Sunday, February 25, 2007

Making Progress

So the big Stash Reorganization of 2007 has yielded the perfect hat for my 23-inch head.

I often have trouble finding something that fits my melon. It's where the kid inherits his 18.5-inch head from. It took me 5 tries to get his right, but with the good karma of an organized stash behind me, I was able to make my hat work on the first try. For the most part...but more on that soon.

(Picture of 37.5-week belly and messy kitchen thrown in gratis. You're welcome.)

Random question: Magnets/pictures on the fridge or no? What's your style? Every place we move, the Cap'n swears he'll have nothing on the fridge, which lasts for a month, until one little reminder goes up. Then the rest of my magnet collection jumps out of the box it was packed away in and makes itself at home. Funny that.

Here are the hat stats:

The Pattern: Santa Cruz from Magknits

The Yarn: Malabrigo 100% merino wool

Colorway: Oro y Vino from the orange-y skein left over from My So-Called Scarf (The other skein had more coral oro in it. You can tell when the scarf and hat are close to each other.)

Needles: Clover Takumi US8 bamboo and Brittany US6 birch

Time: Started Thursday, February 22, and finished Friday, February 23

Modifications: Well....

First, let me confess that I could not resist casting on something new while I was playing HYS. Even with an honest tally of the projects OTN, I wanted something fun to do, and when I was packing away the leftover partial skein from My So-Called Scarf, I succumbed. I figured, how long could a hat take?

And in this case, I was actually right. I think this is the quickest thing I've ever made, and a very nice break from the US2 (3.0mm) needles of my recently finished socks and the in-progress baby sweater.

I have been meaning to make a matching hat to my scarf since I finished it. The scarf was the first thing I made and kept for myself, and that was a year after I first learned to knit. This pattern did not jump out at me when I first saw it in Magknits, but I loved the one Mary made. However, she said it turned out small enough to fit her daughter, so I read the pattern closely (wha????) and noted that its finished circumference is 19 inches.

Hello: Meet my son, the kid with the 18.5-head at age 20 months.

So following the worsted weight recipe, I added two extra lace repeats to bring it to a 96-stitch circumference and another 4 inches around. Problem with my brilliant solution? I didn't exactly think through the rate of decreases for the crown.

I was chatting with KnittinSis on the phone while working on the hat, and she re-awakened my fear of a Conehead Hat. That was one of the problems with Version 3.0 of Slim's hat saga. So I fudged the decreases, but when I cinched it off, it turned out a little on the short side. I like my hats to cover part of my ears, and mine just ended at the ears.

In truth, if I had read the pattern *that* closely, I would have added more than just the 3 k1-p1 ribbing rounds that it calls for. It just wasn't enough ribbing to stay tight on my big head. So in a fit of brilliance the next morning (yes, most of the hat was finished in a day), I picked up 96 stitches at the cast-on edge with the US6 needles and started knitting down with more k1-p1 ribbing.

I decided that I wanted the extra ribbing to turn up, so I knit one plain row in what I thought was roughly the middle of how far I could go with the yarn. I kept knitting until I got anxious about how much yarn I had remaining. I actually have about 5 yards of the Malabrigo left -- certainly enough for a few more rounds of ribbing -- but at the time, I was knitting knervous, so I bound off.

I love how the Malabrigo feels and how warm it is, particularly with the cold weather coming back. The yarn pills like crazy in the scarf, but I think it's from the frequent friction of tying and untying it. I think it will stay more defined in the scarf.

KnittinSis thinks the hat has a crochet look, and I would agree with her. But it's a simple pattern, and with directions in every weight of yarn (sock, sport, worsted, and bulky), you really can't go wrong. It was the perfect stashbuster!

I have made some progress also on the baby sweater, but not much since the Cap'n has returned. I'm hoping to work on it some more tonight. Luckily, KnittinSis is coming to the rescue with a perfectly matched lemon hat and possibly some booties. If I have time, I want to tackle the leggings in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters Almanac. What a well-dressed baby this will be!

I also made another bit of progress on reducing the stash. Lady Knitterly has been coveting the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Purl, and I just happen (ahem) to have some in my cough17paircough sock stash. So my sock yarn is winging its way to NYC, and if some trade yarn happens to fly down to DC, well, that will have to be counted in the next stash reorganization, won't it?


TutleyMutley said...

That's a lovely hat, scarf AND bump! Ooo I do like a nice bump. I'll put the tabs on your blog and keep an eye on you - send positive vibes and all that! 37+ - could arrive ANY TIME NOW!

Rie said...


I lurv the baby belly! Your hat is mighty fine, too. I think the ribbing is perfect. Must get some of that Malabrigo on my next yarn store expedition.

The hat will be worked on extensively this evening. I'm hoping to get those little mitts done asap too.

Love ya!

Rie said...

Btw, you can really see where Slim gets his lip-closed grin from in that second picture!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad the hat worked out well (and hope the adjustments weren't too frustrating). I was thinking warm weather when I designed it so made it short and narrow (so the pattern would get stretched out and show better when its worn). I love your choice of yarn. I've been getting all goofy over malabrigo myself the last few weeks. My favorites are the cranberry-avocado and fuscia-apple green colorways.