The Plan

Update 2017. While we hoped we could revive this project it has not happened. If anyone is interested in taking over, please leave a comment.

Knit lots of hats and scarves for patients and survivors or breast and ovarian cancers to be donated to the Komen Foundation for the Cure, Philadelphia Affiliate. We fully support monetary fund raising efforts for the cure. But we also want to do something which will go directly to those who need to know there are people rooting for their health and survival. All skill levels are welcome!

Please join us! The 2011 project ends Sept. 15th.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Terry's finished!

Terry finished her first hat ever!
Here's the hat:

And here's what she emailed me:

I finished my first ever hat last night! For some reason the edged insisted on folding up so I added a button. It think it has something to do with the tightness of the knitting, but I am not sure. I hope you think it is ok to use. I have started another one of the same pattern-hopefully with more practice I can start the next one in the second pattern.

Terry - it looks beautiful! Love the little button! D'Arcy was telling me she had the same issue with the brim flipping up. I'll bet it will be fine. Can't wait to see the second hat!

How is everyone else doing? Anyone have a finished hat to post?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Second Pattern

Hello All, As promised here is the second pattern. For those of you still working on the first, don't stress! Continue working at whatever pace you are comfortable with. If you are finished with the first pattern - please post! We'd love to see what you've done. Don't know/want to post on your own? Please send us info to the email address and we'd be happy to post for you.

The Second hat builds on some of the aspects of the first hat. You need to know how to knit, purl and knit two together.

Horizontal Ribbed Hat



Appropriate needle size in 16”round needle, and double pointed needles.

Tapestry needle

Measuring tape

Knit a swatch in the desired yarn. This swatch should be knitted on one side, purled on the other. Break yarn and block. Establish correct gauge – figure out how many stitches you knit per inch.

Measure your head with measuring tape. Multiply this number times the gauge (stitches per inch). Adjust number to make it divisible by 5, round down if necessary. This is how many stitches you cast on.

Cast directly onto circular needles. Join making sure not to twist the cast on bit.


Knit four rows, purl two rows for 4.5 inches.

Start the crown of the hat. Do some math first: (it helps to print this out)

Divide your stitches by five and write the number here: _______

a. Subtract 2 from the above number: _______

b. Subtract one from the “a.” number :_______

c. Subtract one from the “b” number_______

Insert the numbers in their correct places here:

Knit ___(a)____ knit the next two stitches together. Repeat four more times

Knit ___(b)____ knit the next two stitches together. Repeat four more times

Knit ___(c)____ knit the next two stitches together. Repeat four more times.

The pattern for knitting the crown is established. You can tell where to knit to together as you come to that in the round. Continue this way until there are only 20 stitches left. You will probably need to switch to double pointed needles at some point. (there will be another post specifically to deal with this.

At 20 stitches, knit two together all the way around. 10 stitches left.

Break the thread at 12 inches, and sew through the loops on the needles and pull tight. Sew all tails into the hat.
PS: the mannequin - much better in light blue, don't you think?

Monday, May 23, 2011

First Hat example

My first hat is finished! I had to give up on my bamboo and pearl viscose yarn. It was so soft to knit with, but alas, just would not hold its shape. Looked like a wet wash cloth draped over the head. I switched to a Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. It's a blend of Cashmere and Marino wool. Very soft but holds it's shape beautifully.
I decided to go with my idea of not sewing the brim together and adding some apple blossoms. These are crocheted from a little left over yarn. I followed the pattern in the 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet book. You can find a link to purchase your own copy on the Library Page. The result of this little design is that the hat looks more like a cloche than a knitted winter hat, much more feminine. Just a thought....
Oh, and you can make your own mannequin too. All you need is a balloon (blown up to the size of your head) a paper cup for the neck, a roll of heavy paper for shoulders, plaster strips from the art store and voila! If you are clamoring for more precise directions - let me know, I can write something up. Also, she is not yellow anymore. I thought that color was a bit much. I've painted her a nice sky blue. Much easier on the eyes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The first hat: Mine's underway...

Hello everyone! It took me awhile to get Blogger figured out, so here's hoping this post goes up correctly.

I got started on the first hat late last week and it's looking pretty good so far.

Hats are not my forte--I've only made a few since I learned how to knit a couple years back--so I'm glad we're making them this year. I also like that they don't require much yarn, so I'll get to use up some of my stash! I'm using a soft and slightly stretchy turquoise microfiber for this one. It's not the sturdiest yarn, so I took time deciding how many stitches to cast on so that the hat wouldn't turn out floppy. (And the swatch I made stretched out in the process, so that didn't help.) Taking Tara's advice, I went with fewer rather than more stitches. It's a little snug, but smaller is better because it will stretch out. I'm about 2-3 inches from finishing.

