Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Best New Hat

Hi Knitters,
Words can't describe the fun I had early this morning with a ball of yarn and some needles. Yesterday I finished a baby set I am working on for a yarn company and it was a big weight off my shoulders. Now I still have to write up the pattern but still. I was looking around on ravelry and I ran across this pattern, Felicity. I love the shape of this hat. It is slightly fitted, then it moves into a slouchy style hat on the top. Voluminous hats are in style but to be honest, I don't love the hats that are too huge. This one is just right. 

I spied the pumpkin handspun Dianne sent me (don't forget about her new etsy shop).  I have had that yarn sitting by my side for the last two months just waiting to be wound and knitted up into something perfect. I wound the yarn by hand last night, what a treat, and then I started the Felicity pattern. Right away I knew I would run into a few issues but I gave it a go anyway. First of all, using a worsted weight yarn on a size 5 needle, you cast on 70 stitches. That will give you about a 16-inch hat. That is tiny. My head measures almost 22-inches. That might be a brain squeezer. Secondly, it starts with a purl row, then moves into stockinette. It was a roller and I didn't want a roller. Thirdly, I have no remembrance of the yardage in the skein Dianne sent me so it was a guess. I am pretty good at eyeballing amounts but this was a new pattern. This morning I ripped out the hat I started last night and started again.

This time I cast on 90 stitches on a size 7. I put in a k2, p1 rib to start off. Then I carried on sort of looking at the pattern but sort of not.
My hat became more something that was inspired by Felicity. I changed just about everything about it but it still kind of looks like the pattern. I am going to try another one with different yarn and try to stick to the pattern better. I really like this pattern and the final look. It is easy, easy and fast. One of the main things is that my version is not quite so long lengthwise, I kept looking at my dwindling ball of yarn and so I kept eliminating rounds. Mine still has a little slouch to it and I truly love the final product. It was a smart move because I only have a tiny bit of yarn left over. I gave the hat a good steam when I was done and it made the yarn even better.
The yarn is so beautiful. I can't describe how good it felt to work with such a treasure. There is a squish and a loftiness that you don't find in manufactured yarn. The color is one of my favorites. I thought about Dianne the entire time I knitted. I told The Collector over breakfast about how my friend lives on a farm in Kentucky and raises the sheep that are then sheered and how she spins their wool and dyes it. She just kept looking at me and the yarn and then she simply said, "That must be hard." I agree.

Thank you, Dianne, for the wonderful gift. I will treasure my best new hat.

I have a few other quickies to share. Chris shot me an email yesterday morning to share some fun news. Elefante has made it to the big-time. Look at all of those great free patterns. I love that. Elefante is right up there with Eunny Jang, Veronik Avery, Grumperina, Jared Flood (brooklyn tweed) and others. That is excellent and fun. Whip-Up is such a great site, love it to death. Thank you for the honor.

Another excellent thing is that I mentioned a couple of posts ago that my daughter's coat had a broken zipper. Some of the teeth were missing and it wouldn't zip past that point. A kindly reader wrote a comment about a tailor shop right by my house that fixes zippers. I took two coats in and got them back in a couple of days with brand-new zippers for $20 a pop. I thought that was about the best thing ever. I zipped my daughter up this morning and it felt like a new coat. Yay, 2o bucks is a lot cheaper than a real new coat.

Gotta run. Have a good day, Knitters.
best, susie