Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The weather outside is hat-worthy

I feel like one of those squirrels who spent the entire summer stashing nuts and forgetting to stash the pretzels to go with.  What was I thinking, knitting endless cold-weather socks and not a single cold-weather hat?

I've been trying to correct that, with mixed results.  The focus, of course, is on the handspun yarn I used for my warmer twined mitts (which turn out to be Warm Enough, whew), so as to be matchy.  And equally of course, I started with a twined attempt.

I used the same braid stitch from the mittens:

and planned to pair it with some very bulky black wool I've had kicking around for about five years.

It did occur to me that the contrast in weight might be a problem, but the more pressing issue was that after getting through the entire hat band, I realized the twining was giving me a hat with a 16" diameter.

You know what's hard?  Ripping out two inches of fingering-weight twined knitting.  Especially if you used a grabby yarn.

Returning to the drawing board, I started knitting a very long strip of plain ol' garter stitch.  Along the way I could see I was going to have uneven margins at either side - hello, joy of handspun - but I decided that would make a good design feature because there is no way I want to have to rip this hat out again.

When the strip was long enough to go around my head I decreased to make an angled finish, and handstitched it in place before running blanket stitch all around what was to be the hat-end of the strip in more of the same handspun.  I kept the blanket stitch pretty loose figuring I was going to be picking up each of those stitches with the very bulky black yarn.  But when I'd done that I realized I was back to problem number one, because it turned out I'd only made 60 blanket stitches and I don't care how bulky your yarn is, you are not going to get 23" out of 60 stitches on 4mm needles.

Note that I offer no picture of this stage.  It was about 11pm when I did my calculations, and rather than being sensible and waiting for morning to call Trish and borrow larger double pointed needles I opted for ripping out again and picking up with more of the handspun.

Right now, the hat looks like this:

as in, kinda messy.  And a little short on yarn (I have another ball a little bigger than the one pictured here, and then I'm done.  Time to do some stash-diving.)  I'm not sure if this will come out all right or not, because I'm mostly winging the design.  And by 'mostly', I mean entirely.

Speaking of design, I thought it would be cool if the middle of the forehead part was a bit longer than the rest of the brim.

I have a strong feeling that I will either regret this horribly or love it madly, rather than just being happy to put a warm thing on my head of a cold morning.

And that's how some of us react to sudden drops in temperature and crunchy snow on the ground around these parts, my friends.  I hope you're having a much more sensible day and I'll see you tomorrow, when I will have something pretty and comforting to show you (one way or another!)

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