I've already picked out several other yarns I'd like to use and, except for the turquoise yarn, they're all cotton.

These are either DK (3) or Worsted (4) yarns, but each knits up differently, so they might not all be right for hats. Still, I'm looking forward to trying them to find out! (P. S. If anyone has experience with mercerized cotton, let me know. Would it make a good hat you think? I'm not convinced.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pinkknit News

Happy Weekend Everyone!

So much has happened in this first week I thought I would put together a post about it all. If you haven't started knitting yet don't worry. This is looking like the perfect weekend to stay inside and knit. It is supposed to storm all weekend in Philadelphia. I just made a pot of tea and when I'm finished with this post I'm going to get the cat to sit on my lap and I'm going to knit.

We've had a very exciting week in terms of statistics:
* We've had over 600 page views this month, with a huge spike of views on Monday and Tuesday.
* 46 people like us on Facebook.
* 4 people have signed up to post on the blog with two pending invitations.
* 1 new person joined us as a follower.
Three independently owned yarn shops have joined our project and will be offering a 10% discount on yarn purchases for the Pinkknit-a-thon!
Check out:
Nangellini on South St in Center City, Philadelphia
The Tangled Web in Chestnut Hill, PA
and Lancaster Yarn Shop in Intercourse, PA.
You will also be able to find links to these shops on the "Participating Yarn Shops" page.

Thank you all for your support!

I started my hat this morning. So far so good. I really love this yarn! I'm starting to think about how to finish the hat off. Specifically, how can I use the gap of the garter stitch band to do something artistic. I don't know if I want to sew it up, or maybe leave it open. Maybe I want to knit or crochet some little flowers to sew on there, or maybe I'll look through my funky button collection and maybe I can sew something cool on right there. Hmmm.... I'll let you know!

How are you all doing? Anybody else have anything to post?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Knitting the Swatch

First I'd like to thank everyone who has signed up, visited our site, and liked us on Facebook! 

And now on to the post...
Knitting the swatch is the part of knitting everyone wants to skip. If you are like me, you just want to dive into knitting the thing and get it done so you can wear it! But experience has taught me that the swatch is a must. More on that later.
The swatch is made to determine how many stitches and how many rows you get when you knit with a specific yarn and a set number of needles. The best way to get an idea of the gauge is to follow the info on the label. I am writing these patterns so that you can knit them with any yarn you want - as long as you swatch.
For this first hat I'm using Sublime, bamboo and pearls dk, purchased at Nangellini's on South St. in Philadelphia. This yarn is so soft! and it says it's made from 30% pearl sourced viscose? How decadent!
The labels on the yarn are full of very important information. Most important is the recommended needle size and how many stitches you should get per inch. That info is located here:

I always start with what it says on the label. It is the easiest. I take the needle size and cast on the number of stitches it says to.
I prefer this cast on method. But if this doesn't work for you, search There are a lot of tutorial videos about knitting there.They may not all make sense to you but one of them will!

Once you've cast on you can start knitting.  If you have never knitted before... go back to youtube, or find someone who will help you. Knitting is a great social past time. It's not called stitch and bitch for nothing!

Usually the swatch says to knit for four inches and you will get a nice little square. Bind off the stitches.
At this stage a lot of people recommend blocking. Get the square wet, and then pin all the edges into place trying to make the square four inches by four inches. I always try to do this at night because it needs to be completely dry and I'm very impatient about letting it dry completely.

I usually use the back of an upholstered chair for small things. 

Once it's dry, you can check your gauge. You can use an ordinary ruler, tape measure, or this fancy "knit-check" gauge.  These are very handy.

So if I check the gauge on my swatch I find that I have five and a half stitches per inch.
I am counting the top loop of one row. The numbers are placed so that the bottom of the number touches what I'm counting. Note that if I only count one inch I have almost 6 stitches, but if I count two inches I only have 11. That's how I got five and a half.

Now you are ready for second step in The First Pattern. Measure your head....

So for example ... my head measures 22 inches. 22 x 5.5 = 121 stitches.  I will cast this on, knit a little bit and then check that it is accurate by putting in on my own head. Too big? rip it out and cast on less stitches. Too small? rip it out and cast on more stitches.

Just a little bit more about knitting the swatch and getting things to fit right. Even if you do everything right, sometimes things just don't turn out right. I used this beautiful Sublime yarn to knit the prototype of the second hat pattern I will post. I swatched, blocked, counted correctly, but the hat is floppy. It's awful. It is really soft and looks great sitting on the table, but it looks like I've got a wet rag on my head when I put it on. What I'm trying to get at is "if at first you don't succeed, try try again." Everyone knits something awful - it's kind of a Murphy's Law. But don't get discouraged - just rip it out and start over. (That means unravel it). Yes it's hard when you've done so much work on it and had such high hopes, but really... what else can you do? Stick into your yarn basket? That would be too bad because you would never wear it. But if you rip it out and start over, making the corrections - you have something lovely. Hang in there... it's all worth the effort in the end.

