Monday, July 30, 2007

Everything's coming up....

Sunflowers! They've been growing wild in my yard this year. It's the weirdest thing and it's never happened before. And they're in three different areas of the yard. The wind must have blew in some seeds....They're a happy surprise!

Wow, this has to be the most boring blog out there right now. Even I'm yawning. Not much knitting has been happening. I guess the needles are feeling they're due a summer vacation too. I gave in, but I'm about to cut their summer short. It's really almost over anyway. I can feel fall just around the corner!

This was in the last package I received from my secret pal during Secret Pal 10. Did I get lucky or what?! Three skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in color 24 (deep red), a Chick Knits pattern book, a book on The Language of Happiness, New Yorker Cats note cards, a mini spa kit, a hand care kit and a cute little magnet. Who was behine all the wonderful gifts the past few months? Alissa at Lis knits, too. Thanks Alissa!

And finally... even though the knitting content here has been bleak, there has been a little going on. A couple of months ago my coworker discovered she has breast cancer. I wanted to make her something that was both useful and comforting. I chose a hat in her favorite color pink.

Pattern: Dude, where's my hat? from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, color 25009 (a pink-mauvey color)
Needles: Size US 7 dpns - not recommended for a hat unless you have longer needles. My stitches came off the ends several times.
Knitting time: I started on a Saturday and finished the following Friday in three sittings.

I don't love it. My biggest gripe is that hem line across the top of the brim. The pattern calls for doubling the brim length and then folding it under and stitching it to the inside of the hat. It's not as noticeable in the book since they used Tahki, Donnegal Tweed which makes a sturdier fabric than the alpaca silk I used. But I was going for soft.

Another gripe is that the picture in the book is not knit up 'in pattern'. The pattern calls for purl rows creating a garter edge. The picture is all stockinette. I noticed this before I started, but decided to follow the pattern...until I got to the crown. It also called for purl rows (not in the picture!) and I decided to leave them out.

The picture in the book is very cute. It's just not what the pattern makes. It would be disappointing for someone who is more of a beginner and doesn't know how to make the adjustments so that it looks like the picture.

I need to reblock the brim. Do you see where it flairs out on the sides? Thats because I laid it flat while blocking. How do you block a hat? On a cantalope?

I wouldn't knit this particular pattern again. I liked working with the yarn, but it was the wrong choice for the pattern in order to get the look I was going for. The right choice for softness though, which is more important. I'm going to give it to my friend nonetheless. And then I'm going to knit her a better one! :)


Madge said...

Dude, the hat is very 1920s cloche looking. Throw a crocheted flower on it, and it'll be darn cute!

Sunflowers are happy flowers. Just like daisies. I can't help but grin when I see 'em. What a great surprise, to have them self seeding in your yarn. And how are the veggies?

Blocking on a melon. Priceless!

mehitabel said...

Cute hat, very cute! And we're always much harder on ourselves, and our knitting, than other people. She'll love that it's soft, and hand knitted, and it will feel like a hug every time she puts it on!

amanda said...

What a shame the pattern was not written to match the picture. I think it looks great, though, and I'm sure your coworker will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

pmbuck06 said...

Actually the hat in the book is the same as the pattern. The problem is that the pattern is written in the flat (they seamed up the edges), as opposed to in the round. In the flat, the purl is used to make stockinette, so you don't actually see it in the finished product.

Annette said...

To pmbuck06: Doh! I reread the pattern and now I feel stupid. In my head I thought it was knit in the round...even after reading the pattern. Just goes to show that one should never assume. Thanks for clearing that up!

I couldn't link to your email address, so I'm leaving a response here, hoping you check back.