Hey Barbara…have you met Tim Gunn?

gillianknits.comThis hat bears absolutely no relation to the hat I thought I was going to make when I cast on. As I was making this hat, I kept screwing up and making bad decisions, digging myself into design holes that threatened to be graves and cause me to say RIP!  My design style these days basically involves picking the next stitch in THE BOOK (A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker), deciding how many stitches around the hundred mark I should cast on to do the repeats, then wing it from there.  I am still pretty much only working with Patons Classic Wool, worsted weight.  When deciding how much to cast on, I take into consideration how much it looks like the stitch will draw in.  I go up a repeat or two if it looks like it will pull in a little or a lot, and down one if it looks like it will be a loose stitch. Knit-togethers and lots of colour work tend to draw in, at least the way I knit.

I cast on thinking I was going to be doing the Broken Plaid Pattern (pg 62) which is a repeat of 8, so I cast on 104 stitches.  I had a concept in mind, which I will probably make soonish.  As I was trying to set this up, I knitted the first row when I really should have purled and that got the bottom looking funny for what I had in mind, so I decided to put a patterny stitch below the colour work.  To the Fancy Texture Pattern chapter I went and found the next stitch to be Trinity, Cluster or Bramble Stitch on page 129 (luckily a repeat of four, so that would work).  Up I went for  awhile…time to switch to colour…may look funny…maybe put in a roll before…ok…do a garter stitch roll…gillianknits.comI probably should have decided to ditch “the concept” and go up from here because I thought it looked ok and I could have finished it up and had a decent hat, but no, I was still stuck on the colour thing, so roll it I did and then realized that I should be doing Bricks (also page 62), not the plaid anyway…still a repeat of 4 so phew…OK…do some colour work and ended up with… a big hot mess that had taken quite a bit of effort to get to….

a hot mess...

a hot mess…

The roll was too big and saggy, swamping the trinity stitch and it didn’t look good with the bricks.  When Heather was in high school, we spent a lot of (quality?) time together watching Project Runway.  Tim Gunn used to regularly come in to the design studio and find someone with a hot mess on their mannequin.  He always said the same thing…”make it work”.  He is one of my (sometimes annoying) design heroes because of this phrase, and I often hear him saying it to me in my head.  The thing about knitting is it takes a long time so he says it A LOT and I occasionally want to kick him as I knit toward what I hope will be a solution.  I actually had another row of bricks knitted before I realized this was NOT going to fly.  Before I took this picture there was a small rip back so the bricks would be the same height as the trinity stitch when I rejoined to the cast-on row, which makes the hat reversible.  I didn’t want to lose trinity stitch in my stitch count and have to redo it in another project.gillianknits,com

I decided once I got things joined back together that it would look funny on the trinity stitch side if I had a line through the pattern for no reason, so I looked and the design gods were smiling on me because the next fancy texture stitch was Allover Cross Stitch, pg 130, and it both had a four stitch repeat and would look good on the back…yeah!…I did this up to the decrease section, then realized that the only way to reduce this pattern well at the top would be in sets of 4 stitches.  I had 104 stitches which doesn’t lend itself to division AT ALL.  I decided to put a garter stitch top on with a 10 point decrease (I knit 2 together on the knit rows, getting rid of 4 stitches first then 10 per time until I was done).   Finally.gillianknits.com

 

…and silly me, I just realized I could have done it if I had got rid of one set of four, then done a 5 point decrease…oh, well, the garter stitch at the top echoes that at the bottom, so fine by me…I might also put another couple of rows of garter stitch before the cross stitch, but better done than perfect.  Maybe.

 

 

 

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