Saturday, September 15, 2012

A new hat

One of the best things about being part of a group of knitters who met to explore techniques is sometimes I am introduced to projects that I would not have discovered on my own. This weeks finished project is a case in point, a hat in a magazine I have had for ages, but which I had not noticed. I suspect that this bat has been missed by many others as well, for when I started there were only four projects linked to the pattern on ravelry. Today there is the finished hat, and a gauge swatch which means plans are being made, and even some no-knitting content.

My new hat
My Viking cabled hat is done, this was an exercise in cables that begin in a purl background, starting with lifted increases. I liked the cable, and I loved the construction. First the head band is knit, and then joined, after that stitches are picked up for the crown, and slight increases worked, just for a few rows. Then the bulk of the hat is knit, which is rather long, five inches in addition to the band before decreasing. The long crown makes for a lovely slouch. Pattern Atle beret by Elizabeth Lavoid.

The crown is decreased at eight points, with pairs of decreases around two stitches. In the end my gauge came out at 6 stitches to the inch, and six cable repeats gives a nice fit on my 22 inch head. Knit measurements after blocking of course. Because photographing ones own head is a tad difficult, I enlisted younger cub as my hat model.

Swatch 3 mm needles 28 stitches in four inches
With the hat done, I felt the need to cast on a new project, and a local knitter, K, asked if I wanted to work Tempest as a KAL. We have had a few emails back and forth fine tuning the details, hers will be handspun, mine in fine possum merino silk. For a wee while we both considered Slanted Sleeven, but we would need to regauge, and I'm not up to that sort of calculation with a new method right now. My gauge is 28 stitches to four inches on 3 mm needles, fine but not to fine. The possum flooooffs up when washed, or in knitter speak 'blooms'. I might have mentioned before, I will be using Tempest as a guide, mostly for the shape and colour work, but constructing top down using the contiguous method developed by SusieM. I have a cone of this yarn in grey, and another in blue (I also have one in red but that is more vibrant than I want for this cardigan).

And another needle in my hand this week has been the tambour needle. Two students are wanting to bead parts of their garments and I felt a tad guilty at not being more practiced at this. Ages ago I decided to practice with just thread until I was comfortable with the technique, the add beads. I've played with different hook sizes, and thread types and even with using a fine vintage crochet hook just like is used in videos of Zari embroidery online. Each thread and hook combination teaches me something, and for now I am feeling in control, I plan to add beads to the ext piece. As for what this is - pure practice, nothing more as evidenced by my random corners. Turning crisp corners in tambour work is a knack I have yet to master ....any suggestions? My best guess is to shorten the stitch length near the corner just like in machine stitching a collar.Once I have the middle filled in and added more to the edges ... 'cause with practice more is better, I will switch out the fabric and play with beads.

take care

Na Stella


RobynK said...

I really like the slouch on your hat!
I noticed how lovely and smooth the garter stitch edges were on your swatch and wondered if you had some advice for me.I am having trouble with an 8ply decorative garter stitch patch to be stitched to a throw I am making. The edges look tttterrible. I have just been knitting all stitches but someone suggested slipping the first stitch.Have you heard of this method?

Stella (aka KKFrog) said...

Hi RobynK, I do generally slip the first stitch when knitting flat, I slip it as if to purl, and make sure the yarn is not wrapped around the edge when I slip. this results in a nice chain edge, and is smooth as each stitch is stretched up over two rows. The other thing is don't panic - and try blocking your swatch - the edges might just settle down when blocked.

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh! I very much like that hat - you're right, I'd missed it somehow (must remedy that). I think I even have the perfect batt to spin up for it, mmm...