Monday, January 25, 2016

Black Hole

"Make me a slouchy beanie, close but not tight, thick ribbed but not double layer, exactly like this one" she says as she hands me a commercially produced Toronto Maple Leafs beanie, knit with yarn so fine it must be thread, and is full needle rib made into a double layer, cut and sew shaping at the top, and a true beanie.


Expressive language is really challenging for Megan.  I  wasn't 100% sure what to make!  We found a soft, fine-enough black yarn first up.  "Bebe Luv" by Easy Knit, found at Wal-Mart.  I had bought it to make a Pocket Puppy, but after making a Pocket Kitty with a white version, I was second guessing this choice.  So I welcomed the opportunity to use it up before I could get going on the Puppy.  The yarn says it has a gauge of 22st/4" on 4mm needles.  I'm not too sure about that.

Bad choice.  This yarn, while soft, is a nightmare.  I took it downstairs to work, and when I finally found a bit to pull out, a big huge glob come with it.  I knew better than to try to just work straight from the glob, so I went back upstairs to wind it with my old electric winder.

I'm not sure now if this is from the initial glob, or from later when I ripped the hat out.

Oh lord.  The yarn was tangled, not just a simple blob.  The yarn is very, very soft.  It took a few tries and then I realized I should change the simple gear on my winder to make it wind slower.  The worst thing though was the static!  I know it's winter, and I assume it's dry in here...but this yarn stuck to me like glue.  And to the cupboard.  And it picked up every speck of dust and dog hair.

I spent a long time looking for a simple, shaped, beanie in 1x1 rib for the standard gauge.  I asked on Facebook.  I should have taken this as a clue.  There is no pattern out there because it is a BAD IDEA.  I swatched, I let it rest.  I thought a bit, I let myself rest.  I was going to conquer this.

I should have given up.  A sane person would have.  Problem after problem.  The first attempt at a decrease row and moving all those stitches over made me realize this was a bad idea.  I kept going.  Something went wrong and I had to totally start over.  Got a ways done, had a problem, got it fixed, kept going...and thought, "wasn't I at 32 rows last time I looked?".  Indeed, the tripper for the row counter had somehow been turned and wasnt' tripping the counter.  Ever tried to count rows black ribbing on the standard gauge while it's still on the machine?

I tried dividing the hat into four sections and decreasing each side of the first section, to make a triangle and sew up the seams later.  This probably would have worked, but as I got closer to the first point, there was too much strain between it and the section next to it.  I realize now I should have moved those stitches of the first triangle over, closer to the next section in hold.  Duh.

I ripped that back (fun!  Ripping back decreased stitches in black ribbing on the standard gauge machine).  Somewhere around now I discovered additional lights in our basement, but they were causing a lot of glare off all the metal parts of the machine.  I searched the house and found a headlamp.  That helped a lot.

I went back to the original idea of shaping, but this time I would just decrease a bunch of stitches and move some over.  Random.  This sort of worked, and as I got less stitches, I was able to get more into a pattern.  I had no idea how it would look though.  I was up to the row count I had wanted, but still had stitches left, so I started decreasing every row to flatten out the top.  Eventually I was left with just a few stitches and gathered it up and off the machine.

I dutifully sewed it up, using the headlamp, even during the day.  I thought it looked best with a bit of a folded hem:

But no, Miss Megan insisted on no hem.  But it wasn't a beanie then, I said.  But it was slouchy.  But you wanted a beanie?  No, she wanted a "slouchy beanie".  Whatevs.  She did say it needed a pompom.  I complied, and snuck in a few reflective threads that had been separated when I was making other things with the reflective yarn and trimmed the ends.  I don't think I used enough of them though.

I had read that a trick to making sure a pompom stays together is to use thin cotton, and wet it with hot water so it will shrink when it dries.  I tried this.  As I was tightening the tie, it broke.  Ugh!!!  I was able to slide the ends around so I had enough to knot and feed through the hat.  I don't know how it will last though.  The pompom looked better after steaming, though I see some ends that need re-trimming!
 When I tried to take a picture, the pompom was too side-heavy and the wig head kept falling over.  Not even at this point could this hat give me an easy time!!
In the end, Megan really likes it.  She can stretch it over her hair when she wears it up (she has a LOT of hair!).  The only problems--it still attracts dog hair and dust, and it's impossible to see inside her black skating bag!

I do have a yarn in to report, but I can't find the receipt :)

Yarn In: 0gr
Yarn Out: 73gr 1037gr = 1110gr
Balance:  1110gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $0

No comments: