Tall enough

So we’ve talked about this before, but it’s helpful enough it bears repeating.  If you’re doing a hat with fast decreases (and a lot of mine use those), my favorite way to know if it’s tall enough is to get all the stitches on two needles and try it on.

Fast decreases distort the fabric (and that distortion uses up some of the fabric you’ve made), and arranging it like this does a good job of mimicking that distortion.  If it’s tall enough on two needles, it will be tall enough when you’ve done the decreases.

Here I needed a few more rows, but it’s way easier to try it on this way to find that out than to do the decreases first and then have to rip back.

Speaking of, that’s rather nifty I think!  Standard disclaimer about how it will be rather more tidy once it’s blocked, but I’m quite taken with it!

 

 

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It grew

So there’s this nifty thing where, if you keep working on something, it will usually grow.  That does seem to be happening here.  The hat is getting markedly taller.

It still needs another inch or two (I have a few things in mind for the decreases here, but any of them will need the hat to be pretty tall first), but the end is in sight (this is the inside, because some folks have asked…though honestly that feels a tiiiiiiny bit like asking to peek in my medicine cabinet…).

Then?  Then I think maybe it will need a pom pom…

Once you pom…

Sorry folks, didn’t mean to leave you hanging on the pom pom front!

The first round went pretty well.

Though I did learn a few things.  Namely, you want to fill that pom pom maker up as full as you can, and you want to be nice and tidy and keep your wraps straight and even as you go.  Also…the large pom pom is, well, rather large.

Hence a slightly smaller pom pom for the second go round…

I suspect the pink and gray hat will have this perched proudly on top from time to time!

I may end up getting the next smallest size of pom pom maker at some point…I’ll have to try wearing these and see just how comfortable I am having a yarn-y tennis ball perched on top of my head or if I’d feel more at home with something a wee bit more restrained…

Woven

I’m loving how this is shaping up.  Once you’re done with the colored bit on the brim, you don’t actually ever make another knit stitch with the contrast yarn.  You just weave it in and out of the stitches knit with the gray yarn.

For some reason this both entertains me and makes me feel clever (and yes, I realize that I probably am not actually terribly clever if that entertains me, but I’ll take what I can get.

And once more, for anyone wanting to track down their own, the yarns are Tosh Vintage in Smokestack and Tosh Merino Light in Turquoise (and they’re lovely…I haven’t had any problems with the dark yarns bleeding onto the light, which is always a worry with contrasting colors).

 

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Underway

So you saw the swatches the other day, and here’s how it’s shaping up.

There’s no way to make a few rows of stockinette all that interesting…so I’ll distract you with the purple hat (Entrapment, that one’s out now) and the pink hat (out soonish…probably) instead.

Then you join in the gray bits…though it’s still not all that interesting.

Then you get to do the fun bits!

That’s much better…

 

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This should be fun

So I keep seeing folks putting adorable pom poms on top of hats.  And I have sort of a lot of hats.  And now?  Now I also have a pom pom maker…

I have this one, which makes what they call large pom poms, but there are lots of other sizes too.  I watched a couple of youtube videos (this one was handy) and jumped in.

There was a bit of this.

Then a bit of this.

Then it was time to do this. (By the way, this whole project reminded me just how much I love my tiny, sharp scissors…I’m not actually sure how you do this without them…)

And in a moment here, I’ll do some trimming and see where we are.  I’ll report back later, but I suspect this could be habit forming!

This is why we swatch

So every now and then, some lovely person says ‘oh, all your knitting is so pretty.’  And that’s very very kind, but it’s also totally not true.  A fair bit of my knitting actually looks like absolute trash.  It’s just that I usually go through that stage while I’m swatching, not on the full project stage of things.  See?

Absolute crap.  There is nothing appealing about this save the yarn.

But the secret is, that’s just a swatch.  It’s all of three inches across.  That means I can keep going and keep experimenting and it’s just not a big deal.  And if you keep going long enough, you usually end up with something better.

See now this is way better. Same yarn, same needles, same general ideas…just this variation is starting to look orderly and intentional and dare I say it, pretty.  This I can work with…

Yarn is Tosh Merino Light in Turquoise and Tosh Vintage in Smokestack, and this will (once it’s done being a whole long strip of swatches) be the third in the set of hats.

But really…if you start thinking my knitting is pretty all the time, remember that the only reason that’s even maybe true is that I knit a lot of ugly swatches!

 

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And this is done too

I’m pretty sure this is cuter and more fun than should be allowed…

Of course it’s also unblocked and has its ends waving shamelessly in the wind.  But we won’t talk about that.

How about we distract ourselves with the cute way the top of the hat folds over on itself instead, yeah?

Or, failing that, we start daydreaming about how the third in the series should work…swatches soon (just as soon as I get the book off to the printer and sleep for 48 hours straight).

 

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Next…

This is just about ready for the decreases.

Which means it’s time to start figuring out what to do for the third one (the blue one here).

Expect swatches soon…

So when I say a set…

So when I say I’m thinking of doing a set, I’m speaking fairly loosely.  We’re not talking a hat and mitts and a cowl, we’re talking a few pieces that all explore a similar idea.

In this case, that idea is ‘what if I start with a lovely, neutral background and a simple shape…and then pull another yarn in to do something a bit crazy with a funky stitch for some fancy texture?’

So here you can see the first iteration of that (it’s Entrapment, and it’s already out on ravelry if you simply must have it).

And here’s the pink one I’m working on now (as of yet unnamed, and not yet finished being knit, so clearly not available as a pattern just yet, but it’s coming somewhere down the road).

These both use the exact same yarn for the background (Tosh Vintage in Smokestack), and then use a colorful single ply yarn for the accent color.  I’ve got a third accent color all lined up (and another skein of the gray waiting) for when this is done!

I just have to decide what I want to do for the texture stitch…

 

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