WIP Wednesday: Worsted Weight Hats on Big Needles are So Gratifying
Insert that part where I apologise for falling off the blogosphere for a while. I just needed to get through August. I now have a sudden explosion of free time (which is AMAZING), so the only trick to posting more now will be actually remembering to do it (not as easy as it seems).
Quick update...I finished the Daenerys shawl I had been working on and I've worn it a few times and everyone LOVES it (I'm knitting one for a friend, so you'll get to see the progress on that one coming up starting next week). I also spent the Olympics dyeing some cashmere in one of my favourite new colourways and then designing my first ever actual design project (minus intarsia hats) to go with it. I'm trying to figure out how to chart the pattern now and hopefully it will get published soon. I have no idea how to go about finding test knitters, so it might go up untested, which I don't want to do, but I don't exactly have connections who want to test knit a thing. Jonas would do it, but it's a bit above his level (it's not hard, but he's never done cables before). It's fingerless mitts inspired by my new favourite fandom (The Raven Cycle). Let me know if you think you might want to test knit for me!
Finally, if you want to win a skein of my yarn (the new colourway I mentioned above!) or you just want a 10% discount to my shop, visit my good friend Mrs. Shoo at the Cultivate and Create podcast, listen to her episodes (you can just listen to the most recent one if you want, but I recommend a back listen. There are only 20 episodes and they all tend to be about 15-30 minutes, so it's manageable), and enter the contest she's got going on.
Okay.... quick general updates out of the way, let's talk WIP.
Random number generator landed on some Gale Woods Farm Finn Wool (worsted weight, spun from sheep raised at Gale Woods Farm right here in Minnesota) in a sort of natural tan colour with a grey undertone. It's a lovely, sheepy, rustic yarn, so I wanted to knit something lovely and rustic and classic, but also warm. I only had 232 yds (212 metres), so it wasn't going to be a big something. At first I thought cowl, but I ended up finding a lovely cabled hat pattern instead.
It actually took me longer to swatch for the hat than it did to actually knit the hat, I think. I just couldn't get the gauge right (it still isn't) and also make a fabric I liked. The pattern is a 38 or 42 stitch repeat, so it wasn't like I could fudge the stitch count overmuch. Thankfully, I ended up in a situation where I had the right gauge so I could only do 2 pattern repeats instead of 3 (it probably won't look balanced when it's on, but I guess I'll deal with that when I get there). I also knew it was going to take a weird amount of my yarn. Sure enough, I knit most of it (putting in extra ribbing so I could fold it over and still make the hat long enough while being able to start the decreases in the place called for by the pattern) and then ended up switching to the second ball just before the crown decreases, which would have left me with an awkward amount of yarn (which I hate). It only took me about 2 days of knitting to finish the hat, but the decreases aren't charted, so you're sort of left on your own to figure out how to maintain the cable pattern while decreasing, and I definitely did it wrong. That, combined with not wanting an awkward amount of yarn left, made me rip it back. I also dropped down a needle size since (as usual) the hat was too long for my tiny head.
So I've basically already knit this once, but I'm reknitting it with smaller needles and I've not added any lengthening to the ribbing. Hopefully the crown decreases will go better this time and the hat will fit right. It's still a fun, quick knit; the cable pattern is really intuitive; and the yarn is lovely and rustic and has a delightful hand to it. I can't wait to wear it once winter starts, since I think it will be fantastically warm.