Finished Projects, Knit Designers I love to knit

My Go To Hat Pattern

Lets talk about knitted hats for a minute. I love a good hat pattern, bonus if it’s one I can knit on without having to have the pattern in front of me at all times.

A hat project is just the right size for lunch break and travel knitting. If the pattern calls for sock or fingering weight yarn you can easily fit it in a super cute project bag and carry it with you to all the places! Hat projects are also good for using up partial or leftover skeins of yarn.

I love all kinds of hat patterns, stranded, cabled, interesting construction techniques…. the possibilities are endless!

That being said, I want to share my go to easy knitting hat pattern. This pattern was written by one of my favorite pattern designers… Andrea Mowery creator and designer behind Drea Renee Knits. The pattern is called Harlow.

This hat pattern is knitted using the Brioche stitch. Now before you throw your hands up and declare that Brioche is too hard….I promise you can do this! Andrea provides links in the pattern to her amazing tutorial videos she posted on her YouTube channel where she demonstrates both brioche stitches for knit and purl and how to perform the decrease stitches for right and left slating decreases. You can find her YouTube channel HERE. She has great tutorial videos on a wide variety of cast on techniques and different knit stitches.

I know brioche can be intimidating, I had previously attempted to learn brioche a few times before I came across this particular pattern. I even bought a few brioche shawl patterns in the hopes of someday being able to actually knit brioche. Then I found Harlow. I loved everything about this pattern. It is unisex, I’ve knitted a couple hats for my husband with this pattern. It can be knit in two colors or a single color. It works well both with variegated and solid color yarns. It can be knit with leftover sock yarns. It is also reversible giving you two different looking hats if you knit it with two contrasting colors.

I’ve knitted several of these hats, and I have plans to knit several more. Once you get the brioche stitch down, it becomes a breeze! This pattern is just the right size for travel or lunch break knitting at work. It is also excellent for “places you can knit” pictures.

Knitting Harlow hat in the mountains in Colorado
Knitting with a view!

I really do love this pattern and how the end product turns out. Literally as I am working on this post, I finished one Harlow hat (see the last photo in the post) and immediately cast on for another one for my daughter. I highly recommend this pattern if you love hats, if you love brioche, if you want to learn brioche! It is very well written and Andrea provides so much support and information on how to do the stitches. I really feel like this pattern is a good beginner pattern for those who want to learn brioche knitting. Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.

The finished Harlow hat I was knitting on in the mountains
My most recent Harlow hat fresh off the needles. Used leftover sock yarn from a shawl.

After knitting all of these hats, and falling in-love with the Brioche stitch, I now understand when Stephen West (another amazing knit designer) said “Brioche All The Things!”

~Happy Knitting~


My Reviews

My Work Backpack Review

In this blog post I want to talk about work bags. I am a Surpervisor of an IT Project Managemebt Office. I have four project manager positions that I am responsible for overseeing their day to day work on projects. I carry several items back and forth betweem work and home every day. I have gone through numerous work bags over the years in an attempt to find a good fit for me. I’ve carried tote style bags, messenger style bags, even shoulder bags. This year I decided to give a backpack a try, and I love it! The backpack allows me to distribute the weight across by back on both shoulders.

In my search for the just the right backpack I did a lot of looking on Amazon and reading reviews and looking at reviewer photos. I did not want a backpack that would make me look like a college student, I am well past that phase in my life. I knew I wanted it to be black, and look both professional and cute at the same time.

I finally came across the Koser Laptop Backpack.

It comes in 2 sizes one that will fit a 14.1 inch laptop and one that will fit a 15.6 inch laptop. I opted for the smaller of the two sizes. It’s dimensions are 15.6″x10.45″x6.65″. This size works well for me and fits everything I want to carry to and form work with room to spare.

The backpack has two exterior side pockets and one sizable zip pocket on the front. The interior is a beautiful light blue color with two large slip pockets for laptops and electronics (or magazines and a planner) on the back inside. There are two smaller slip pockets, one of which has a mesh zipper pocket on it. This backpack also has a built in USB port on the outside that you can connect a power bank to on the inside for on the go charging.

Okay, now for my personal thoughts on this backpack. I love it! It holds a lot of items and has room to spare. I really like how it opens at the top like a doctors bag. This makes it so easy to load, view, and retrieve items in your bag.

Here is a run down of everything I carry daily in my bag:

  • My Erin Condren Life Planner in its planner folio
  • 1 Plastic pocket folder to protect loose papers
  • 1 ceramic bowl for my oatmeal I eat in the mornings
  • 1 Erin Condren zippered clutch that contains pens and pencils
  • 1 Travel tissue package
  • 1 Huggies Clutch and Clean travel wipes (these are good for everything!)
  • An extra charge cable for my iPhone
  • A small calculator
  • 2 small spiral notebooks for notes and lists
  • A small knitting project bag for lunch time knittingSometimes I will include my iPad mini and Bluetooth keyboard for working on blog post drafts during lunch. Also, on Mondays I usually will add in any snacks and oatmeal packets that I purchased while grocery shopping to put into my cubicle. I will also occasionally include a magazine to read as well depending on my mood that week.
  • As you can see everything fits nicely in this bag and there is still some room to add additional items. Right now I don’t really keep much in the side or exterior pockets at this time.
  • Click here to see the backpack on Amazon.
  • I really hope you enjoyed this review of my Koser Laptop Backpack that I use as my work bag. If you have any questions about the bag please feel free to ask me. Also you have any ideas or suggestions about topics you would like to see me write about please don’t hesitate to send me a comment.
  • I hope you all have a great day! And I will see you again on my next blog post.
  • Jess
  • General, Life Updates

    Where has 2018 gone?!

