Friday, August 17, 2007
Gee, That's Swell
Pattern: Swell from Knitty Summer 06
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Maroon and some gifted acrylic goldenrod color
Needles: Clover US 4 circulars, and some aluminum dpns from my mom
Notes: It took me a long time to get this project rolling. Mike asked me to make him a hat, oh, I don't know, in June, and he picked out this pattern. Then, we had to pick colors. We went through my stash, which is mostly acrylic yarns I was gifted in college, and he originally picked dark brown and this goldenrod color. That color combination was far too ugly for me to handle, so I convinced him to go for this maroon as the main color instead.
Then, I tried to work the pattern top down, since I wasn't convinced I could work the casting on after knitting the earflaps. Luckily, it worked (third time's the charm)- I used a backwards loop caston instead of my usual longtail, and all was well. It only took two days after that: one for the flaps and the hat, and another for the finishing.
This pattern come out really really small. Even though I was knitting the large size, the first time I finished the hat, using the pattern as written (beginning the crown decreases immediately after the wave design), it came out more skull-cap sized than winter-hat sized. So I ripped out back to the design and added another twelve rows of maroon before starting the decreases. Then, the earflaps were teeny tiny and I had to work some magic to enlarge them after the hat was done. I picked up stitches along the edge of the flaps, and worked garter stitch for five or six rows, with some strategic increases to accomodate the triangle shape.
After all the modifications and restarts, it's a huge success. The night before I fixed the earflaps, I went into the bedroom to find Mike lying in bed with this hat on! He's been calling it his Favorite Hat and wearing it pretty much constantly around the house. It's also been in the high 80s here, so him wearing a wool hat is an even bigger compliment!