I suppose what I should be blogging about is mom and my adventures at Rhinebeck over the weekend, but I'm not in the mood.
I did, however, upload pictures of my new yarn to my "Yarn Hoard" set on Flicker, so you can bounce over there for a sneak peek if you want.
Actually what I should be doing is working on the article I'm supposed to be writing that is due this week, but I'm deep into denial and procrastination. Of course making some progress on it might improve my mood.
Hat Take 1
Having failed at all of my pre-Rhinebeck knitting goals--finishing the Celtic Critter Cardigan in time to wear it, finishing any project with any Rhinebeck 2009 yarn in time to wear it, finishing a project with gift yarn from my CT friends--I decided that maybe I can have a new hat to wear.
Hats are small, right?
To that end I busted out the sample skein of Noro Kureyon I have in color #264, which is one of the new colors this year.
My orginal plan for this skein was to work a square from the Lizard Ridge blanket from Knitty Fall 06 for my Swatchy Blanket. I saw Pam's square and was enchanted.
Then I forgot that idea and instead remembered Vogue Knitting had a free one-skein hat pattern, which sounded like a fabulous idea since the Lizard Ridge blanket was a distant, pre-move idea.
The Evil of Gauge
Maybe my issues aren't gauge's fault. Maybe they are my own fault for not swatching. But that admission would be taking responsability, and heaven forbid I do that.
After all, it's a hat! By the time I swatched I'd be half way done.
So instead I just plunged in and started knitting.
Here's a tip that I might have shared in the past. If you are casting on a large number of stitches using the long-tail method, say over 100, instead of trying to guess how long of a tail to leave, tie two balls (or the two ends of one ball) together and use that knot as an anchor in place of a slip knot.
One strand acts as your tail. The other is your working yarn. You can cast on blissfully without worrying about running out. Then when you have enough stitches snip the "tail" strand and off you go.
In a case like the Kureyon yarn where each end of the ball is a different color designating a "tail" strand is more important. I decided to make the pink the tail (so it hung in front as I cast on) as I thought the contrasting rim would be cute. Also, the purple was coming from the inside of the ball and I prefer to pull my yarn from the inside.
If I had let the pink hang in back and still designated the purple as my "working" yarn my rim would have been purple, my first row would have been pink, and my second row and on would have been purple. That seemed like an interesting option as well, but I decided to be boring.
As you can see, careful consideration must be given when casting on with two different colors.
After a week of industrious knitting the hat was almost finished and I was rather excited that I'd meet a Rhinebeck knitting goal.
At which point things started to go wrong.
First I ran out of yarn.
I found this hysterical since it's a one skein hat and the yardage hasn't changed. This made me decide to finally check my gauge and it was indeed off.
Since I was going to have to rework the hat anyway I decided to try it on for fit.
As you can see in the picture above it's a little too big.
First I whipped stitched it shut properly (edge to edge) and found it was baggy.
Then I choked it down by 16 stitches. I was going to just fold it over and whip stitch it, but I realized the extra fabric would skew the fit so I attached the edge to the interior so the extra flap would be on the outside. (That's the picture.)
Although the fit was greatly improved, it was still a little too big. I probably could have worn it, but I realized that if I washed it, or it otherwise stretched, it would be unpleasantly baggy.
So I choked it down to 80 sts and it seemed just right.
Since I was starting from scratch anyway, I decided to work the dang thing in the round this time. A hat worked flat might be good for a beginner knitter, but for an experienced one like myself who doesn't mind working on double points, it just requires unnecessary finishing.
Of course this meant that another Rhinebeck knitting goal had fallen by the wayside. On the other hand, I had a small project to take with me.
(Look! I'm covered in Noro!)
Hat Take 2
I'm chugging along on this new version.
Since I'm a slow learner I once again didn't do a gauge swatch. I figure the first hat counts as my swatch.
I don't expect my gauge to have changed because I'm still working in ribbing, so I don't have that no-purl-because-I'm-working-in-the-round issue to worry about. Also, I've gone from my plastic Denise Interchangable Needles to my bamboo dpns and expect them to have the same amount of drag.
I should be safe. As you can see in the picture the fit seems to be much better.
Soon. Soon I will have a new hat!