Sunday, 22 October 2017

Oh my woolly head

This week has been a sleepy head one for me - but I think it had a lot to do with the grey (and sometimes red) sky overhead so I am hoping all this wind will blow some blue sky our way. But luckily now it's half term and what grand timing - I hope I can clear my woolly head a bit. It's the first time I am really benefiting from my 'term time only' job and I have to say I am very happy about it tonight. Sitting here with no train breakfast sandwiches to make, no bottles to prepare, no 'just in case' bags to pack. Ohm. Last week, I mentioned my little hat projects - three hats to knit for winter - for my friend Sarah, her daughter and myself. Sarah really wants matching cream cable hats with furry Pom Poms but my first choice of yarn (the Rico soft merino aran) I feared the colour really wasn't what she had invisaged and I realised from my swatch that I think Aran wasn't heavy enough for what she wanted either. No good. I was hoping to get some Wendy mode chunky but did you know it's been discontinued! Such a shame as it was a lovely merino-acrylic blend and there doesn't really seem to be anything else like it. I had a little scout around and even online and eventually settled on Hayfield bonus chunky - (extra value!) It is completely acrylic but it actually feels really nice. I usually avoid it as the crunch puts my teeth on edge - but here - no crunch, just quite soft and spongy and snug really.

Hayfield bonus chunkycable knit hat swatch

So with wool (not wool) found, the next challenge was working out the pattern. Sarah had sent me a picture she wanted replicated so that was nice and easy to copy, but trying to work out how many stitches I needed for a hat, and to incorporate the pattern, was tricky - and will wait and see if I got it right. I did knit a cable hat before and it was too small, so I think I am carrying this trauma with me through this project. Baggy hats are not so good either though... I made a little swatch (pictured above unravelling due to manhandling by small child) which was super helpful - although I wasn't sure how much to stretch it before measuring it - hmm - so got a lot of different measurements from it. I worked out every combination of cable twists I could think of while still staying true to Sarah's vision, and came up with an array of different numbers. Anyway, without boring you too much I have settled on 80 stitches on 5.5mm needles (it was 76 stitches, but then I realised I'd made a horrible miscalculation - after 26 rows of k1p1 rib I decided to just increase 4 across the row and hope for the best!)

Despite all the hiccups though, now that I'm on (a) course, I am really really enjoying knitting for a bit and admit I'm finding it quite addictive. I've been so pre-occupied with crochet that I forgot that knitting is really my home sweet home. So stay tuned for this rollercoaster hat knitting ride - I'll be sure to update you!

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