    How in the world is it already the end of August?! I guess my New Years resolution to write at minimum one blog post to my site each month was not a success. Instead of looking back and going “What the heck Jess?!”, I am just going to start fresh and move forward. A lot has taken place in the first half of this year already, and things are not about to start slowing down.

    A quick recap of January to the end of August:

    * I was promoted to Supervisor of my Project Management Office at my work at the end of 2017. I am still feeling out my groove with that role. I am now managing 3 other project managers on top of working my assigned projects. I am also working on further developing our PMO, which includes performing performance reviews of my employees, developing training topics, and refreshing all of our templates. It is quite an undertaking.

    * I have been working off and on on a new sweater pattern that I hope to finishing the sample knitting within the next month. I say month, because I work full time and I also take care of my family. I also have been working on gift knitting as well which takes time. I’m ready to bind off the bottom of the sweater and then I just need to work on the sleeves.

    * Gift knitting, I have been working on holiday and baby gift knitting. I’ve knitted so many baby blankets I have the pattern memorized now! While I love knitting for little babies, I could use a break in the baby blanket knitting.

    * I’ve invested in some Craftsy online classes for pattern design and writing. I also purchased a class for sizing (grading) my clothing patterns into the various sizes smaller and larger than my sample that I knit for myself. Once I make it through all of these classes I hope to write a review post of each one. I was very excited to find these classes to help expand my knitting skills.

    * We took a family vacation to Colorado this summer and it was wonderfully relaxing. We had several days of relaxing at the cabin, adventuring in the mountains in the Jeep, and of course visiting yarn shops. Expect to see some new “Places You can Knit” pictures coming soon.

    * I discovered Erin Condren Life Planners. I have long time been a planner girl, and always a paper planner. For the longest time I used various sizes of Filofax planners. Well, this year I discovered Erin Condren. I decided to give it a try, I was able to take advantage of a first time customer $10.00 discount. You guys, I am loving this planner! I’ll will make a separate post about the planner. (If you want to try an Erin Condren planner and are a first time customer you can use my referral link to get $10.00 off your first purchase on :

    Now to present day, my daughter is starting first grade this year! I cannot hardly believe it! This mama is having a hard time with how fast my baby is growing up. We have all the school supplies purchased and labeled. We have organized her room (expect the closet still needs to be addressed) and set up a desk and computer for homework. We have meet the teacher this Thursday and then first day of school on Tuesday after Labor Day. Stay tuned for first day of school pictures.

    Okay, so I am planning on making some minor changes to my website by adding some non-knitting content. I want to add reviews of products that I love (both knitting and non-knitting) and also include planning and organization type posts. Keep an eye out for those coming soon. I want to do better with my website by posting more regularly and expanding the topics that I talk about. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on topics you would like to see show up on my site please don’t hesitate to send me a note!

    Until next time…..Happy Knitting!


    General, In Progress

    When knitting gets out of control…Confessions of a serial project starter

    Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a serial project starter. One thing has become very clear to me over this past year. I have way too many knitting projects on the needles. While I have not documented the exact number, off the top of my head I can thing of 3 cardigans (one is an original design I am working on), 2 blankets, 1 kids sweater for my daughter, 3 hats, 4 cowls (2 of them are original designs), a cotton market. bag which is going to be a Christmas gift, and a couple shawls. I’m sad to say I’m sure that is not all of it.

    I get drawn in and carried away with the joy and pleasure casting on for a new project brings. I seriously do not have any self control when it comes to this. I’m currently fighting the urge to cast on the Fox Paw scarf kit I ordered from Craftsy on their Black Friday special. It’s a sickness I tell you! Adding to this sickness is my desire to learn and expand my knitting pallet by learning new techniques and skills each year. This year I mastered short rows and sweater construction. Next year will be the technique used in the Fox Paw scarf and steeking (which I am terrified yet determined to do).

    I’m sure I am not the only knitter with the problem. I read posts on Facebook that other fellow knitters have posted about only being able to focus on one project at a time. I can’t decide if I envy them or feel sorry for them. I wonder how they manage to do it. Especially if they have lots of patterns in their library and the yarn to go with them.

    I’m trying very very hard to not start another project until I have completed at least half of the projects I have on the needles. I know this will not be accomplished before 2018 rolls around. I am going to make it my first resolution of 2018 to complete all of my in progress projects before Thanksgiving. This is going to be a difficult task, but if I want to get my knitting under control and stop the feeling of drowning in projects I need to stick with it and get it done.

    In addition to my knitting addiction, I also have my spinning wheel and weaving loom that demand attention. To be able to attend to those addictions, I need to get my craft studio all cleaned up and super organized. Another resolution for 2018. I have such grand ideas and plans for the new year. I’m looking forward posting about my progress throughout next year.

    Anyone else suffer from the same affliction? I’d love to hear your story! I’d also love for you to join me in this venture next year to free ourselves from all of these partially done projects, so we can cast on for new ones!!!

    General, Pattern Store Updates, Promotions

    Celebrate Fall with a Discount!

    Fall is finally here! It is my favorite season. When people ask what my favorite color is I usually say Fall. I love the browns and yellows, oranges and bright reds! 

    To help celebrate my favorite season I am running a special promotion in my Ravelry pattern shop Jess Knits. Use the code FALLROCKS to receive a 30% discount on any and all patterns in my shop. This promo code is good through October 1st. 

    I’d love to see more of my patterns knitted up on Ravelry. Right now my shop is relatively small but I have several designs in the works. Plus I am working on updating my very first few patterns and putting into my new pattern template. 

    Happy Knitting!