Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Never knew no good from bad

So, a few weeks ago, we were still in the dead of winter. My bigger knitting project (a cardigan) wasn't progressing, other creative ideas/execution not really was voraciously eating up most of my capacity*, and I wasn't happy about it. And I had a cold head!

*I know, this is a bit modern jargon-y, but it's the best description - not necessarily lack of time (though that too) but just having nothing much left when I get home.

It didn't take long to find a use for the Dream in Colour 'Smooshy' wool that turned out to be the wrong colours for Mum. And it's lovely stuff.
Me and my hat
This is the 'Skinny Skid' hat (slouchy version) from West Knits. It's not perfect, but this is the first hat I've made that I'm happy to wear out and about. I realised long ago that beanies are pretty unflattering on me. Plus, a beret or something with a little slouch causes less extreme hat hair. As long as I only have it on for a little while (mainly on the way to work), my unsophisticated hair style isn't much affected.

The pattern is a really interesting construction, starting with a double-knit band, one edge of which is cast off to become a sort of pocket. This was my first time double-knitting. It's not hard, but pretty slooooooow (this may have been related to my 'capacity' problems of recent weeks), made worse by having to do it all twice.

I started out knitting this as the designer intended, with two different colours. The band has one colour on the inside and one outside, then the body of the hat has single-row stripes throughout. I knit the whole band and a few rows of the rest when I decided that my two yarns (the other one was a dark purple) were too different in thickness - particularly obvious in the double-knitted part where my gauge was looser anyway. Also, although I had cast on for the largest size, the band felt very tight around my head, so when I started again I cast on a few extra stitches. In the meantime I had looked carefully at others' finished hats and concluded that I wasn't keen on the striping, so I decided to just work with the one colourway. The pictures published with the pattern show a striped hat, but the two colourways are quite close and it's a subtle effect.
Bells took these photos. Thanks!

I blocked it on a dinner plate, the common method for berets and tams, and then used the iron to steam the top of the hat thoroughly, trying to reduce that 'pouchy' effect. It's still not as smooth as I'd prefer. But I love having a warm hat to wear on icy mornings.

Now of course, it is spring, and there are a few icy mornings to come but the days are beautiful. My capacity problem has mostly dissipated, and I'm onto the sleeves of my cardigan - it's this one, with a couple of modifications. I'm also whipping up another tea cosy for someone who asked very nicely. Things are looking up and I feel more like myself again.


Bells said...

I never thought to steam press a beret too. I might try that and see what the effect is!

You did a lovely job. And you're so right that berets don't cause quite the damage that beanies might! Death to hat hair!

2paw said...

Oh, I know exactly what you man about beanies. I look terrible and gormless. I also know what you mean about capacity. I have capacity issues all the time!!
Love the hat, berets are Very Flattering and I like it plain too. I shall have to try steaming the next one I make. I've made two berets this year and I plan to make some more next year!!
Love that cardigan, very nice indeed.

Anonymous said...

Looks great Hot (head) Stuff!

Donna Lee said...

I have always hated hats because I get hat head. And now that I have longer hair, it's going to be worse. I need a larger, slouchy hat to not weigh down my curls.