Monday, February 11, 2008

Cabled Mitts

Pattern: My own - totally made up from the top down, with shaping through the arm, ribbing at the wrist to the hand with a gusseted thumb. Complete with fat cables that match the Central Park Hoodie.

Yarn: More Patons Classic Merino (I'm burning off the stash that I had bought to complete the CPH) in Burgundy.

Needles: US 7 and US5.

Comments: Elbow length long mitts that are form fitting right through the hands - perfect for warming up if I happen to be sitting around in a Tee shirt and a sweater is a little too much. The paired decreases down the forearm keep the fit nice and snug while not distorting the cable at all - I converted to a ribbed pattern at the wrist and through the palm to keep the fit snug. Thumb gussets were knit in, keeping with the clean lines and seamless transitions. Judicious use of a smaller needle size also allowed me to adjust gauge as necessary.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Twinned Knits

Pattern: Fake Isle by Amy

Yarns: For the Red one, I used Patons Classic Merino in Burgundy paired with SWTC Karaoke in the Black Sheep Colorway. For the other, it's all Karaoke - Black Sheep and Forest colorways.

Needles: For the Red one, I used US6 needles throughout. For the other, I used US4s and US6s.

Sizes: The Red was the Larger size, and the green is the smaller size. Sadly, neither fit perfectly.

It started with the red hat, knit according to the pattern, with a couple extra rows at the brim as the only modification - mostly because the hat looked a bit short in the photos on the pattern. I'm not sure what it is with my knitting, but it seems every time I knit a hat, it always develops a bell like shape where it is fairly wide at the brim. Seeing as a normal person's head does not do this, it makes for an ill fitting hat. While the top portion of the hat seemed to be about right for circumference, the hat wound up being too deep - and rather than rip it all out, I debated with myself over felting it or turning the bottom of the hat inside - due to the belled shape, I figured the 2nd option would make for lumpy lines, so into the sink it went.

Sadly, the felting experiment didn't go so well - instead of shrinking, the hat seemed to bloom (in case you're wondering, no, I did not wash my swatch. I'm one of those knitters that swatches rarely - and I fix my knitting on the fly. It can sometimes be my downfall). Anyhow, back to the hat - it seemed to bloom and expand. While the stitch definition became less defined, I saw little shrinkage. I also noticed that even after blocking the hat nicely, it seems to have a point at the top - nowhere near as pointy as my meathead, but the hat definitely does not lay flat against the top of my head - even when I pull it down tightly. I suspect an issue with my floats combined with the possible change in gauge for the very last bit of knitting (all one color for the very last bit).

Undeterred, I cast on for a 2nd hat, this time opting for modifications including knitting 2x2 (rather than 3x1) ribbing on smaller needles. I also stayed on the smaller needles after switching to stockinette for about 4 rows. This was successful in preventing the dread bell shape.

Unfortunately, the hat is still too deep - not by too much, but some. While the hat does fit better than the first, it still doesn't quite stretch right at the very top and also has a slight lump at the very crown of the hat. I'm thinking my head is not suitable for the pattern of decreases used on this pattern.

Excuse the baleful eye in the left hand photo :) I assure you - my head is not cone shaped as it appears in that red hat. Now I'm stuck with a dilemma. 2 lovely hats - neither of which fits quite right - I might keep the red one for my own, I can't see foisting the cone head on someone else. I'm still debating gifting the green one away - it was intended as a gift, but I'm not sure it will fit the recipient properly given that it doesn't quite fit me (or my DH) Comments? Suggestions for yet another hat pattern? I hate to say it, but I might be relegated to yet another Pirate Hat.

Regardless of the fit issues, I think the stitches look nice, don't you?