Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Zooming along

rachel, regarding your comments from a few days ago, I cannot believe I've inspired anyone to organizational action. Me. Me? Are you sure? :) That is a total first. As far as my own organization goes, I am a bit stymied at the moment by the lack of affordable, sealable plastic boxes. DH bought six decently-dimensioned boxes up from the local dollar store and brought them home to me...whereupon I discovered that they did not actually snap closed. Bugger.

However, on the upside, DH has bought the wood and paint for the closet computer desk and the fabric shelf, and the keyboard tray for the desk. Woohoo!

Heraldic tabard for moi
Nervousness about running out of yarn continues. However, the first cone is holding out long enough to keep raging panic at bay. I've hit the intarsia section and it's still a decent way away from running out on me.

(And Aven, you are so totally right about felting being fun. I love it, and all I've done is one swatch. I do find that if I look closely, I can see the stitches, and the garter stitch at the top and bottom of the swatch made it obvious anyway, as you suspected.)

Inca Hat for baby Sperling
A few weeks ago, my mom told me the news that one of my cousins is expecting again. (Said cousin's first baby got this.) I've been musing about whether I would knit anything for this new baby, and if so, what it would be. Yesterday, on the spur of the moment, I decided to make the 'Inca Hat' pattern from Zoe Mellor's 'Double Knits book, which I picked up not too long ago. This hat is one of the nicest patterns in the book, I think. I used earth tones for the colourway - a brownish burgundy as the main colour, black to complement, and cream and forest green as accents.

Now, I know I promised to cut down a little on my tendency to knit for every baby which crosses my path, but I had two very good justifications reasons to make something for this baby. For one, I've just catapulted myself a week ahead of schedule by cancelling my mittens project, to say nothing of all the other projects which are ahead of schedule. And, probably more compellingly, baby hats are small.

Don't believe me? Ha! Doubting fool! It is absolutely a small project! How do I know? Because,'s finished:

completed hat

side view, showing my hand for scale

I like it.

Unfortunately, I had 'issues' with the pattern. Some were me being really dumb. Some were not. For example, the chart for the body of the hat claims that it has a six-stitch repeat. It does not. If you try to repeat the six stitches indicated throughout the entire chart, the main section of the pattern will look okay but the bottom will screw up totally. (Fortunately I clued into this before starting.) Another issue I had was with the instructions immediately following the completion of the earflaps. The pattern tells you to cast on some stitches, then purl across earflap #1, then cast on some more stitches, then purl across earflap #2, then cast on some more stitches, and - voilĂ  - you have cast on the bottom edge of the hat.

See the problem?

Nowhere does it say which side of the earflaps is supposed to be facing you as you purl across them. Now, because this is a fair isle hat done in stocking stitch, and because the instructions said to purl across the flaps, I assumed that the wrong side of the earflaps should have been facing me as I purled. Another big clue (which I didn't notice until after the fact) is that the instructions for the next row after this say RS. But I'm betting that new knitters would not necessarily get that. And my own paranoia that I might be purling on the incorrect side fooled me into thinking that I'd done it wrong, ripping it out, cursing when I found I'd done it the right way in the first place, and then redoing it. (Okay, that was my bad...but still...if the instructions had been clear in the first place, my stupidity might have been kept at bay.)

Anyway, my point is...Not. Well. Detailed. Instructions.

Aside from that, the pattern is, as I'm sure you can see, extremely cute, and I really appreciated getting more practice carrying yarn in my left hand due to the fair isle nature of the design. I also discovered that this strand-in-each-hand thing makes doing a three-colour row waaaay easier.

Conclusion: I would totally make this hat again. But next time I will do it in the round. There's just no excuse not to.

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