Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hat Horrors Part One

Once upon a time, I found a merino/cashmere blend for $2 a ball at Michael's. It goes without saying that I bought up every ball they had, which happened to be only 3. Three balls of "Tea Green," thankfully all in the same dye lot, but unfortunately only about 86 yards per ball. They were destined to be a hat, but I was waiting for the perfect pattern.

(Pretend it's green.)
The yarn stayed in my under-bed stash for a few months and finally I found "Molly." The pattern was free, it was simple without being tedious, and even had a little cable to eliminate all possiblity of boredom. It would look great in the green yarn and, and I printed out the pattern and put it with the yarn.
More time passed as I cast on for shawls, sweaters, socks and whatnot, and finally I decided it was time to cast on.
I didn't bother to check my gauge. (cough- guess what happened.)
I knitted merrily along, following the pattern faithfully and ticking off each cable row on my notepad. It was coming along beautifully. The yarn felt like butter, the stitch pattern was interesting, and the cable was simple. I stopped often to admire my beautiful hat.
I started thinking, huh. This hat is getting pretty big.
I ignored my thinking and continued to follow the directions. After all, usually when I follow my instincts to stray from the pattern and it leads me to disaster.
The hat was still really big.
I decided to cut out a repeat, and started the crown decreases.
The hat was done, and I put it on my head.

My mom actually adored it, but again we are using the magic of photography to minimize the big-ness.
It was big. Okay? I know it's supposed to be kinda slouchy, but this was a picture of me trying to make it as small as possible. Remember the hat I knitted for Mark? The alpaca one that I put up a picture of Will modeling? Will has a 24" head. This hat trumped that one by more than 3 inches.

Okay, I thought, I have a solution! I can undo the cast-on edge, unravel about 2 cable repeats, pick up the stitches and knit a nice inch of ribbing and cast off using that super stretchy bind off I've heard so much about.
I unpicked the first few stitches. It was looking kind of .... impossible. I unpicked the entire first row, hoping that when I got back to the beginning of the round it would suddenly become frog-able. I unpicked- vveeerrrrrry sloooowwlllyyy- half of the second row when I decided to check the internet for a better way.

It just wasn't working. Those stitches? Yeah, they're not ALIVE.
And boy did I find one.
I used the tutorial found here to CUT INTO MY CASHMERE HAT and unravel it that way.

The stitch is ready.

Cutting into my cashmere hat with the dirtiest scissors on earth.

Ahhhhh that wasn't so bad after all.
The first cut was terrifying, but it quickly became very easy and the stitches didn't get away from me and now I'm much more comfortable with the idea of an afterthought pocket or heel. And maybe even steeking. Maybe.

So, I began unraveling stitches and putting the on my size 3 circulars.

See, the plan was to cut at the perfect place and then pick up and knit the ribbing from there.
Let's see how that turned out.
It was mostly boring work.
Unpicking stitch by stitch and rescuing them each.
I did have a bit of a break in the middle and take some charming pictures.
Pretending I'm robbing a bank.
After I took this one I waved around my DPN and made my dad call me "My Lord."
Right after I had a bit of fun  (thus calling attention to myself in the eyes of the knitting gods) I realized I had a few problems.
1) I had chosen to unravel the exact row that I had added a new ball of yarn, and was having a weird mess right in the middle of my hat.
2) I also happened to choose a cable row (HOW DID I DO THAT?)
3) I realized I had cut the hat too short.

Probably that last one is the most troubling.
Seeing as I can't work the cabling upside down and all.
I'm not really sure what's going to happen to this hat. It may be doomed for the frog pond yet.

It was an awful lot of hat to remove.

Here's the shrinky dinky hat now.

I was going to work the ribbing for an inch or so and then take a picture of the complete hat for ya'll, but I realized that:
1) I was going to commit suicide if I had to look at it any longer
2) I needed to work on my Super Stitches Knitting Project anyways, since I have to post tomorrow and only worked one swatch
So, as any other knitter would have done, I promptly gave up, and decided the simplest solution would just be to call my post "Hat horrors part 1" and deal with part 2 when I feel up to it.

Oh, and here's Tiffany's painting from the other night.
One more thing and I promise I'll shut up. I'm designing a sweater!!! Remember that sweater workshop book I picked up at the Bookery for $9? I'm using it to create "The Ringwood Sweater," which is going to be worked with the Camelino yarn. I did this much already:

Then I realized my gauge was off by half a stitch. Which would cause it to be approximately 4 inches too small for my bust. SInce I was in the ripping mood, I turned that partial sweater there into 2 balls of yarn! What fun.
Somehow, I manage to retain the idea that yarn is entertainment and that the more I have to rip and reknit the better a buy the yarn was.
Anyway, casting on again. I'm taking decent notes this time around so I can set up my first free pattern. I promise it's not going to be as boring as it looks: the fun is at the yoke. Hopefully. Seriously though, if this sweater ends up looking really really bad, prepare to never hear about it again.

That's it.
I swear.
Except for the news of the other 2 big frogging projects (One is a completely fully done sweater) but right now I really need to catch up on those swatches. The last time I tried the second one, I actually had to frog that too. What's with all the frogging?

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