Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spinning yarn for a handknit hat

Special events are a perfect opportunity to show your love for somebody, and of course, handmade things are fantastic at doing that.  If you read Hugs, you probably make stuff like birthday or cheer-up or You're Wonderful presents all the time.  But do you ever do it for yourself?

I did, a few years ago.  A pair of socks (surprise!) and what made them special was that I set a target date for them to be done.  Seems like nothing, but every time I wear those socks now I feel loved.

So a few weeks ago, when I really did not think I could stand one more day of grueling, relentlessly cold and grey winter - clearly, I underestimated myself - I thought Yep, time to make myself something.  A hat.  Just for the beauty of something different to put on every morning for cryin' out loud.

I got this roving ('Foxhunt') in a Twisted Fiber Art club and though I didn't think of it before I got the gift idea, the colours are really perfect for me.

The greens match my eyes and my special Italian driving gloves, and the orangey bits will match my other special Italian driving gloves (ahem).  Plus, handspun hat!  My three girlfriends from school have hats from me, and I wanted one too.

Bonus matchy-ness: these colours look fabulous with my fingerless gloves, should I ever choose to wear the combo together.

There was some rushing involved, because there was a dreamy possibility that winter might end before I was done even with my due date.  I spun the four sets of singles early enough...

... although I have to admit that by the time I got to the fourth one I'd stopped caring whether I was filling the space neatly...

... but the plying happened just four days ahead.

Notice anything odd about these two?  Something not quite The Same?  Because I did.

SO much more barber pole in one than in the other.

But I had no time to fret about it because: weighing and skeining and also tying, lest it tangle up in its bath.

To say nothing of drying time.  Thankfully it was extremely cold out (so much for winter ending), the furnace in the house was kicking on all the time, and my air-dry laundry hangs in the room where the furnace lives and radiates pipe arms out all over the rest of the house.  So by the next morning, I was ready to cake and cast on.

Actually knitting the thing took hours though.

I used my Instant Love Hat pattern thinking I would be listening to a yummy audiobook for three hours tops, but I didn't get the shape I wanted at first so I fiddled with the timing of the increases, and then I thought it should be longer, and then I started missing individual decreases in the crown.  Eventually, at hour five, I put a ton of markers into the mix so I'd catch every K2tog.

After that it was smooth sailing (except for the part where I almost ran out of yarn, ahem.)  .

You'll have to hold on for the glamour shots and the end of this story but in the meantime, I sure hope you're thinking of something special you can give yourself next time you deserve a special treat.  Tiny knitting disasters aside, it's so much fun when you do!

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