participate are here.


On Etsy: Cool machine embroidery from Amanda Rudack, who just discovered MDK. Welcome, Amanda! Pull up a chair.


Vindication, or something: Superfancy shop Joseph is selling the soul sister to my Eight Yarns, One Sweater. Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Jo, who knows quality when she sees it.


Love Your Station: Our local NPR station is having its fall pledge drive. I listen to Nashville Public Radio a lot, so I like giving them a little support because they have given me many hours of knitting. They also figured out the best tote-bag/NPR correspondent pun, the Nina Totin’ Bag.


Happy Lopi to You: In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Istex, maker of true Lopi yarn, Védís Jónsdóttir  designed an Icelandic traditional sweater pattern as a gift to all Lopi knitters.

lopi sweaters

Holiday Gift Knitting Alert: Beautiful, simple slipper pattern–easy as a dishrag, and Temple of Knit is a lovely blog out of Sweden.

Finally, Help a Fella Out: I have a note from 16-year-old Gilly, who is in search of cool knitting patterns for men. He is a totally fearless knitter—figured out double-pointed needles on his own, for Pete’s sake. Please leave a comment with men’s patterns that you like!

Sending you weekend best wishes.



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  • I suggest Gilly look at the men’s patterns Brooklyn Tweed has designed.

    • I second that as well. We have had a young man in 8th grade knitting with our
      group in the summer. I think Jared Flood would be a great role model for
      guys wanting to knit. I took a class with him and he’s great!

  • Second to the Jared flood patterns. Norah Gaughan has a great book of men’s designs for berocco. I would introduce him to Stephen west and give him an Elizabeth Zimmerman book.

    • definielty second the EZ idea and Stephen West as well. And Brooklyn Tweed was my first thought. Also Don’t like mauve.
      Love the slippers as I am on a footwear ride latley. I can’t part with them however and am growing a hoard.

  • For Gilly,
    My favorite guy’s scarf pattern is
    My favorite guy’s sweater pattern is
    My favorite guy’s hat pattern is, or maybe
    I have 1 son, 2 sons-in-law, and 6 grandsons. These patterns have all been approved by them.
    My 5 year old grandson just begged me to teach him to knit. I thought he was too young, but he picked it up quickly!

  • Hi! New to blog. Where can I find pattern for 8 yarns 1 sweater? Thanks!

    • The pattern is Spinnaker by Veronik Avery. It would be glorious in one yarn, not eight!

  • As a fearless knitter, Gilly might want to check out the patterns at It has always had a lot of patterns for men, and it also appeals to knitters who like exploring new ideas. The patterns are not cutting edge fashion but are more easily adapted than many others because they don’t just give directions, they also explain how the structure and principles work for each pattern.

  • In addition to the suggestions already mentioned for men’s patterns, I’d throw Rowan into the mix! They have quite a few patterns for men’s garments, especially.

  • It’s a pity that Joseph couldn’t find the three-armed model they had in mind to wear their design… Otherwise it’s ingenious.

  • Love this “Snippets” post. A few tasty morsels to tide us over to that next big post. Good stuff! Now I’m off to stash dive for a hat or two.

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  • i think that gilly should check out purl soho and its blog,the purl bee.they have fantastic,and often free,patterns for things like hats,mittens and scarves–most of which are unisex.and if he hasn’t already,he should join ravelry–we all know the types of things that he can find on there,besides just getting lost for hours in the beauty of the thing… favorite pattern for men is a hat called gren–it used to be free,i don’t know if it still is,by this.bird.knits.quite a few of her designs are for men or are unisexed.gilly should also type “men who knit” in the ravelry group search bar–there’s lots of company out there!!!

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  • If Gilly has dpns under control, Knucks are a great pattern for fingerless gloves for men. And there are tons of options for men’s/unisex sock patterns on Ravelry. I also really like Tin Can Knits for mens’ designs in general – great hats, sweaters, etc.

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  • I knit the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits for my hubs and he really likes it. It’s not complicated and I liked that I could adjust the length/slouchiness.

  • Hands down, one of the best knitting books ever is Kristin Spurkland’s The Knitting Man(ual). Not a bad pattern in the book. mary in Cincinnati

  • I desperately need to knit a new pair of slippers. I’m wearing a pair of French Press felted slippers that have been darned at least a dozen times and currently have holes in both pairs – but the tops still look perfect. Oh, well. It’s time to move on and the Simple House Slippers might be the ticket.

