Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rolled Brim Hat

Pattern: Rolled Brim Hat
Source: Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
Designer: Kim Hamlin
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza, scarlet and charcoal grey (I used 2 skeins for a woman's hat and a child's hat and had some left over)
Needles: Size 8 16" circular Addi Turbo, size 8 metal doublepoints
Gauge before blocking: 16 st and 22 rows to 4 inches in stockinette stitch
The photo does not do justice to this yarn. It is 50% llama, 50% wool, and a perfect combination of squishy softness and proud wooliness. It works up fast but, at the same time, has an integrity as it moves through your fingers and into a piece of fabric. Not itchy, but comfortingly warm, even in a Tennessee rainstorm. You feel like an explorer as you hike through the woods with the rain coming down harder and harder, but this magical hat is still keeping your head dry and comfortable.
For the woman's size, I cast on 72 stitches. For the child's size, 64 stitches. My first version was the adult, and I was willy-nilly with the stripes. The second time around, I followed the order of stripes in the Turn a Square Hat by Jared Flood - 3 rows of the main color alternating with two rows of the contrast color. Not sure which I prefer. The adult's has a certain insouciance (yes, now I am getting carried away) while the child's has a Ralph Lauren-J.Crew kind of feel. (By the way, Turn a Square is a great great hat. I made two while on my yoga trip and sent them both off to my older daughter before taking a picture - but they fit and looked good on everyone who tried them on in Tennessee, and they knit up super fast.)
I'm on a small project kick. Very soothing when everything else (almost) in life is in a state of invention. After listening to Kelly Petkun talk about the many advantages to knitting hats and mittens in the fall on the 66th episode of the KnitPicks podcast, I started working my way through my stash. Along the way, I've speeded up as a knitter (though, while in Tennessee, we had a concert given by a local family who are very back-to-the-land and all the little girls kept stealing glances at me as I knit my shawl, thinking "my gosh, that woman knits sooo slowly" - and this isn't just paranoia, because I asked the 16-year-old sitting beside me, and she admitted that she can knit much faster with her left hand than I could with my right). And I have the satisfaction of seeing Something Finished when so many other things are not. (Still no shipments of patience? Maybe you're clean out of it too? Where is the Patience Store when you need it?)

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