Moral obligations

Ahem. Why yes. Yes I think that will do nicely!⁠

I’m pretty sure I’m morally obligated to get pictures of the crowns of all three of these and show them off to you in quick succession so you can tell me which one is your favorite.⁠

But now, just for today, I think perhaps we can just revel in how spiffy this one is, don’t you?⁠

I’ll put together a big Q&A post for these hats later this week, but for now, all you need to know is that they’re damn nifty and they’re coming soon!

Stave off

I believe when last we visited with this hat, I was using it to stave off the despair caused by the whole Snow + Cold + January + Dark + Pandemic + Broken Heat situation. ⁠

And while I’m not quite sure that’s a fair burden to put on a sweet little hat, I can report that the sun is setting several minutes later, the primary heating system in my house is currently working, and it is not snowing. ⁠

So I’m calling it a win.⁠

Details on the pattern release are coming soon, make sure you’re on the mailing list if you want to know when it drops. And details on the yarn are up over at Gauge Dye Works!

Kinky

Ok, before we get to the cast on, let’s deal with the swatches from the yarns I’m not using. You’ll recall I said I was leaving them attached to the skein (not cutting the yarn at all). ⁠

When I was done with the swatches, I just unraveled them. But because I blocked the swatches, the yarn is super kinky.⁠

Don’t. Ever. Knit. With. Kinky. Yarn.⁠ It’s no fun, and it will wreck your tension. ⁠

If you need to use the yarn right away, you can wrap it back into a skein (a swift or the back of a chair is good for that), tie it off in four or five places, toss it in the sink and let it soak, gently press out the excess water, then hang it up to dry (ahem, somewhere that drips don’t matter, I usually do it in the shower).

If you don’t need to use if for a while, you can see if the kinks just sort of fall out on their own. That’s what I’m doing here. I wrapped the kinky yarn around the rest of the yarn and will leave it in the bathroom the next time I take a steamy shower and then toss it back in the stash.⁠

It will probably be relaxed again by the time I go to use it (especially the Berocco which was much more relaxed out of the swatch than the Hedgehog Fibres yarn was). If it’s not, I can always soak it as above. But this usually works if it sits in the stash for a while before I get around to using it. ⁠

Next, we cast on. But first, I’ve got a another little hat we need to talk about, so we’ll pause for that!

Blocked

And here they are after being blocked. The changes are a little bit subtle (especially in a picture, it’s more pronounced in person), but still important. Flip back and forth between this post and the previous one if you want to look more closely.⁠

The easiest place to see them is probably to look at the spaces in between the stitches, especially on the Hedgehog Fibres and La Bien Aimée yarns. You can see how they both sort of opened up and filled in the spaces between the stitches to make a much more solid fabric. Which is very much what I hope and expected it would do! A lot of yarns sort of bloom a bit when you first wash them, and it can make a big difference. If I didn’t expect that it was going to bloom a bit, I would have needed to use a smaller needle to get as dense a fabric as I want, but I suspected this would happen, so I went with a needle that gave me a slightly-too-open fabric in the swatch to leave room for it to bloom when blocked.⁠

This is reason seven hundred and forty three to block your swatches, just for anyone keeping track at home.⁠

The Berocco one didn’t fluff up quite the same way, but it did sort of soften a bit and the cables became a little less distinct. That’s not a good or a bad thing, but it is for sure something you’d want to know to help you decide if that’s what you’re going for in a particular project. ⁠

I say again (just because I never ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings!) that they are all beautiful yarns and that the projects would be glorious in any one of them.⁠

But I do know which one I’ll be using now…wanna guess?