And what do you do with all your swatches? I hang onto mine until I've used up all of the yarn. I usually poke a hole through the label and tie that to the swatch. That way I never loose the important info. Eventually I'll probably sew them all together for a little blanket or something? Anyone else?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The First Pattern

Welcome Everyone to the First Pattern for Pinkknit-a-thon 2011.

This pattern is extremely easy since all you need to know how to do is knit! I'm just going to post the pattern tonight. And over the next few days add helpful posts for the first time knitters. 

yarn of your choice, ask for help to be sure you purchase enough. Usually one or two skeins should do it.
16” or 20” circular needles, the size indicated on the label of the yarn chosen.
tapestry needles
tape measure

Prep: (don't skip this step - its not possible to knit the pattern without this step).
Knit swatch of chosen yarn as directed on the label. Block it.
Count the number of stitches per inch.
Measure your head.
Multiply the number of stitches per inch times the number of inches around your head.
This is how many stitches you will cast onto your circular needles.
Note: round down. Remember that the woman wearing this hat will probably not have much hair to fill in the hat.  

Start the hat:
Knit Garter stitch edge – this is knitted without forming the circle.
Cast on established number of stitches
*Row1 knit all stitches. Turn work.
*Row 2 knit all stitches. Turn work. 
*Continue this way for 1 inch. Do not turn work. Make sure none of the work is twisted over the needles. It should all hang straight down from the needle.
 *Connect knitting to continue knitting in the round:  Leave working yarn on the right hand needle. Bring the knitting on left hand needle to the tip of the left needle. Starting knitting the first stitch on the left needle. Continue knitting around the needles.

*Knitting the Stockinette hat: Knit minimum 8 inches of hat. 9 inches is better. If there is only a bit of yarn left in the ball you purchased, knit to finish, leaving a 12” tail.  If there is a lot of yarn left, finish somewhere between 8 – 9” leaving a 12” tale. Save the rest of the yarn for another project. 

 Finishing: Thread the tail with a tapestry needle. Carefully lift all stitches from left needle onto the tapestry needle – so that the thread tail pulls through each stitch. 
Thanks again for joining us! We are very excited to see what you make!

Welcome to Pinkknit-a-thon 2011

Greetings All!

Last year's pilot was a great success! We completed almost two dozen sampler scarves and donated them to the Susan B. Komen Foundation for the Cure, Philadelphia affiliate, to be given directly to patients and survivors. This year we will be knitting hats ranging from very easy to more challenging and everything in between. We will also be launching a group project yarn-exchange scarf in June. For those of you who participated last year, the blog was migrated to a book to be published by You can find a direct link to the book here should you wish to purchase a copy for yourself.

Please send an email with a "yes! please add me to the blog as an author!" to, and we will send you an invitation through the blog.
Knitters of all levels are welcome. Our first project will be a very easy "knit-only" hat. No need to know what purling, yarn over, or ssk means. Just basic knitting. 
New patterns will be posted every two to three weeks. Work at your own pace. Not finished with the current hat? No worries! Finish it up and then move on to the next project whenever you are ready. 
For more information about the project please browse through the pages on the sidebar. Still can't find an answer to your question? Feel free to email us anytime for clarification.   

What you will need to get started:
1. Yarn - we recommend soft natural fibers such as cotton, baby alpaca, or marino superwash. Choose whatever color and size you want to knit with. Talk with your local knitting shops to make sure you have enough yards of whatever you purchase. 

2. Circular Knitting needles 16" or 20" long in the size indicated on the label. 

3. scissors, measuring tape or ruler, straight pins, large needle for sewing ends in.  

Note to experienced knitters:  All patterns will are written to accommodate any weight of yarn. 

The first pattern will be posted this evening.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm ready!

I bought some really fun, pink, sparkly yarn today for our first project at Nangellini, on 823 South Street. This was my first visit to the shop/gallery - what a fun place!

As soon as I walked in, the shop owner, Nancy, said "Hi!" and walked me to her glorious stash in the back of the store. She even had beautiful "vintage" yarns donated from an estate.

The shop supports fiber artists, in addition to knitters, so there also was unspun wool in many colors for sale.

As I was checking out, I finally came clean and introduced myself as one of the Pinkknit-a-thon bloggers. She had our postcards by the cash register.

Nancy mentioned a knitting & crochet circle at the shop two nights a week: Tuesday 6-9pm and Sunday 3-6pm, admission is $5 but free with purchase. Also she offers a free spinning circle on Fridays 5-8pm.

So, a new adventure was had today and I can't wait to start knitting again!