Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Deferring to the hat

My family is abuzz with rumours. All about me, and let's face it, isn't that the way things should be? All about ME Me ME??? Tee hee. You see, I have been knitting again (still?). No, not the projects I should keep plugging away at if I want them done by christmas (and BTW, that poncho is looking more and more like a wrap every day that trickles by and brings us closer to that holiday). I have never made a baby hat before. I adore them, I want to make them, but alas there are no babies for me to make a hat for. Then I read that Yarn Harlot was suggesting that a certain project needed baby hats. Fruit and veggie hats for babies to promote breastfeeding, to be exact. Oooh, a good cause! Ooooh, an excuse to make those adorable hats I've wanted so bad to try! So that is what I have been doing. And rather than ask me WHY I might be making baby hats, they talked amongst themselves instead. And according to the rumour mill, I must be pregnant if I am knitting baby hats, and the baby must be due in the winter since knitted items are for snow, right? Don't worry, I'll shut the idea down before they throw me a shower or anything ROFL. Using some yarn leftovers, I created two plum hats. Or they could be italian eggplants LOL. The first one I discovered a bit of a tribble in the pattern I found on the internet, but once I made a small correction the next hat turned out lovely. Very quick to knit, I made these both in the same evening. I wouldn't suggest doing that, I ended up making my left hand very very sore and should have known better. But I was like posessed! "Must finish baby hat!". The original pattern and my comment with the correction can be found here, at KnitChicks. This is the same pattern I used to make the Tomato Hat, since I couldn't bear not to make it in the colours called for. Of course, I had to go out and buy some red yarn because I didn't have any. This baby hat thing was starting to turn into some kind of obsession. Never mind the naked baby doll I borrowed from DD to be my model. It's head is small, the hats are not freakishly large - in case you were wondering. So once I had made that pattern three times, and figured some things out, I decided to try to convert a stitch pattern called "raspberry stitch" and come up with my own pattern. Which would have been fun and easy if I had any brains in my head and can do simple figuring, logistics, and basic kindergarten math. This hat, this one teeny tiny little raspberry hat took TWELVE hours to knit. That is right! My entire day off yesterday was spent making this hat. There are some things of note, when converting a flat stitch pattern into knitting-in-the-round. First of all, let somebody with enough brains to feed themselves work it out for you. If that is not possible, then at least remember that there is no "wrong side" and "right side" in that you are knitting around and around and around and not back and forth - you aren't turning your work. This means you have to convert wrong side rows to make them right side rows, and account for the fact that you are basically knitting them in the wrong direction. Here I was, knitting along, thinking gee, for a raspberry stitch pattern it is awfully flat and boring. Oh well, too late to start over and too lazy to rip back, so keep on going. And boy, was it a bugger to knit! I was halfway through before I figured out that those purl rows that were very tight and a bitch to "purl3-together" should be KNIT rows, since the purl would be the wrong side in flat knitting leaving you knits to purl together (which is much much easier and causes less swearing and flinging of projects, which is always optimal when making baby hats). Also, the knit 1 at the beginning and end of each row is meant to keep your flat swatch from curling on the ends, and is completely unecessary when knitting in the round. In fact, it will be an undesireable flat space with no pattern on your finished piece and can ruin the effect, unless you realize this soon enough to eliminate those stitches before you have gone too far. ALSO.... Oh yes, there is more! - funny, for a small hat I learned a lot of lessons. Next is that if you do a reduce row, and want to maintain your pattern which is a repeat of four stitches, that you want to knit three and then knit two together rather than knit FOUR and knit two together which leaves you with extra stitches and pretty much in the same quandry you started with. I'm just saying. Imagine my surprise when I went to sew in the ends, and turned the hat inside out to find....THIS!
The picture isn't that great, and you might not be able to see the detail. But somehow, the INSIDE of my hat was covered with little tiny bobbles, and it DOES look like a raspberry! No idea how I did that, I guess I really have no idea how to convert a flat swatch to knitting in the round. It was a nice surprise though LOL. I added the little bow and admired the green ruffle that will never ever be made again, because casting on twice as many stitches than you need, knitting one row, then immediately reducing back by knitting two together all the way around (while a cute idea) is harder than it sounds, more fiddley than you can imagine, and makes a person want to poke thier eyes out with size 9 DPNs. Just so you know.


Lynn in Tucson said...

Hi - I was going to use the same pattern for my Harlot hats. Thank you for posting the correction.
Can I ask you - did you carry the main color behind, around and around, while you did the leaves? I haven't done anything with more than one color before and I wasn't sure how to approach this.
Thanks, Lynn

DancesInGarden said...

Lynn, I sent you an email, but basically the answer is I drop one colour and use the other, then pick it up again as I need it. This hat has some long 7 stitch floats, and some people would twist the yarns about half way.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to tell you how talented you are! So it will be me. You are soo talented. And funny. :)

DancesInGarden said...

Thank you anonymous! Boy, it's nice to see anonymous and have it not be blog spam ROFL.

Anonymous said...

I know this was entry posted a few months ago and that you may not even ready this but here goes nothing. ^.^
I am wanting to learn the raspberry stitch and was wondering where you learned it? I am not very familiar with all the knitting pattern abbreviations yet.
Thank you :-)

DancesInGarden said...

Kittie, I have no other way to contact you, so I am hoping you will look here. This raspberry stitch would have been much easier had I followed the pattern instead of trying to convert a flat pattern to do in the round.

This is the pattern:

Cast on a multiple of 4 + 2

1st and 3rd rows: P

2nd row: K1, *(K1, P1, K1) into the next st, P3tog, repeat from * to last st, k1

4th row: K1, *P3tog, (K1, P1, K1) into the next st, repeat from * to last stitch, k1

Rows 1 - 4 form pattern. Repeat for desired length.

email me at dancesingarden@sympatico.ca if you need any help with the short forms and all that! I can't reply directly to you without an address to reply to.