Friday, 29 February 2008

Hat - and other knitting

Here is the finished Modified Ganomy Hat, mark II. You may recall that the original hat was worn to the pub by its owner, and whilst it was being passed around amid comments that nobody had ever seen a hat like it - someone else decided to take it home with them. I don't think that this one is precisely the same as the first one - but it will fit perhaps a little better, I believe.

And here are some brief notes on how I made it - and please note, you do have to pay attention to what is actually going to fit the intended recipient. My family have big heads - this one fits a head that measures 24 1/4" around.

The original pattern is to be found in Elizabeth Zimmermann's excellent book 'Knitters Almanac'. This was the first EZ book that I encountered and I was a complete convert almost instantly. If you haven't read it - then please do, you won't regret it.

Anyway - this is one of the patterns given for the month of June. I followed Elizabeth's pithy directions to a point where I had worked 8 complete sets of increases and decreases, then 6 more sets of increases and decreases at the back and sides only. You should work whatever will fit the head in question, of course. I then stopped back increasing, as Elizabeth says, and worked just three rounds more (with a set of side decreases in the middle round) before I diverged from the pattern.

I then started decreasing at the front and back as well as at the sides, and continued with this until there were about a dozen stitches left, at which point I took the end of the yarn through the remaining stitches and fastened off. These decreases did involve sssk and k3tog at several points, to make the shaping bands look the way that I wanted them to look - they aren't equidistant around the hat, remember, so things do overlap - but that isn't any sort of necessity, and really you can (of course) work it however you like. The thing to remember is that for a pretty much flat top to any hat, double decreases in four places works very well.

And that is really all there is to say. It is just a common sense modification to a very neat and original pattern. The next one that I make will be slightly different again, because although this works very well, I think I can improve on the shaping at the top.

At some point I am definitely going to make one of these hats for myself, with the original gnome-like pointy top. I still have plenty of the light blue yarn from Lidl, and that will do very well for me. Also, I think these hats will go down well as gifts. So maybe that's something for later in the year.

What else - Chevy.

I have cast on, and I'm working a gauge swatch, aka a sleeve. I haven't worked with this yarn before, and I'd prefer not to have any surprises with the sizing here. Currently just started the raglan shaping - yes, short sleeves.

There was a nice surprise with the yarn - Rowan's Damask, in Pyrite 049. Do you know, I was expecting this to be in shades of black, charcoal and silver grey - like this. What I've actually got, when I look at this yarn in daylight, is a gorgeous melange of charcoal/dark slatey blues and silvery naturals. Really lovely. I like it very much indeed. It is just a bit more grey than it looks here - my camera definitely makes things look more blue than they really are - but you get the idea, I hope.

The fabric is nice, too. There is a thick and thin thing going on, as well as the gorgeous colours. The drape is also going to be fantastic, not surprising with the viscose and linen fibre content.

And did I mention that I love the colour?

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