Friday, January 08, 2010

Lots to say...

Lots to catch up on, but mmm...what to write first? Most recent, or most not-recent?

Okay, more on my hat addiction.
I was a confirmed non-hat wearer until the winter of 1995. I had a student teaching placement, and frugal me walked a long way (2 miles one way) instead of taking a second bus. Part of my walk took me through the largest mall in the area, and I bought a black velvet 'bucket' hat. Actually, now that I think of it, the previous summer I had bought a straw hat that I really loved. But prior to this black velvet hat, I can't recall me having a winter hat! Earmuffs, yes.
I had been knitting for a little over a year (learned as a child, didn't really pick it up again until some friendly competition between housemates), but hadn't made a hat. Some terrible mittens... This hat turned me into a winter hat person. Ever since, I have been trying to create the perfect hat. It's so hard to balance trendy and practicality! Do I want to look like a (warm) dork, or a (cold) style maven? However, the decision is usually made for me--I look like a dork no matter what hat I try. The best hats on me tend to have a brim to balance out my tiny head, but that style doesn't happen much in knitted winter hats. I could knit and felt a bucket hat (chicknits) but that won't really keep my ears warm. I've knit earflap hats and they're not bad, but on an adult, they're way up there on the dork scale. However, years ago I decided to embrace my inner dork since I knew it was a losing battle anyway, LOL!.
This winter the floppy, slouchy hat is all the rage. You saw my first attempt (the Swedish Chef hat). I decided to use this lovely soft, flopsy, Sirdar Eternity yarn to try a different pattern. I don't feel like going to Ravelry, but I think it's "Star Crossed Beret" or something. However, my version, for some reason, is no where near slouchy like the pictures. But the textured look is new in my hat stock. Not that it's easily visible wiht this yarn, LOL. It's cute, not terrifically warm due to the lofty/nubbly texture of the yarn, and sits a little funny on my head due to my hair.Then, the winter issue of came out. And, dontcha know, there's a slouchy hat. It called for a 50-50 wool/cotton blend. Well, I knew that wasn't suitable for a winter hat for here. I bought some LionBrand Wool Ease Thick n Quick. It seemed to be about the same gauge, but instead of casting on 48st, I ended up casting on 54 sts on the third try. It felt warm, but then I noticed that unlike Wool Ease (worsted), Thick n Quick is only 10% wool. Which makes it lousy for mittens. I finished the hat quickly once I got the right number of sts, but I knew, deep down, that it was NOT the right hat. I forgot to switch to larger needles until row 4 of the pattern, then halfway through the crown I decided to go from 8mm to 9mm, and it still wasn't very floppy. But I wasn't ripping it out till I finished, and tried it on, and had a good laugh.
Trying to salvage any hopes at a trendy look didn't really work. What's the point of a winter hat that doesn't cover your forehead or ears?!

But I liked the yarn, especially how the brown had flecks of burgundy in it so it didn't look too dull and would look good with my burgundy coat. I went back to 8mm and 48st and cast on using 'alternate cable cast on' to give a nice edge and did a 1x1 ribbed hat. Even though I ripped back the crown and redid the decreases, it was still done in a day. It could have been a bit looser as it likes to crawl up my head. I can cover my ears pretty much, and then have a little cuff at the front. I might stitch that up as it tends to flip down over my glasses. I thought the ribbing would make it nice and dense feeling, but the wind still gets through, and the acrylic makes me sweat and itch. And it took just a bit too much to get two hats from one skein. But two balls should get 3 hats. Or, maybe I should put a big dorky pompom on top?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!