  • Gilly! Go, you. Personally I think the Bandanna Cowl from Purl Bee is a great guy pattern, as is the Henry Scarf in the Fall 2007 issue of

  • My favorite pattern for men’s hats these days is Thorpe – and it’s a free pattern – and it is top-down, so DPNs are where it’s at for this men’s hat. I knit one in Malabrigo Mecha and it was AWESOME yarn.
    Good luck Gilly!

  • The more things change, the more they stay the same! I was once a 16 year old guy looking for cool mens patterns. Jared Flood and Stephen West are great suggestions, but I’d like to add the name of a brand new designer – Gilly.

    My suggestion is to look at relatively basic patterns, then figure out how to adapt them to suit your sense of style. Learn intarsia and duplicate stitch by figuring out how to copy one of your own drawings over to a stockinette sweater. Swatch stitch patterns to learn textures, cables and lace – then combine the swatches into a one of a kind hat, scarf, blanket or whatever you want. Maybe just sew them randomly onto a pair of ratty jeans. Maybe these ideas aren’t your idea of cool, but find something that fits your style, then create it.

    We know you’re creative and adventurous, so Just Go For It Gilly! BTW: I want a free copy of your first pattern.

  • For Gilly: Around here, scarves are a vital necessity! This one: has been around for a while and I’ve made several for different brothers/friends. Happy knitting!

  • Yes, if Gilly is both adventurous and imaginative, St. Elizabeth is the ur-source, and Jared Flood a good contemporary source. If he’s REALLY adventurous, there’s always Stephen West(!) He even has a group called FUN SQUAD for “yarn obsessed crafty kids.”

    Finally, going down the Ravelry rabbit hole, I found this bit of knitter’s wisdom by someone named Nicolette on another charity yarn site, XOXO Hats: “Go to [the yarn store] and purchase yarn, yarn is our fuel to knit more hats. :)” Yarn. is. our. fuel.

  • I have always loved the look of “No 1 – Pattern – ROBIN – Icelandic Knitted Sweater”
    by Lina Olofsson. I found it on

  • Snippets should become a regular feature. Loved checking these out.

  • For Gilly – Watch Cap by Bruce Weinstein was a big hat with a man in my life. It’s in a book called Knits Men Want. I also have a Rowan book called Knitting For Him by Martin Storey & Wendy Baker that has a lot of nice sweater patterns. I also vote for EZ books – she gives you confidence that you can do lots of fearless things like converting a pieced sweater pattern to one knit in the round.
    Cute embroidery, Amanda!
    And, thanks for the lopi and simple slippers patterns. I think maybe I’ll give those slippers a try.

  • My son, who’s been a knitter for quite a while, is currently rocking the Game of Thrones House Sigil afghan from Ravelry (to quote “Sarah Palin” on SNL: “I don’t even know what that *is*!”). It is AMAZING. He taught himself intarsia and cabling. . . . and it gets him lots of attention from the other knitters at college. 🙂

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  • The footwear is the worst part of that Frankensweater ensemble, and that’s really saying something!

  • I suggest Gilly take a look at that beautiful Icelandic sweater pattern linked in this very post! Go, big, Gilly! Go bold! 🙂
    Very enjoyable snippets, Ann, and wow, that sweaterish composite is…interesting. Something about that sleeve down the front. It reminds me of the time years ago when I put a wool sweater on a poorly dairy goat, and pinned the sleeves together like a belt to hold it on. Like a sweater but not. As I recall it was a pale blue-green lambswool sweater that I may have accidentally put through the washer. And dryer. Ah, memories.

  • Thanks for talking about Knitting for Munich. There is also another Ravelry group, Hats for Wartorn Syria, that is taking (not sending, TAKING) items directly to the Refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey. They accept knitted items, baby clothes, medical supplies and even have raised funds to get a couple of larger pieces of medical equipment to the camps. My usual charity knitting outlet, Afghans For Afghans has been quiet for a while, so I am happy to find any outlet I can find!

  • For Gilly – I suggest any of the Tin Can Knits patterns for men!! I am working on a Flax sweater for my 19-yr old son right now!

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  • Thank you!!

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  • The Fall 2015 Interweave Knits had some top-down seamless sweaters for men that I thought were nice–GIlly may enjoy one of those.

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