Monday, October 20, 2008

A Hat for a Friend (or I May Keep It If She Remains Too Busy To Connect With Me!)

I purchased two skeins of Noro Iro colorway 41, it is 75% wool and 25% silk. The main color is black with strands of blues, browns and some pink. (Later I realized there is a good amount of purple in it also.)

I bought the skeins with the intent of making at least a hat for myself and possibly a scarf and mittens. I have a black ski jacket and also a long black dress coat. I had hoped that the hat made of this yarn would be warm to wear when sledding with the kids in my sporty coat and nice enough looking to wear with my nice dress coat.

Then I got the idea to use this yarn to make a hat for my friend as a birthday gift first. I can always make my own hat later if I wanted one!

I decided to fashion the hat based on the same pattern that I made my Noro Kochoran hat, using the general pattern found in "Spin to Knit" by Shannon Okey. Since my Noro Kochoran hat with #9 needles was loose I decided to make this one using #8 needles and see how it panned out. I would have liked this one just a bit longer as it doesn't quite cover my earlobes. It fits much snugger than the hat I knit with #9 needles. (Of course I have no clue how this will fit my friend!)

As I began to knit I realized that just when the ribbing at the edge was done, the color variagation was changing. The general gist of this hat is to make up your stitches as you go along, doing an inch or so of one stitch/pattern before changing it to whatever you feel like doing until it is time to start the decreases.

As I knitted I decided to make the switches where the color changes. So this looks a bit like a striped hat but truly it is one variagated yarn. I also loved how the top was coming out with the crown being all shades of dark blue, going to pure black.

It is hard to capture the essence of Noro yarns with photographs. Below is one photo with the flash on and one with the flash off. I'm trying my best to capture this yarn's beauty...

I started this hat on October 15 and finished it on October 16, 2008. I took a little more than four hours to knit.

Some of my notes on the yarn are:

I worry this is a bit too scratchy for a scarf. After loving the softness of the Noro Kochoran scarf and hat that I made (Kochoran has angora in it), I don't think I'd want this Noro Iro next to my neck, even though it LOOKS great. However if I want some kind of set perhaps some mittens of this Noro Iro, especially if I line them with something softer, would be GREAT.

After working with the Noro Kochoran with the angora in it this felt more stiff and scratchy.

One of my favorite things about working with Noro yarns is just watching and appreciating the beauty of the unique strands of color, as the variagation changes, it can't really be described. I didn't know this about knitting until I started knitting myself, that part of the fun is just handling the yarn as I work with it and really enjoying the beauty of the yarn as I watch it change. For this sheer aesthetic appreciation I don't know if I'd like working with a very plain, flat color! I'm getting spoiled by working with such lucious yarns!

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Shannon said...

Y'know, if you would like it longer, you can just keep knitting for a few more rows before you start the decreases! :)

Shannon Okey /

livnletlrn said...

Enjoying then beauty of the yarn and stitches is what makes you a process knitter, enjoying the process primarily and the product only secondarily. You'll like it just as well with plain colors when you get deeper into stitch pattern options, but using yarn you love -- whether solid, variegated, or handpainted -- NEVER gets old.

livnletlrn said...

p.s. Outdoors on a sunny day, in a shaded area, no flash, will give you good light for pics to show off your yarn and stitches. Depending on your camera and how close you get for the shot, you may need to turn on the macro setting.

christinemm said...

Thanks Livnletlrn for your feedback and ideas.

Shannon I am so surprised that you visited my blog. Thanks for the inspiration! Your book has me wanting to spin and dye my own yarns. But hey, I am new to knitting and am holding myself back from going too crazy as a newbie! LOL!

After watching some spinners at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival I was thinking that I bet none have high blood pressure since the act of spinning seemed so relaxing and calming. I've never seen such a group of people looking so calm yet happy and into what they were doing!

Dana said...

The feel is nice. I haven't tried anything too fancy, but love working with cotton over acrylic when I crochet. It is just so soft running through your fingers.