Sunday, October 04, 2009

How my hubris was kicked on the butt

I used to think that, since I learned how to purl, nothing was difficult in knitting. Complex, maybe. Requiring attention, counting stitches, needing brute force to stick the needles in (nupps, I'm looking at you), but as long as I focused it would come out allright. Circular cast-on for a center-out shawl was a little difficult, but I got it after 4 tries. This hat, my first all-over colorwork, kicked my butt in severa different levels, though.
The pattern, End of May (ravlink), requires light worsted weight yarn and sportweight for the lining, but I was set on knitting it and I only had Merino Style from Knitpicks, which is a DK (I used Iris and Cornflower). I went up a needle size, to 3,75mm, and started it without swatching, with NatureSpun fingering for the lining. Almost the whole time I was working I felt like it would come out too small. Everytime I tried it on the stitches stretched so bad you could almost see the floats on the inside. Halfway through the hat I kind of found my gauge, so the first repeat was way tighter than everything else. You could even see it narrower than the top of the hat. Look with attention, you really can.
And the stitches on the lighter colour, which I was holding on my right hand, look all wonky and even twisted. They're not twisted. I checked. They just look weird. Everything puckered at all directions.
unblocked close-up
Then I had to sew in the lining.
My handsewing is even worse than my gauge, but I'm content enough that it doesn't show on the outside.
I blocked the hat over a balloon and I'm really happy with the way it looks now. The puckering disappeared, and almost all stitches relaxed a little. Plus, it fits a human head.
If I had to do it again, the only thing I'd change was adding maybe half a repeat to the lenght. As it is, it's kind of a bucket hat with the size of a beanie. I think it's a really cute pattern, very easy and straightforward, regardless of my lack of skills. I also think my lack of skills is a little smaller now, that I got a wearable item at the end, and overcame a childhood shortcoming and finally learned how to tie up a balloon in the process.
The hat will be on the mail as soon as I finish a few other items to send along. (Because a very thick 100% wool hat isn't much Equatorial weather friendly. It's a gift. Wish I could keep it.)


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Your technique is great. And the hat is not so bad, either.

Mandy said...

Great job! One of the things I love about knitting is that even if we feel like pros or know-it-all's, there's always something new to learn. I love it when knitting kicks my butt, but I come out the winner anyway. :)

Jennifer said...

Your hat is really pretty! I love the colors. And seriously, even after 40 years of knitting, I think the same things, "how hard can it be?" only to find out that learning is a process that often involves ripping out. Good thing I enjoy it all!

Sara said...

i love the hat.

if it helps you the shirt from my blog is a built by wendy pattern.