Spare me from myself, sometimes. This time, I had a concept. I was trying to get the feeling of one of those walls of art you see in galleries. I was thinking of one at the AGO in particular, but I could not find an image of it online. It took almost as long to plan this hat as to knit it.
I had to figure out the stitches to use, how I was going to fill the spaces with at least one repeat of each stitch. I had to center the knitting within the block, adding stuff that made sense. I decided I wanted all the “paintings” to line up top and bottom. I also needed the same amount of background between the individual “paintings”. I also made an attempt at framing them by surrounding them with garter stitch, but I wouldn’t call that particular aspect a success on the aran coloured hat.
The bottom, background and top were done in Diagonal Stitch, pg 120. I cast on 120 stitches and worked 8 rows. I then did two rows of garter stitch where I was going to place a “painting”, and continued with the Diagonal Stitch in between. This hat also used Twist-Stitch Diamond Pattern, pg 120, Variation Smocking, pg 134, Little Knot Stitch, pg 132, Peppercorn Stitch, pg 133, King Charles Brocade, pg 31, Pyramid Pattern, pg 29 and Twist-Stitch Waves, pg 124…8 stitches total.Once I had done 32 pattern rows and put the garter stitch on top of the “paintings”, I only had room for an aggressive decrease. I used 10 points of decrease and decreased every other row.
I went to movies last Tuesday (Oscar contenders, yeah!) while I was in the planning stages of the first hat and Christine, who was with me, said I shouldn’t do it in white, I should do different colours for the “paintings”. I knew I was going to do the aran coloured hat because I love the texture you see with the off-white wool. I told Alan when he got home and he said I had to do both. This one was done on two needles and you can see the seam to the left of the orange/purple blocks. Seams have always been a nemesis of mine. I will have to ask for help sometime. ANYHOW. I had the rainbow of balls from the hats last week and thought, what the heck.
Back to the planning notebook I went and worked out another layout, this time using Italian Chain Ribbing, pg 47 as the background and 114 stitches. This meant I had to leave 6 stitches in between, but unlike the Diagonal Stitch which had a two stitch repeat, I had to line the “paintings” up so that a full pattern repeat went up between them, and I had to fudge the patterns sideways as well as height-wise so they fit properly. The knitting was infinitely more complicated on this one, what with all that Intarsia going on and the balls getting tangled (themselves) and untangled (painstakingly by me). I outlined the paintings with a round of crocheted chain stitch to simulate frames before I finished the top.
I reduced in the last row to 108 so I had 18 of the 6 stitch repeats left. I decreased every 12th stitch, then every 11th stitch, etc maintaining the pattern as much as possible as I went. (9 points of decrease, decreasing one stitch every other row). This hat also used Pennant Stitch, pg. 29, Diamond Brocade and Double Diamond Brocade from pg. 30, English Diamond Block Pattern, pg 31, Inverness Diamonds, pg 32 and Diamond Stripe, pg. 33…7 stitches in all. Two hats, 15 stitches…not bad, eh Barbara!