Ravelry Group: Nikki Wagner Knits

I recently started a Ravelry group (Nikki Wagner Knits). Join us to chat about my designs and learn about upcoming events and news. Thanks for supporting what I do! It encourages me to work harder and be better at the craft knowing that fellow knitters enjoy my designs.


Foxtail Hat


Photo Credit Nikki Wagner

Foxtail Hat pattern creates a warm and versatile hand knitted hat. The brim is worked as 1×1 ribbing and the main hat is worked in an easy-to-make, repeating chevron pattern. It’s topped with a gigantic Pom-Pom, which I absolutely love! Made with  large needles in bulky yarn Foxtail Hat will knit up quickly and provide the perfect amount of warmth for even the coldest Winter adventures. You’ll be amazed at how fast it knits up – perfect for last minute gift ideas!

The chevron pattern is worked from a series of cross-over stitches, which are separated by simple garter stitch. The stitch pattern is repeated 4 times as you work through a round, so that you don’t always have to look down at the pattern once you get the gist of it. Foxtail Hat is unisex and two sizes are provided to create a well-fitted for a man or a woman.

The best part of all: this pattern is provided to you for FREE  by Cascade Yarns, and it is designed specifically for their bulky weight yarn Nevado. Click here for a direct download link to a pdf of this free pattern from Cascade Yarns’ website.


Photo Credit Nikki Wagner

This pattern is perfect for adventurous beginning knitters who are looking to learn cross-over stitches and who are looking to become more experienced in decreasing and knitting in the round. For more experienced knitters, you’ll love how quick and fun this pattern is. It’s perfect for the times when you need a quick knit-fix.

Helpful Guides

  • In case you don’t have a pom pom maker: There are many fabulous tutorials available, if you would prefer to make your pom pom without a commercial pom-pom maker.  Here is a link to one of my favorite pom pom making video tutorials (from Bernat Yarns with Vicki Howell).
  • Cross-over stitches: If you have never knitted a cable pattern before, this hat is perfect for gaining the experience! For this hat, I used a cable needle to cross the stitches, however one of my test knitters made the twisted stitches without a cable needle.

Finished Measurements & Size

  • Two sizes: S/M (M/L)
  • 18″/46 cm (19″/49 cm) head circumference. To fit up to 22.5″/57 cm (23.75/60 cm) head circumference.


  • Suggested Yarn: Cascade Yarns® Nevado 39% Llama, 38% Wool, 23% Nylon 100 g (3.5 oz)/164 yds (150 m) 1 skein in color #04 (Squirrel) (for both sizes)
  • US 8 (5 mm)/16” circular knitting needles
  • US 10 (6 mm) Set of 5 DPNs or longer circular needle for magic loop method
  • US 10 (6 mm)/16” circular knitting needles or size to obtain gauge
  • Yarn Needle
  • 1 Stitch Marker
  • 3 3/8” Pom Pom maker
  • Cable Needle


  • 15 sts x 24 rows = 4” (10 cm) Blocked, in the round, in 1×1 rib with US 8 (5mm) knitting needles.
  • 16 sts x 23 rows = 4” (10 cm) Blocked in the round, in cable pattern with US 10 (6 mm) knitting needles.

Skills needed

  • Casting on
  • Working in the round with circular needles and double-pointed needles
  • Knitting & purling
  • Decreasing and increasing
  • Working cross-over stitches on a cable needle
  • Making a pom-pom

Photo Credit Nikki Wagner

Thanks goes to…

  • Cascade Yarns for commissioning this pattern for Nevado and for providing yarn support for this project.
  • Technical Editor Brittney E.
  • My lovely Test Knitter for this project Nancy W.

I would love to see your finished Foxtail Hat on Instagram, twitter, so please tag it with #foxtailhat and/or #NikkiWagnerKnits. Please also share your progress and finished projects on Ravelry, I knit under the name NikWagner! And click here to find the Ravelry page for this pattern. Happy Knitting, friends!

Foot rest revival

Last year we bought a pouf (bean bag foot rest) from Target and it was a big hit in our household. We have a small place and needed something to rest our feet on, and it needed to be toddler friendly (no sharp corners). So the foot rest pouf seemed to be the answer.

After only  a few months of blissful foot-resting it became evident that the little foam beads inside the pouf were losing their, shall-we-say, poufiness. It’s not as easy to rest your feet on a limp sack of lumpy fabric. In an attempt to reduce waste and utilize my craft-loving nature, I decided to refill the pouf and bring it back to its original poufiness. It’s pretty easy to refill, so if you have one of these foot rest poufs from Target, this is what you can do to to bring it back to its former glory.

My supplies included:

  • Scissors (probably could have used a seam ripper instead)
  • Bean bag filler ($25/bag)
  • Optional supplies: Thread and needle – I thought I would hand stitch the seams after I finished the project, but in the end it wasn’t needed. However, I added it to the supplies list in case someone wants to rework the seam.

Find the zipper opening. Look for the zipper opening along the bottom edge of the pouf. It’s pretty easy to find, but you’ll quickly see that the zipper pull is tucked under the seam a bit. This is where a pair of scissors or a seam ripper come in play.

