Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yarnplay by Lisa Shobhana Mason

Hi Knitters!

I just finished this scarf for my father-in-law's birthday gift for the upcoming weekend. Let me tell you a brief story about the hat that lead to this scarf.

My son, who is just shy of 15, asked me to knit him a hat. I jumped at the chance to knit my teenager a hat, what could be better than that? I had just bought Yarnplay, by Lisa Shobhana Mason, which is a great book, by the way, and it was laying about the house. He apparently looked through it and picked out "sidetracked" as a hat he wanted to wear. Again, I was thrilled.

We sat down and ordered the yarn online, he wanted the exact colors in the book, so that's what we did. We waited anxiously for the yarn to arrive, it came quickly from www.yarn.com and www.jimmybeanswool.com, two of my favorites. The hat is made from 3 colorways of Filatura di Crosa 127 Print, and it is striped throughout the hat. I didn't take a picture of the hat to share, because he has it with him right now. I'll see if I can catch him later for a photo.

Anyway, being a hat designer myself, I really wanted to make my own pattern, but with him identifying with the hat in the picture so positively, I thought it was best to stick to the pattern. I haven't followed a hat pattern for years, but I did just that! It is a terrific pattern, and the colors look great together. I made the medium size hat on size 9 needles. It fits him like a glove. I finished the hat in a matter of a couple of hours of off-and-on knitting, it is an easy, fun pattern-good job Lisa! He slapped it right on and wore it to school the next day. I am so happy about it, and he is, too. It was a fun project to do together.

Quick-Tip for hat knitting: Measure around the person's head (the head that will wear the hat of course!) at the forehead just above the eyebrows, and just above the ears. Whatever this measurement is, subtract 1 inch. This is the measurement you should use to determine the size of the hat you are making. Hats should be snug on the head! By subtracting the inch (sometimes I even subtract 2 inches depending on the hat), you insure a better fitting hat. No one wants a loose, baggy cap.

Now about that scarf, I had a lot of 127 Print left after the hat. My father-in-law is turning 74 this week, and we are going out for dinner to celebrate with him this weekend. He has everything, so it is difficult to think of an exciting gift to give him. I decided to make him a slight variation of the "sidetracked" scarf from Yarnplay. I used the 3 colorways of 127 Print which are numbers 14, 18, and 21. I then added tan, teal, and moss colors of Montera by Classic Elite. This was in my stash and has a similar quality to the 127 Print, and is about the same gauge. I casted on the long way with size 9 needles (circular Knit Picks Options, 32-inch). This pattern I really didn't follow exactly. I just alternated garter stitch and seed stitch and colors as I went. I just do what feels good to my eye. I think this is a great pattern from Lisa no matter how closely you follow it. I haven't made men's scarves so it is great to have a guide on length and width.

I think it is a masculine and handsome scarf that any man would wear! I hope it is a hit. Get this new book, Yarnplay, it has a lot to offer!

best, susie