Tuesday, December 06, 2005


bucket hat

There is something about short and cold days that makes me come over all traditional. Hot one pot stews, hot chocolates, hot water bottles, hot toddies, and having hot hands and heads. So I suppose it is lucky that I bought out the Jamieson & Smith stand at the Harrogate show the other week, as shetland spun, for me, falls oh so neatly into the traditional category.

Above is my second attempt at a new winter hat. Inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann's pillbox, and using a Barbara G. Walker mosaic pattern, I have managed to make a hat which is almost perfect, if just ever so slightly too big. (Seeing as the first hat was too small, I'm feeling just a little bit Goldilockish.)

Jamieson & Smith 2 ply soft spun.
Size 4mm needles (but they could have been 4.5mm, my note taking is non-existent).
Provisional crochet chain cast on (my new favourite) - finished off with a couple of crochet rounds to stop the bottom from curling.
Odd mods 1 - slipping stitches knitwise, which gives (I think) a little bit of interesting texture to the pattern.
Odd mods 2 - using a left-slanting decrease on the hat top, 'cos I think it looks pretty.

Things I have learnt.

Mosaic patterns seem to work really well in the round - and the colour jog isn't that noticeable.

Remembering that unless 'they' say otherwise, stitches are meant to be slipped purlwise. I like the slight textured effect slipping knitwise has given, but if I were to do it again, I would twist a couple of stitches in the non-patterned rows, in order to stop them pooching out.

Left-leaning decreases can look quite pretty, but when knitting in the round, they do pucker the fabric.

My head is too short for a 6 1/2 inch tall hat.

Paint pots do make very good head substitutes for blocking, but if you leave the handle on, the hat develops an interesting lump.

But the two best things? My head is warm, and a very cool friend (you know, the kind who does indie bands and vintage port, and doesn't laugh at you for not knowing music, and still invites you over to drink the port) said it was a cool hat. My head might have swelled just a touch, and now I have a perfectly fitting hat.

Thanks for all your kind comments on the stash haul - I am feeling considerably less guilty about it. Trouble is, now the yarn has been exposed, the list of projects is increasing exponentially. And then today the Habu kits arrived. Maybe I could teach the cats to knit?