26 May 2006

double knit cap

Ah, my first adventure in double knitting. It seems so long ago, but I suppose it really wasn't. I made a reversible hat for a friend of mine, following this (quite simple but lovely) pattern. I have to say, the whole process was much simpler than I originally anticipated. Looking at the pattern alone, I was definitely stratching my head---but once I started, things fell into place really quickly.

For this project I used Mission Falls 1824 merino wool. At the time of purchase, I was warned that this was the end of the line. I've been glad to learn in the time since that some changes have taken place, and this yarn will still be produced. Although there were some funny bits (chunks of wool wrapped around the yarn--pretty easily picked off), this yarn was a pleasure to work with. It also has a great shine, and makes for a very warm, soft fabric.

Consequently, this was also my first project that used double-pointed needles.

There's something terrifying about first holding DPNs in your hands, but once again I managed to surprise myself. I really have to say that I had absolutely no problem with them. They're not my favorite thing in the world, but until I decide to teach myself the magic loop method, this will do. Besides, there's something fun about having people stare at you as if you're painting the Sistine Chapel while using them.

But oh, what I learned! I knit tighter than I purl. Apparently this is common, but I was unaware of this when I started the project, and thus the inside (green) is a little larger than the outside, as can be seen below.

So, the hat fits better the opposite way I had hoped. Sadly, blocking did little to fix this trouble. As for how I would fix this in the future, I'm not entirely sure, aside from trying to counter it by knitting looser and purling tighter than I normally would.

The only other thing I'd chage is to move the stripes down a bit, as they sit too high on the cap for my tastes. Still, all in all i'm pretty pleased with this project. Because it has two layers, it's super warm, and the wool is so soft and lovely that it makes me want to forgive myself for the mistakes I made. Live and learn, as they say.

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08 May 2006


One of the first patterns I ever fell in love with was the clapotis. Now that I've finished one, I have to say that I am quite pleased. I would love to knit another at some point for myself (probably a full-sized one), but this one has gone off to my mother for Mother's Day. Purple never was my color anyway.

For reference, I used Lily's Sugar'n Cream, color #02027---a nice, cheerful colorway for spring. I think I used somewhere around 3 balls (I know I definitely have two others lyring around, at any rate---time for some dishcloths). This pattern was really fun to work with, and easy to memorize. I definitely recommend purling the stitch that is supposed to be marked off by place markersl; it makes everything much simpler. As you can see, I used the modified clapotis pattern for the width, although I added several repeats for the sake of length.

This shot was taken pre-blocking. Now, I've blocked before, but never with anything that showed a whole lot of change---one garter stitch scarf, and a double-knit hat which I will show off at some later point in time.

Here is the clapotis while blocking (which it did quite nicely, despite the lack of pins). Stretched out on my deck like this, the zig-zag of the yellow really became apparent, and in my opinion looks quite lovely.

And here it is posing post-blocking. It still wants to curl in slightly, but overall
it's rather happy to stay in place.

Emma decided to come over to see just what I was up to. As someone relatively new to both rabbit roommates and knitting, I have made an interesting discovery. As many will know, bunny teeth are cutting machines. Combine this with some apparently irresistably tasty cotton yarn, and voila!---instant scissors. Thankfully, this discovery was made with unwoven, dangling ends, and not the knitted fabric itself. It does mean, however, that I have to guard my yarn just as closely as if I had a cat. Who knew?

In any case, my mother received this a few weeks early, and seemed to like it just fine. I don't think I've ever seen her wear a scarf in her life, though, so it remains to be seen whether or not it will get any use.

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