Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hat of Torture

Phew. I finished my Hat Of Torture. It's based on this pattern here, but since I couldn't figure out what "heavy worsted weight" yarn was, I ended up buying "double knit" by mistake. Yarn terms confuse me endlessly. Not wanting my yarn to go to waste (or sit languishing in the closet), I tried doing the math to compensate for the thinner yarn. The pattern goes on 20-stitch repeats, so that's what I added.

So I cast on 100 stitches, and started knitting. But 100 stitches looked far too big. It could fit a basketball. Could I have made a mistake? Darn. I ripped it out and started over with 80 stitches.

It looked OK at first, but as I started doing the cabling to create the scrunchy brim, it shrank. A lot. It might have fit over a toddler's head. A really small toddler. So I ripped it out and started over with 100 stitches. This time, it shrank down to what looked like a reasonable hat size.

This was also my first attempt at cabling. I messed up a bunch of times. I managed to put a twist in the brim, so I had to take out a few lines.

Eventually, I knitted the whole thing up. But it was not over. I'd used 4mm needles because that's what the yarn ball tag recommended, but it turned out to be so tight that it felt like a tourniquet around my forehead. So I ripped the whole thing out, again.

This time I switched to 5mm needles. The size turned out OK, but since I didn't have any circular 5mm needles, I had to work the whole thing on double points. You can't put 100 stitches of double knit yarn on double point needles without them falling off all the time. I dropped stiches like dandruff. I managed to pick them up, but at the cost of introducing several really obvious ladders up the sides that I had to spend ages stretching out.

And finally, it was done. Good grief. I've never had so much trouble from a hat. At least now it fits comfortably, and looks reasonably good, even if it's not much like the one in the original pattern. I don't think I'd pick this type of yarn to do this kind of pattern again, though. I think the cabling would show up better with plain solid yarn.

By the way, what exactly does "Pass Stitch" mean? I can hardly find any references to it on the internet. The one site I found said it meant to slip the stitch, but do it as if you're purling rather than knitting. I don't know what difference this makes. So I really have no idea if I even got the pattern right. Oh well. It seems to work.


Lana said...

Wow, Kea, it certainly seems like you've gone through more than your fair share of trials with this hat!! Next time, drop me a note and I'll help you out.

Worsted weight yarn usually knits up at around 20 stitches/10cm. DK yarn will knit up at around 22 stitches/10 cm.

"Pass stitch over" usually appears with a "psso", or "pass slipped stitch over" operation. Basically, what this means is that you slip one stitch from the left needle to the right needle without knitting it. Then, you knit the next stitch. Using your left needle, you pick up the slipped stitch (the second stitch from the point on the right needle) and bring it over the knitted stitch (the first stitch from the point on the right needle) and off the needle. This has the effect of decreasing your stitch count by one. I hope that helps!

Kea said...

Hmmm.. The pattern didn't say "psso", it just said "ps". I'm also fairly certain that the pattern does not intend decreases in the brim. Could you take a look (I linked it) and see what you can make of it?

The original pattern also tells you to use 6mm needles (US size 10) with the worsted weight yarn, which seems unusually big to me. Maybe you have to use oversized needles for the scrunchy cabling to work properly?

Macoco said...

Ooh I like how the hat came out! Love the color too.