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.
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!