Rip the seam. I decided to cut the seam on both ends. I stopped just before the the cross-stitch at the each end of the seam. If you cut or rip across the cross-stitch, then you may have to mend that later (so don’t do that).

If you can cut both ends of the seam (approximately 1 inch on each side) then you can find the zipper pull a little easier. I discovered that there are two layers of zippers, which are situated at opposite directions under the seam opening. So, it will prove to be helpful to rip or cut the seam at both ends.

Pull the zipper. The zippers don’t have pull tabs on them, so you’ll need to create a make-shift pull tab. I slipped the threading needle through the slot where the zipper tab would have been, which made it much easier to pull the zipper. Otherwise, I wasn’t able to move that silly zipper even a milometer. If you don’t want to risk pricking your finger with the threading needle, then I am sure a tooth pick would work fine as well.

After you’ve figured out how to open the zipper, then you’ll see there is one more zipper. Open the second zipper in the same manner. Well done – now have access to the inside of the pouf.

Fill the pouf. Filling the pouf with foam beans proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be.  Granted, I also had a toddler helping me, so I quickly learned that I needed a container to transfer the beans from package to pouf. I ended up using a large measuring cup to pour the beans. It worked just fine. I will add, however that filling the pouf outside was not my brightest idea. Next time I do something with tiny foam beans I will do it inside my house. It was impossible to pick all the foam pieces off the grass. It’s a real mess! Anyway, if you have all the foam balls inside, then you can just sweep them up (I assume). I attempted to fill the pouf as much as I could. And that was that!

Close the zippers. Easy enough, right? In the same manner that you opened them, close them.  I should add that I decided not to rework the seams after I closed the zippers. So, if you do the same, pull the zippers as far across the seam as possible to conceal the zipper pull under the seam’s edge.

All done! In all honesty, I am not sure how many people this post will help , but I was certainly proud of my efforts to beautify without buying a new pouf, however, the beans are a little pricey ($24.00). Next refilling I will probably use our shredder to shred some old newspaper (or junk mail).


Take a hike. Featuring Delano Peak hat.

Take a hike. Featuring Delano Peak hat.


I just started using Polyvore, which is a website where you can piece together looks from various fashion resources and put together a fashion collage. It’s great – I can take my designs and pair them with different outfits from all the available labels and clothes imaginable. Loads of fun! This fashion collage (above) features my Delano Peak Hat with various other clothes items I found from REI and Patagonia.

Delano Peak Hat


Delano Peak Hat is inspired by Delano Peak, the highest point in Utah’s Tushar mountain range. Easy stranded work in the hat’s body creates an eye-catching mountain-peak design. Charts are provided for a fun color-work design, and written instructions are provided for the brim and crown shaping.The design includes 3 adult sizes and is topped off with a pom pom.

Two different colors of yarn are used to create the mountain peak color-work design. Each color requires no more than 137 yds (125 m) of sport weight yarn to complete the project.

This is my first self published design and you can purchase it in several places, just click on the links below and they’ll take you a purchasing page:

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Designing for 2016

Last year was a record knitting design year for me. Four of my designs were released in 2015: (from left to right), Oakwood Poncho, Twist & Tweed Collection from Knit Picks; Elinor Handkerchief, Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2015; Marianne Handkerchief, Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2015; and Sylvan Hat and Mittens set, Knittin’ Little Winter 2015.

The designs all use different knitting techniques, and all have the adventurous knitter in mind. My hope is that seasoned knitters will be excited about the design elements and stitches, and that beginner knitters will discover a new technique (or two) from my designs. Continue reading

Designing as Soul Soothing

“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.” ― Elizabeth Zimmermann

I love that quote from Elizabeth Zimmermann, except I would amend it a bit to say that designing knitwear is more soothing to my soul than knitting is. The puzzle work involved in each design challenges my mind in a wholly positive way. My confidence is stroked and I feel more centered; although, it can be super stressful at times.  Recently, I have desired to be more mindful in the mundane. Mundane can become so automatic and thoughtless. But in actuality the mundane is life: cleaning, re-cleaning, cooking, eating, sleeping, exercising – you know, every day life stuff. And even though I knit everyday, it doesn’t seem to be part of the mundane to me.  It feels alive and engaging, and I think that it escapes the mundane because I focus  on the designing opposed to the knitting.  Designing brings the mundane to life for me.

Finding my niche in designing was a happy little accident. I have dyslexia and following instructions is tedious and frustrating.  And knitting patterns have a language system of their own, so I found it very difficult to stay focused on designs written by other people (and I still do). What I started doing naturally, is looking at patterns I liked and then modifying the pattern as I worked each section.  This helped me enjoy the knitting process much more, and it created a way for me to avoid constantly looking at the pattern for direction. When I tried that I would miss too many things in the written pattern and end up feeling like frustrated and dumb (for lack of a better word). So, in some ways I started designing without realizing it by modifying patterns in my head and guessing my way through some of my favorite designs.

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