Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Hat for Me!

Here's the full story on my hat #4.

My kids were in a history class for homeschoolers in Westport one day last week. I had time to kill so went to their wonderful public library and scanned the knitting shelf. I sat down at a gigantic table (all alone) with a stack of knitting books spread before me. I then sat in silence and poured over the books for a couple of hours. Let me tell you that experience was pure bliss. What a wonderful way to spend a morning!!

One book that I was inspired by was "Spin to Knit: The Knitter's Guide to Making Yarn" by Shannon Okey. At this time I do not spin. However I did buy an inexpensive drop spindle at a homeschooling conference and figured it might be a fun thing to do for a history-related craft project with my kids.

I also have roving on hand so if I do figure out how to spin with the drop spindle I already have what I need to make a bit of yarn.

I borrowed the book from the library.

I then went to the yarn shop to buy some yarn but they were closed! So two days later when I was in that town again I swung by the LYS to get yarn for my husband's hat and picked up two kinds of yarn to make myself hats with. One color will match my winter coats well. The other color I thought would look nice with my skin and hair color.

I liked one hat in the book "Spin to Knit" which I'll call a semi-pattern. I say that because the intention is to use over-spun hand spun yarn and the fact that it is over-spun gives it a different visual effect. The fact that the yarn is hand spun doesn't make it an easy match to substitute for store-bought yarn so I wasn't quite sure if the gauge of my yarn was right or not. Also the only true parts to the pattern are the cast-on, the first inch of ribbing then the decreasing. For the rest it says to basically use all different stitches in a random manner, using one stitch for about an inch or an inch and a half. So we are to improvise and make up our own pattern. The pattern is called "Power Station Hat" by Shannon Okey and is on page 89. The hat in the book has a more solid color striped look to it (shade of brown and white) and the hat I was making was using a multi-colored yarn where the strand may have two or three colors in it and changes colors throughout the skein.

So I made the hat but did not use hand spun yarn, and did not use over-spun yarn either. I just used a lovely new yarn that I bought the other day. It is
a super soft blend of 50% wool, 20% silk and 30% angora (Noro Kochoran colorway 31 dye lot D2, handpainted and made in Japan).

This is my first all-finished, ready to use knitted project I made for ME!

I did a tiny bit of work on Thursday night before bed, continued Friday night before bed, and finished it this morning. I didn't time myself, I think that I spent six or seven hours on this.

This was also the first time I ever knitting with stockinette stitch other than in small swatches to practice. It was the very first time that I knitted in moss stitch. The hat has combinations of garter stitch, stockinette stitch, moss stitch and some random striping going from knitting in knit stitch then switching to some in purl stitch.

I really like the hat even though it is a bit longer than I had hoped for (even though I stopped knitting when it reached seven inches as the pattern said). It fits a bit on the loose side also.

I love the colors and it is so soft and warm!

One last note about the book, it is so inspiring. I have the urge to learn to spin! I want to hand dye my own yarn! I really like the creating part of making stuff. I'm not so much into following someone else's directions and just making projects. I like figuring out what to make, adapting things to suit my own tastes and also creating stuff from nothing into something that involves my own creative process. To me so much of the fun is in the creating part not just enjoying using the finished project.


livnletlrn said...


Peace Fleece would not be a good fiber for spindle spinning. It's a short staple fiber. Combined with a drop spindle, it would surely be frustrating. If you have something with a longer staple (length of individual fibers), try that. Otherwise, LMK and I'll mail you a longer staple fiber.

Next Nutmeg Spinners Guild meeting is Dec. 6.

You may also be interested in these:

christinemm said...

Thanks for the compliment on this hat!

Last night I decided to use more of the same yarn for a scarf so I will have a matching set.

I was tempted to make a neck warmer instead...maybe next time.