Stochastic KAL

Ok, ok so you folks like one! And the good folks at Gauge Dye Works are awfully accommodating. So between us all, I think we might be able to pull off a very mellow, very chill, very (very very) unstructured knitalong.

Here’s the bit where I say I normally get squirrely about knitalongs because if they have too many rules, they start to feel like homework.  And I super don’t want my knitting to feel like homework thank you very much indeed. So we will keep this as mellow and unstructured as humanly possible.  But, if what you’re wanting is to show off your knitting to other folks knitting sort of the same thing, we can make that happen.

You can follow and use the hashtag #StochasticHat on instagram.  That will show you hats other folks are making with the pattern (and let other folks see what you’re making)! Or you can head over to Gauge Dye Works ravelry group and check out their thread and share your projects there.

It is completely fine to post projects using any yarn in either place.  You absolutely do not have to use the special yarn dyed for the hat.  In fact, I’m hoping to see lots of different yarns so we can all see how awesome this looks with all sorts of yarns (no really, that’s half the fun of my job, I love seeing what you come up with)!

And at some point in the not too distant future, I’ll see if I can’t maybe find a way to send a few of the extra skeins of this yarn I happen to have sitting around off to a few folks who play along on instagram.  I’ll post about the details of that once I sort out the logistics, but for now, all you have to do is tag your posts there with #StochasticHat and show off what you’re making!

As a reminder, the pattern is available on both ravelry and payhip, and you’ve got another day or so to use the code RANDOM to take 10% off in either place!

 

Stochastic

Ok, we’ll hit the highlights first, because I know we all have short attention spans these days.

  • Stochastic is out on both ravelry and payhip (use the code RANDOM for 10% off for the first few days the pattern is out).
  • The yarn is specially dyed just for this pattern from Gauge Dye Works, and they’re totally doing a knit along for it (but read on for more yarn info, you can absolutely make this with just about any yarn).

See? See I can be short and to the point. Occasionally.  If absolutely necessary.  Sort of.  But now that that unnatural brevity is over with, let’s explode in a shower of words.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been finding the world a bit overwhelming for the last little while.  The sort of overwhelming where I very very much want to knit, but the idea of knitting anything even faintly complicated feels way too hard.  But I also have the attention span of a gnat, and if you ask me to just knit plain stockinette, I’m going to make it about three rows before I get distracted and wander off to make a cup of tea.  I’ll come back three hours later having left the car keys beside the microwave, organized half the spice drawer, started (but absolutely not finished) a load of laundry, printed out the return label for a package (but absolutely not having actually packed the box much less set it out for the carrier), and wondering why my tea is cold and why my hat isn’t any bigger.

I don’t love how my brain works, but I am fairly familiar with its tricks by this point.  And that familiarity means I can play some tricks of my own.  And this yarn? This yarn is designed in a lab to trick my brain into settling down and enjoying itself.

It starts off with a stretch of color just the right length to work the brim of a hat.  Right about the moment I’m starting to get sick of the brim, it changes over to a lovely, mellow background color.  After a little while, that background color is interrupted with Tiny Little Blips of strategically placed spiffy color.  Those blips come along just frequently enough to keep my brain from getting bored and wandering off to play in traffic. Because every time you get to a blip, you make a fancy stitch.

Now, should this be enough stimulation to hold my attention? Perhaps not. But it turns out it is enough.  And these days I’m not fighting with my brain when I don’t have to.  I’m letting my poor, tired, stressed out brain do what it enjoys.  And it turns out, it really really really enjoys this.  Cruising along, making easy fabric, and occasionally doing a little cartwheel to show off some pretty color.  Oh, and then, then you get to do a deeply satisfying hat crown.  Because that’s always tremendous fun!

And look, you totally don’t have to have This Exact Yarn to do this.  I mean I think you’ll have an awesome time, and this yarn does most of the work for you.  But if you have a regular skein of a background yarn and a mini skein or some leftovers of a contrast yarn, you can absolutely make it that way.  Or you can make it with one long gradient skein (the kind where the yarn changes color over the whole course of the skein).  Or you can even make it with a single skein of regular yarn if you’re feeling a bit subdued.

It’s really unspeakably flexible (and yes, all three versions are in the pattern). If you’re currently thinking ‘hey, I wounder if I could use…?’ the answer is almost certainly ‘yes absolutely!’  There’s an extensive discussion of options in the pattern, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble at all.  Or…or you can just get one of the skeins designed just for the hat and relax and cruise along.  Either way will absolutely work just fine!

So, just to sum up, in case you got lost in the shower of words:

  • The pattern is called Stochastic.  It’s out on both payhip and ravelry.  The code RANDOM will get you 10% off in either place for the next day or two (if you want an email with a bigger discount code the next time I put a pattern out, get on the mailing list and we’ll make that happen).
  • You can get the specially dyed yarn from Gauge Dye Works right here and it will do a whole bunch of the work for you, but you can also use a huge variety of other yarns (and the pattern tells you how).

And I truly hope you enjoy this as much as I have. It was exactly what I needed right now. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Speckle vs sparkle

Look, I was fairly direct about the ‘huh, yeah, pretty much the same as last time, just maybe a bit taller’ stage we were about to enter. So while I acknowledge that ‘same, but an inch or two bigger’ might not be the most scintillating content ever to cross your feed, you can’t really say you were misled.

Besides, you’re mostly knitters. I suspect you all have a certain sympathy with the ‘right, now do that for six more inches’ phase of a project.

And yes, yes the yarn is yummy. And so far I’ve *mostly* restrained the urge to pick at the occasional rogue speckle that feels slightly out of place. That way lies madness, and we’re not succumbing to that particular compulsion right this minute if we can avoid it.

Though I did give in and lift out the two tiny bits of sparkle, because speckle is my jam, but sparkle is not. We all have our limitations.

Diverting

Ok, good news bad news time.

The good news is I do indeed seem to remember how to knit cables, and the speckles are indeed proving every bit as diverting as one might hope.

The bad news is this is going to continue to look pretty much like this, just slightly taller, for the foreseeable future.

Sorry, hats are often just sort of like that.

But this is indeed doing all the things I wanted it to do (and just wait till you see what is going to happen at the top…either you’ll love it or you’ll conclude I’ve lost my few remaining marbles and descended fully into absurdity…which should at least be amusing for the onlookers)!