The yarn was pretty and shiny, so I took it home….and made a hat. I am having trouble getting the shine on the photographs. I have taken it out in the sun, shined lights on it, etc. All to no avail. Take my word for it, it is shiny.
And speaking of shiny, this is a picture of our front yard last night. We had a small ice storm last week which turned things into a bit of a moonscape and the light from the street light across the road bounced off it. I thought it looked kind of cool.
It is a one stitch wonder, Garter Stitch Zigzag, pg 28. The pattern is somewhat lost in the busy yarn, but you can see a bit of the relief of the pattern.
I am having a bit of a crisis about THE PROJECT these days. After having spent most of the last year knitting like crazy from a 50 year old book, and having filled up 3 extra large Ziploc Space bags (the kind you suck the air out of with a vacuum) with hats, I begin to wonder WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING??? Is this just stupid? I guess if I wasn’t doing this I would be knitting something else anyway, so for now, I guess I will soldier on. 190 pattern stitches down, 354 to go…are you kidding me…seriously, this is stupid.
I felt I had to get rid of the Tulip Pattern, pg 25 because I kept thinking ugh! every time I looked at it. I did garter stitch instead of stockinette in the below and above rows of the pattern, but I feel these are just to sides of the same coin anyway. I used 99 stitches for this, then increased to 112 for the Navajo Basket, pg 75. I went back down to 104 for the Chevron, pg 26 because, being a simple knit/purl combination, it takes in much less than the colour work. I did a repeat of the Chevron pattern, then decreased to 88 for another go at the Navajo Basket.
At this point, I noticed that the Chevron wanted to collapse on itself. I had been planning to do stair steps with the Navajo Basket on the top, but I thought…lets go with this and I did another two folds, decreasing 16 stitches every time I changed patterns. I have accordianed the hat out a bit below so you can see the structure a little better.
I just looked at the stitch and automatically made the hat. I did change one thing this time, and that was I cast on fewer stitches (96) for the 4 rows of garter stitch at the bottom than I needed for the body of the hat (108). I have found that if you don’t do this, there is a tendency for it to flip up. This hat uses Interlocking Lattice, pg 278. I decided on 108 stitches because this is 18 repeats of the 6 stitch pattern. This way, I could decrease above 6 of the little intersections (every third one). I did a p2tog on top the intersection, then p2 tog on either side above this one two rows later and two rows after that. By this time, the patterns had joined back up with one stitch between, I did a sl 1, k2tog, psso to join them up, then p2tog on each side of this two rows later and two rows after that. I kept decreasing vigourously at this point and finished up at 6 stitches before running my tail through and pulling it up.After taking the pictures for the post, I was unhappy with the top and may have re-jigged it a bit, unfortunately, I had done such a great job at burying my ends that I couldn’t repick it. I would have carried the 6 knit stitches I got from knitting above the last 6 intersections up to the top. This would have given a bit of a star. Another time, maybe .
Just the ticket for our January/February weather here. I made the bottom band with Tricolor Basket Plaid, pg 74 and 120 stitches, then went back and picked up 100 stitches from the back of the second row and knit an inner band of knit one purl one ribbing. This gave me a double thick headband for the forehead and ears.
I joined both back together, reduced to 96 stitches and continued up the hat with Woven Diamond Pattern, pg 97. I gotta say, I am in love with these patterns that use the floats as decorative elements on the front of the work. This was one I had been savouring the thought of for a while. I am glad I like this hat, because I really wanted to make a decent hat with this stitch. I am also glad I was with my Canterbury Piecemakers (aka Wednesday coffee group) when I was about to do the top of the hat. Albertina said I shouldn’t do a big topper, just a button or something to bring the maroon back into play. I did 8 rows of garter stitch on the last 12 stitches, then k2tog around, did a row on 6 stitches and drew my end through. I used the end to secure the button on top.
To decrease, I did slip 1, k2tog psso at six points every other row, on top of one just completed set of diamonds and in between another set of diamonds.
