Sunday, October 12, 2014

Warm Bulky Hipster Hat

I designed this hat for my friend and photographer, Pablo Tsukayama. Like me, Pablo is also a scientist with a serious hobby - he is a very talented photographer! He has been nice enough to take pictures of me and my knitting projects for this blog and my etsy shop. Thanks to him, you are not stuck looking at my selfies (but if you want more selfies, follow me on instagram). Check out his website for more of his photos. 

To thank Pablo for being my photographer, I designed this Hipster Hat that is warmer than his current hipster hat. This pattern uses two strands of worsted weight yarn worked as one to make the hat even warmer (but could easily be made with any bulky yarn). The fit is very loose and it can be worn slouchy as shown or could even be folded over like a stocking hat (making it much less hipster).

The pattern for the hat can be found here. It is a very simple pattern and depending on your gauge, can be easily adjusted to make it larger or smaller.

Photo credit: Pablo Tsukayama

Thursday, October 9, 2014

T-shirt Lining for Knit Hats Tutorial

 I love knitting hats. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment and joy I have when finishing a hat and wearing it with pride. However, on the super cold and windy days, I often opt for a store bought hat, simply because it has a fleece lining and keeps my ears warm.

I solved this problem last year by designing a lining for my bulky hat with earflaps. Best of all, this lining is made out of stretchy knit T-shirt material, so it should fit most hats and heads (and provide yet another way to reuse old T-shirts - other T-shirt projects seen here, here, and here).


  1. Cut your T-shirt under the sleeves as shown. Then cut up the side so that you have one long rectangle of material.
  2. Lay your hat along the bottom of the shirt material. Begin cutting, using the hat as a pattern as shown.
  3. Flip your hat over onto the material and continue cutting. 
  4. Fold the cut portion of the T-shirt material in half. Using the hat as a pattern, trim the top so that the material forms a semi-circle.
  5. Line the material up, you should have two layers of material.
  6. Sew a seam along the material, allowing ~1.5 inches for the seam.
  7. Try on the lining to make sure it fits your head. If necessary, trim it a bit from the base.
  8. Sew the lining to the hat interior  ~1 inch from the brim of the hat. Also secure the top of the knit hat to the top of the lining at this point.
  9. Cut two triangle shapes and sew them to the inside of the flaps as shown.
Enjoy your warm homemade hat!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Go Cardinals Knit Hat

I moved to St. Louis in 2008 and over the years, I have developed from a bandwagon Cardinals fan to an actual fan. Last year, I was inspired by the Cardinals' post-season run and I designed this hat to show my support. I used cabling to give the hat a woven illusion. I can't wait to wear it during the 2014 post season and all future playoff runs.

The pattern can be purchased on ravelry here (information here) or here on craftsy. I used Hometown USA yarn, but any bulky yarn can work.

Thanks to Pablo Tsukayama for the awesome photos!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Monsters in Thrift Store Paintings

A while back, I stumbled upon this website that features monsters in thrift store paintings. I thought this concept was hilarious and immediately wanted to try it myself! I even google image searched "Monsters in thrift store paintings" for more inspiration.

I enlisted my artsy friend Erin in this venture and we lucked out and went to Salvation Army during their customer appreciation sale when everything in the store was 50% off! So Erin and I purchased our paintings and then spent the afternoon monster-fying them. 

"Autumn Picnic" - Monster by Heidi Arjes

"Untitled" - Monster by Erin Reinl

"I'm Hungry Too!" - Monster by Heidi Arjes

Friday, September 5, 2014

Police Box Arm Warmers

Check out these Doctor Who inspired Police Box fingerless mitts. Also pictured above are Police Box Legwarmers

I wanted to make a pair of Police Box Fingerless Mittens but I had a dilemma. I could not find any patterns I liked well enough. So I decided to design my own. I went through three versions of this pattern before settling on this one to write up and publish. The first version was actually my favorite but was more difficult as the colorwork began before the thumb gusset was complete and the finished product from that can be purchased at my Etsy site.

The pattern for these mitts can be purchased directly here on Ravelry (information page here). I will list the pattern on Craftsy very soon as well. 

As always, a big thanks goes out to Pablo Tsukayama my favorite friend-tographer for the awesome photos of me modeling the mittens! If you are in the St. Louis area and need a photographer with mad skills, check him out!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bacterial Cell Cycle Fingerless Mitts

Today is a big day for me as my very first first-author paper is published online today in Current Biology. Non-scientists can check out the press release here. I would like to celebrate by sharing my own #knityourthesis project - these bacterial cell cycle fingerless mittens.

Our lab cartoon detailing the bacterial cell cycle.
DNA is blue and the cell divsion protein FtsZ is in red.
My thesis research in the Levin Lab focused mainly on identifying how the bacterial cell cycle is regulated. In particular, I studied what happens to bacterial cells when you block them from dividing, as would be the case when you treat them with antibiotics that block the cell cycle. As outlined in my paper, I uncovered some previously unidentified regulatory mechanisms that ensure proper cell cycle progression, which is very important for maintaining bacterial cell populations. I also discovered that cells blocked for division enter a zombie-like state where they remain alive but can no longer reproduce. As a result of my work, I was able to star in a youtube video that explains the bacterial cell cycle here. Here is to hoping that goes viral and helps a lot of people understand the bacterial cell cycle.

I originally designed these cell division mitts as a present for my boss, Petra Levin upon my graduation. I based the design on a cartoon detailing the bacterial cell cycle that appears in almost all of the presentations by our lab. I liked the mitts so much that I am now making a pair for myself. I also am making a hat that details the bacterial cell cycle that I am sure will be featured in a future blog post.

The bacterial cell cycle begins with a newborn daughter cell (top left).
The DNA (blue) replicates and the cell division ring (red) forms at midcell (bottom left).
The ring serves as the site for new cell wall construction that septates the two new daughter cells (right - top is a cell about to divide, the bottom is the result).

Photo credit: Daniel Haeusser

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mouse fingerless mittens

Meet Kelsey Tinkum, the inspiration for another biology themed knit item. Kelsey recently received her PhD from Washington University where, as one facet of her PhD work, she studied the adverse side effects of chemotherapy using mice as a model organism. She also developed new tools to study the cell cycle and identified a novel mechanism of how one cell cycle gene is regulated. To see more of Kelsey's prolific PhD work, click here

To celebrate Kelsey's thesis defense and thank her for taking the time to read and provide insight to an early version of my own manuscript, I made her these mouse fingerless mittens to keep her hands warm when typing up her next paper. The pattern for these fingerless mittens can be found here on Ravelry and here on Craftsy

Photo credit: Pablo Tsukayama (the first 3, the 2 not as good photos were my own:))