Monday, February 18, 2008

While on Newbury Street doing an interview for work recently, I snuck over to a nearby yarn shop that specializes in luxury yarns. This reddish-pinkish yarn leapt off the shelves and into my arms. “Take me home, make something beautiful,” it purred snuggling up to me. At $17 a skein, I knew I couldn’t make much, but I figured I could be happy just being able to look at the gloriousness of the colors playing off one another. The yarn is Khroma, “Fiber expressed as art.” It is “Crafted with heartfelt passion for the unusual in beauty and texture with subtle variances.” How could I resist? It’s a 50/50 combination of Baby Alpaca and Merino, making it as delightful to touch as to look at. I would have been happy with that one small skein of 100 yards. But the phone line had problems and it took a great deal of time for the sale to go through. As I waited, my eyes wandered the shelves. The cynic might say it was a very good ploy by an enterprising yarn seller to retain the customer just a bit longer. I’d rather think it was the forces of the universe determined to bring together an amazing combination of yarns. Up on the shelf, too high to be seen when I was walking around the store was a soft skein of light pink and a dark burgundy that complemented my skein of Khorma perfectly. There was no question. They had to be together.

I decided on a hat and set out to find the perfect pattern. Of course, none existed. I liked part of this one and part of that one, but none was quite right. In the end, I decided to create my own. I am now fully in love with making hats. In two (long) nights of knitting I managed to make two hats – the first wasn’t quite right and was frogged to make way for the second. Here is my loose formula, easily adapted to fit a variety of yarns and colors.

My gauge for this project was 4 stitches an inch on size 6 needles.
The band is a long strip joined in the back. Mine is 9 stitches across and 18.5 inches long. I sewed it, but it would be just a little more difficult to cast on with waste yarn and kitchner the two ends together. I slipped the last stitch of every row as if to purl, which created a nice edge.

Then I picked up stitches. I ended up with 66 – this turned out not to be enough, which is the main reason the first hat was frogged. On the second go around, I added 6 stitches evenly for a total of 72. That made for a had that fits my 22 inch head perfectly.

From here, you can add stripes as desired and purl every few rows to add some texture. My striping pattern was this:

Row 1 (the pick up row): MC

Row 2 (the increase row): MC

Row 3,4: Knit in CC1

Row 5: Knit in CC2
Row 6: Purl in CC2
Row 7,8, Knit in CC!
Row 9: Knit in MC
Row 10: Purl in MC

I repeated rows 3-10 until the piece measured 6.5 inches from the bottom. Then I switched to the MC for the rest of the hat.

For the dereases:
1:Knit 10, k2tog, pm – repeat around
2: (and all other even rows)knit all the way around
3 and all odd rows – knit until two stitches before marker, knit two together.

Repeat until there are 4 stitches left between markers. Knit2tog all the way around. Knit one row even. K2tog all the way around. Cut yarn and pull through remaining 6 stitches. Finish off by weaving in ends.

I hope I have yarn left for mittens. I’m going to try to knit them both at the same time so I don’t end up with 1.5 mittens.

I also recently spotted two PDKs

In the movie “No Reservations” The elderly, reliable babysitter is knitting when the mom comes home from work.

And in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (not the most recent, I was catching up on some missed episodes) George’s mother makes baby clothes not realizing he’s getting a divorce. Toward the end of the show, she is shown knitting a baby hat, but I will note that the clothes shown earlier in the episode appear to have been crocheted. (I realize some people do both so that’s not entirely inconsistent)

On a more personal note: it is with great relief that I welcomed home DH from South Africa. It was some gratifying when on Saturday as we ran the kids around while getting groceries and generally taking care of things, he said, “And, how exactly did you do this when I wasn’t here?” I’m just really glad to not have to anymore.
We went to the beach today - 52 degrees after the rain went away.


Danielle said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures! :) The hat came out wonderfully well.

Anonymous said...

i love reading your blog. It is the way I can catch up on family happenings.
DN(dear nephew) congratulations on your book.
j...your are a creative knitter, blogger, and writer.
love from tucson arizona,
your aunt jeanne
(although legally it has been Malina for three+ years)

Bonnie D. said...

I LOVE your hat. The colors are beautiful and I just wish I could feel it as your description makes it sound heavenly. I love hats, too. Really nice for almost-instant gratification.

Allison said...

I agree with Bonnie - LOVE IT!! The colors are great and it sounds so wonderfully soft. Glad it turned out so well.

Holly Jo said...

Love the hat. I can see the softness. :) Some people can wear hats, others can't. You are such a hat person. They always look cute on you. :)

sk said...

me, too. I love your hat.

Janice said...

I love the hat! The colors are perfect and it looks GREAT on!! Thanks for sharing the pattern!

ninou77 said...

what I am supposed to write? Your hat is beautiful! I love the colors and the shape! Thanks for the pattern! I will try it!