Great news… I booked a six week trip to Eastern Europe yesterday. I am going with my brother Charles again. He was an excellent travelling companion a few years ago for Central America, so I am looking forward to this. We will arrive in Budapest on the 23rd of March, then work our way south to Greece and come back up to Budapest for me to fly out on May 4th, just in time to start work. I am hoping to get a new sleep apnea machine that is smaller for the trip. It also has the ability to work for one night on battery power, so this gives more flexiblity when travelling.I saw the two Cloverleaf Eyelet stitches on pg 170 and decided to stack them on top of each other for this hat. The Cloverleaf Eyelet Rib was only a 6 stitch repeat as written and the Cloverleaf Eyelet Cable a 7 stitch repeat. I started knitting the Rib on the bottom and I was not happy with the way I was doing the ssk. Things turn out differently if you slip the stitches knitwise, purlwise or a combination. I ended up settling on slipping the stitches knitwise. I originally added an extra purl between the pattern repeats because I wanted the whole thing to go like a watchcap, so I turned the 6 stitch repeat into a 7. When I changed over to the Cloverleaf Eyelet Cable and did this for a while, I realised that I had actually increased to an 8 stitch repeat because Barbara Walker had added a knit stitch between each repeat that was not written in the instructions. I was not happy with anything so I ripped it back all the way. This meant that I basically knit the hat twice if you count both rip backs together.
I decided that no matter what, I had dicked around enough and even if things didn’t match my vision, I was finishing anyway and moving on. I had cast on 108 stitches in the final time, this way I had 18 six stitch pattern repeats. I got rid of them by first reducing every third repeat. I did a sl 1, k2tog, psso over the cable , then every other row twice more. This left me with 12 repeats. I got rid of every other repeat the same way, then finally the last 6.
I was in one of my local wool stores, Wool Tyme, the other day and they had this Patons Allure in the deep discount area. It knits like a chunky so I cast on 54 stitches and did a band of stockinette around the bottom with a 6 mm needle. I switched to Classic Wool, worsted and a 4.5 mm needles, picking up one stitch in between each stitch, doubling the stitches to 108. I turned around on the needles as I did this so the curl of the stockinette would be to the inside instead of the outside.
I have done this successfully with lots of different yarn combinations. I just figure out how many stitches and which needle size I need for each yarn, then either pick up or reduce evenly around the hat as I am changing yarn and needles. It just happened that doubling the stitches was right for these two yarns, sometimes the ratio would be 4 to 5 or 3 to 2, for example. If you are going up a few needle sizes, it helps to do your last row in the smaller yarn with the big needles or things can get impossibly tight.
I continued up the hat using a combination of Single Eyelet Rib and Double Eyelet Rib, pg 46. I got rid of all the Single Eyelet Ribs first, then turned the Doubles into Singles and got rid of them at the top.
This second hat was done for a good friend of my sister in law, Anne. We were at Anne’s house and Jackie mentioned that her maiden name was Desroches. Her husband, Terry, had always jokingly called her some rocks, the English translation of her former last name. I thought this would be cool on a hat. I did the hat in Criss Cross Pattern, pg 73. It looked harsh so I put crocheted bands of Allure and strung them through behind the crosses, then made a topper. I am not sure about the Allure. I may redo the bands in a flat light blue.
She is definitely falling to pieces. But still in large chunks for the most part. The nice thing about this is that I can take a small piece with me if I need to. Although I am finding that it usually only takes me a couple of minutes to translate the stitch from straight needles to round in my head and fix it in my mind. That is what comes with having done 175 stitches already. I have a much better grasp of knitting stitches than I used to, even though I had already been knitting for almost 50 years when I started. At the beginning, I often had to chart the stitches out so I could do them in the round.
The other nice thing about the book falling apart is that I feel none of my usual reverence for it as a book. I am totally fine with scratching notes throughout and highlighting the stitches as I do them in the table of contents. Of course, my reverence for it as an inspirational work of knitting history grows constantly.
Today’s hat uses Double Mock Ribbing, pg 97 and Woven Diagonal Herringbone, pg 96. I dug in my bag of weird and wonderful odd balls and got one that is mostly cotton (80%) with a bit of glitzy nylon. It was called Gedifra Fiocco from Italy and was originally $7.75 a ball. I combined it with plain grey Patons classic wool. I cast on 96 stitches. For the Herringbone, that was 16 repeats. Basically the stitch is slip 3 with the float in front, then knit 3. One round of plain knitting, then shift the float one stitch to the left. To decrease, I ssk once in each repeat and still moved the float, but there were only 2 stitches between the floats. I did several rows like this, then ssk in each repeat again so both the floats and the in between parts had 2 stitches per. I did this again for a while, then decreased the in betweens to 1, then after a while, the float to one also. This left me with 32 stitches which I reduced first to 16 then 12, then made the rose. This seemed to maintain the integrity of the pattern almost to the top and the rest was hidden under the rose.