Saturday, August 30, 2008

Square hats, heart hats - and yet winter is at an end,

mmmm ... my timing as usual is darn near perfect (not). Here I am knitting hats galore and the weather turns spring like, all warm and sunny and balmy even. Here in the Pacific Rim in the southern hemisphere - well tomorrow is officially spring and whilst I don't expect nature or the solar system to respond to arbitrary calenders invented by us mortals - well spring kind of spung today, a day early. So yes today I have another finished hat, and I've another hat started to show you, I've also made another a fish or three for the pile waiting to be added to my Waste-not-want-not blanket. I'm so glad that I'm not alone if feeling sad for the reporter of the 'knitting is the new black' type article in my last post, I am thinking I might drop in for a drink this week if they are knitting there again, no harm in meeting other knitters right?

So ... after knitting the Fake-Isle hat using the Noro silk garden and a dark petrol yarn, I had some Noro and some dark petrol yarn left over. It was pointed out at night night recently that Jared Flood had a free hat pattern up on Ravelry, his Turn a Square hat, and its pretty nice. So I cast on and kept knitting to use up my one ball of Noro. I like this hat, Toby likes this hat, Bear likes this hat. Simply put - its a very nice hat. I'm not sure why, probably because its a JF design - he designs nice stuff, and the Noro sure makes for interesting stripes, and the colour shifts keep it interesting, and its most defiantly a manly kind of a hat. I still have some Noro left over - do you think I could squeese 3 hats from one ball of Noro?

This hat, on the other hand, is not very manly, it is most defiantly a girly kind of hat, even though it contains blue. I've got two things to tell you about this hat, first all the yarn came into my stash as white sport weight yarn, and I dyed it using lichen and the indigo vat at work - I'm so proud of me! I made 3 colors that go together. Second thing is this is Intarsia in the round (cue dark dramatic music, really dark, really thunderous please).

Which is not fun - evidenced by the 14 little butterflies of yarn hovering around the hat. I belong to a sub-section of the local guild which offers a knitters study group to Dunedin knitters who want to go beyond standard knitting practice. Its fun, informative and neat to be part of a group of knitters who are not afraid of new techniques. A little band of extreme knitters if you will.

I do get the point of intarsia, little motifs or big for that matter knit into things, not everything has to be stranded. I also get that intarsia and stranding do different things, some times one is better. I understand its good to know how to intarsia in the round, and this exercise made use of yarn overs to prevent gaps in the work, apparently any short row technique works which is cool to know. But it was not fun .. not fun at all. I learned that Intarsia, butterflies, and continental are not a good mix, and reverted to English style throwing. Throwing allowed me to keep the yarn between the butterfly and the work short, and prevented tangles. I did learn how to make a center pull butterfly - that is a useful thing to know.

And once the intarsia work is done, well its almost worth it. I made this pattern up, stole a heart motif from busy chart with a lot of other stuff going on, and repeated it around the brim of the hat, I resized the hat a little to make the repeats work out perfect, but could have done a another repeat - the hat will be far to small for Poppy to wear. I had white and 3 colours, and ended up with 7 hearts repeating around the hat - 8 or even 9 would be better next time because then it might fit Poppy (yes there might be a next time - it is pretty). I'm trying to repeat the lower border around the top - and frogged that top boarder 4 times last night before before knitting up again the version I knit the first time. Bear was watching an Inspector Morse spin off movie - so I had plenty of time to fiddle with it. And after all that Intarsia and the butterflies and the purling back and the tangles - well frogging a 7 row decorative band 4 times without a life line (will I never learn?)seemed mere-childs play.

The not so great bit is here, with all the ends to weave in, I could have woven these in as I knit - but I know from bitter experience long ago that weaving in coloured ends under a white background is begging for distortion and show thru. I'll weave them in with a needle latter, and keep blue on blue, white on white, and mauve on mauve.

And fish - my fish blanket came back from a loan, M had borrowed it to see how I had sewn it up. We talked briefly yesterday and I suggested we might have to have a wine and stitch fish night some time, her with her multiple of fish and me with mine. I'm not sure how much stitching we would do - but it would be fun, and I'd like to see another fish blanket. So spurred on by the blankets return, I've knit another 2 and a bit sardines for my blanket, I have knit a few socks this year and my fish blanket is where I put my sock yarn scraps, right now I have a fair sized pile of left over sock yarn for more fish. The pattern I'm using is here, but I pretty much knit them from memory, cast on 6, slipping all the first stitches purl wise, work in garter stitch, increase to 20 sts, work 3 rows, set a 10 stitch fin section up in stocking stitch, decrease the fin away until there are 9 stitches, work 3 rows, increase until there are 23 stitches - cast off, repeat a quad-zillion times. Stitch together.

ok - go well, I hope spring is not far from where ever you are,


Knitting Linguist said...

The hats are looking love, and I do love the square hat; I have to think about making one for Rick as our fall starts to approach (that will be in a few months). Which reminds me, I'm confused about the spring starting tomorrow thing; doesn't it start at the equinox around Sept 21? Or is this something else? (Inquiring minds and all...) The heart hat looks beautiful, the technique is impressive, and all those little butterflies look just a wee bit scary! :)

Shirley Goodwin said...

Love the hats - see my blog for my Random Acts of Kindness Day hat draw.

KathyR said...

Your hats are looking good, if a little scary with all the ends to weave in. Too many memories of the little jersey I made for a certain DGD last year to stop from shuddering! I do like the hearts, though, and your colours are charming together.
As for Spring - I always maintain Spring starts in mid-August here! I've seen trees in blossom already and the buds have been swelling for some time. The weather, apart from a lapse or two, has been milder during the day lately, too. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Anonymous said...

Your post is really nice. I have tried to do Intarsia in round and wonder if you could make a VDO or suggest any VDO that I can use as a guide. I am a beginning knitter and don't quite get it. Please. T_T

Metta said...

Gorgeous design!

Also, I was wondering: would you be willing to share the chart for your wonderful little hearts?

The size, shape and proportions are absolutely perfect, and I'd love to experiment with this little heart in some intarsia projects of my own -- if you are willing?

With appreciation and interest,