Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stupid Hat

Wakefield homespun Why are you resisting my attempts to knit you?

Trust me, you'll be much happier as a hat.

Seriously, right now all you are is a yarn ball. You're not even a hat! Just a blob falling far short of your potential.

Attempt 1
This is a 3 oz skein of handspun yarn I bought at a farmer's market in New Hampshire back in 2003 (or so).

The market was in Wakefield, which was one of the towns I covered for the newspaper, and when we thought we might fall short of filler pictures I'd go and take random shots there.

You know, stand alone images of cute local kid helping mommy buy local produce.

Well, one day I finally gave in and bought the yarn.

Since then it has languished in my stash as I've alternately wondered
  1. What on earth did I think I was going to be able to make with just one 3 oz skein?
  2. Is it going to make me itch?
Finally, the other weekend when I was all disenchanted with my active projects, I busted it out and decided it might be enough for a hat.

Of course, the hat I attempted to make had lots of cables. (I cannot tell you more than that as I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the pattern yet. Provided it's any good.)

I hit a point where I totally knew I was going to run out of yarn, but I kept knitting anyway—because you never know.

When I did finally run out I didn't have the heart to pull out all that work, especially since I'm not sure what else I'd do with it. The good news is it didn't bother my hands too much as I worked with it. The bad news is it did make my forehead itch a wee bit, so maybe a hat wouldn't have worked out anyway.

This leaves me with an interesting cabled tube. I have resisted feeding it to the puppies in a fit of spite. Mainly because it wouldn't be good for them and I don't want to encourage their interest in my yarn.

I'm thinking I'll mail it to my unsuspecting mom to see what she thinks. Maybe she can creatively attach some fabric and make an interesting little bag thingy. If I ponder this plan long enough, she'll be here for our trip to Rhinebeck and I'll save myself a trip to the post office. hehehe.

Attempt 2
As I think it's going to be a really cool hat, if I can pull it off, I then turned my attention to harvesting this scarf. Alpaca cable scarfI made it for Hubby back in, oh 2006 (which is pre-blog).

It is the Karabella pattern KK239, which is for a hat and this scarf.
I used Misti Alpaca Chunky yarn.
The pattern was fairly easy.
The yarn was dreamy.
But the poor scarf was no match for Hubby. Turns out he wore it all day, every day that winter.

The thing about this yarn is it's very soft and squishy. It was like knitting with a cloud. As I understand it, this softness is because alpaca has short fibers. Sadly, short fibers are more likely to fuzz out—and pill up.

The scarf shed like crazy. He would come home with little pills all over his suit coat and stuck in his facial hair.

At one point I washed it, thinking that might refresh it, but it only exacerbated the whole dead animal look.

The following winter I made him a new scarf, and this one went into exile on a coat hook.

I think it will make a lovely hat. I think a hat will control the shedding/pilling issue since hats aren't generally subjected to the same amount of wear & tear a scarf experiences.

Only the hat it is currently turning into is too big.

Alpaca cable fuzzMath Sucks!
Help me out here. My head is about 21 inches, I figured a 20 inch hat would be good.

With the handspun stuff I was getting 3 sts/inch. So I cast on 60 sts. The tube seems to fit fine.

With the alpaca I'm getting 4 sts/inch. So I cast on 80 sts. Now, there are increases to accommodate the cables, but even the cast on edge is too big.

I'm thinking I'll have to go down to 72 or even 64 sts. That just seems obscene.

Of course, I'm still knitting the too big hat. I can't stop myself.

In case you're wondering, my mother-in-law was no help. She thinks the pattern had potential. I explained about it possibly being too big, but I only had around 10 rows to knit to finish it. She was like "finish it. You can always pull it out."

Sheesh. It's not even her project and she has also fallen under the delusion that it will magically be the right size when it's off the needles. I thought that only affected the actual knitter!

Hmm, maybe it will fit Hubby.


  1. I was thinking...that if that poor abused and neglected yarn is not enough for a hat, how about putting a rim or hem of a contrasting color???

  2. How about making a cowl out of the tube??

    I'm not going to be any help with the math, Ann, my eyes automatically started glazing over!! LOL