Monday, December 17, 2012

Sharp Dressed Man

The photographer I've been working with requested a classy, fedora and bow tie set and showed me some pictures.  Ohhh.  So cute.  However, I will admit to hesitating...way too long...I knew I would have to do it in crochet.  And I knew I'd need a pattern.  How on earth do you get the shaping at the top?  You know, the crease in the front?  I searched on Ravelry quite a bit, and it appeared I was going to have to buy a pattern and the best option seemed to be  Okay, it's reasonably priced, the website looks well done, and there's a discount for buying several patterns, and the recommended yarn was one I happened to have in my stash in black already (though I purchased another ball, just in case.  You'll see tomorrow what that became, and how that lead to needing another ball...).  I bought the fedora pattern, the bow tie pattern, and a couple other ones(I had to play with the exposure and contrast so you could see the details. This set is jet black!)
I got started on the fedora, and discovered that it's just a regular, start at the top, hat!  There's no special shaping for the fedora crease.  The trick is to crochet it fairly tight, and then shape it by hand by pinching it.  I did add a couple extra rounds before the brim increases, it seemed really short (there was no row gauge given, but I was meeting the stitch gauge).  I have been a little in the dark about just how tiny newborn heads are...just as I was finishing this, I did get to see a 7 day old baby.  TINY head.  This hat did turn out to be the size the pattern said--13.5"--but's it not stretchy (due to the tight crochet and also possibly the satin band).  I had re-do it a bit bigger as it wasn't going ON the baby's head.  The pattern pictures do show it perched on top, but also that it's a great hat for everyday wear.   Not so, if it's perched just on top, and no way would a non-stretchy 13.5" hat fit the whole 0-3month range!
 I then made the bow tie.  I will say, I was disappointed that this was a paid-for pattern.  It uses the same yarn (Bernat Shetland Chunky), but no gauge was given, but I assumed it should be the same, based on the hook.  You start out with a chain, then work into 5 chains using (I think, don't remember now) double crochet.  However, the way it was written was not really clear and it would have actually appeared that each row would have one less stitch.  I knew that wasn't right, and although I didn't know exactly how it should turn out, it appeared that it was to be a 5st rectangle, 8" long.  Then you join the start and ends, and seam by crocheting together.  I couldn't quite wrap my mind around how to align the pieces; don't know if that's my inexperience showing or the pattern is not clear.  Got it seamed.  Then, the pattern is pretty much tells you to wind yarn around the middle of the bow tie to make the "knot", and then to make a chain to the desired length.  No advice on the length, or how to attach it to the bow.  I really needed to know how long to make the chain.  And just a chain seemed really wimpy, so then I single crocheted back on the chain.  After it was used in this photo shoot, I had to shorten the tie, so I decided to re-do the bow using one less double crochet.  If the hat isn't over-sized, I don't think the bow tie should be.
 I knew the hat needed a hatband, and although I had a braid that was suitable, I went for some grosgrain satin ribbon.  I tried several different items I had laying around for the detail, but none of them really made me happy.  I kept wanting a feather.  After wandering around Michaels' I found a bag of black feathers.  Good thing it's a large bag, since the dog ate the first feather...
It's really hard to see the front crease! 
To make the diaper cover, I decided to give a crochet pattern a try.  I went with this one as the gauge would be close and it seemed popular.  I can understand why photographers like these in this style, much more adjustable.  I played with my button stash, and nothing worked.  Then I tried a cuff link, and it worked REALLY well!  However, it didn't work on the hatband, and I didn't want to give away my cuff links.  But keep it in mind for later.  If you go with a button, make sure to sew it on loose...even put the layers together and sew the button on through the layers (between stitches, so it is able to open still).  I found a package of black, glittery buttons from Michaels' and there were assorted sizes.  Subtle, but a bit of sparkle.
The diaper cover turned out to have some issues...the little flaps weren't staying tucked nicely.  I added inside buttons, but they might get in the way of the main button.  Two buttons instead of one might be a better option, though the photographer said it was annoying to do the button anyway.  Might just stick with the other pattern, but make sure to do drawstring waists.

I'm quite pleased with this set.  Again, had to push myself out of my comfort zone, but I think that's a good thing! The scale says it's 106gr, but I used just under one 100gr ball.  I doubt the two buttons, ribbon, and feather weigh 10gr?

Yarn In:  20 354gr
Yarn Out:  106gr + 16 137gr = 16 243gr
Balance:  4111gr more brought IN than used up
Costs:  $524.43/358 days = $1.46/day

But ummm....I did pick up some more yarn last Thursday....

1 comment:

SouthFrontenacFibres said...

Love it! I found your site by "googling"..I love that word, and saw that you added your blog to the Canadian Living Craft Blogs and decided to check it out! I've added you to my bookmarks...

You are absolutely right about about knitters feeling the need to have inspired me to make something to be donated!