Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mostly hats

So, after wanting to knit Eastlake for what seemed like ages, when I finally got the pattern book and the yarn, and started knitting, I somehow lost all interest in it. Instead I switched to hats. 

A rasta hat, for the son of this lady I work with. Done in mostly acrylic yarns of different weight, this hat gave me hell before I figured out how to make it look decent. What saved it was the fact that I increased a lot of stitches after I passed the ribbing on the brim, so the stockinette doesn't stretch that much. That way you can't really tell that it's knit with needles to large for the yarn weight. 

Next up, a DROPS hat pattern. Looked great on all the other people on Raverly, on me - no so much. The yarn is a bulky 80% wool, and even tough it's knit with 8 mm needles, the hat came out a bit stiff. When seen from the front, it makes me look like a mushroom. So I did something I never ever do. I frogged it. The yarn was just too expensive to be a hat that I wasn't ever going to wear.

Aaaaand, the crown jewel. Here and there hat, knit with Malabrigo Worsted. I must admit, I was skeptical before I ordered this yarn. Everyone on Raverly was raving about its softness, and I was thinking: How soft can it really be? The answer: Very, very, very soft. Super soft and very light. The finished hat is also very warm, it might just be my favorite hat ever.

I'm currently working on yet another hat, for my dad. I'm getting rid of some black GGH Merino Soft I have in my stash. After I finish that one, hopefully my Eastlake enthusiasm will come back long enough for me to finish it.

Monday, February 6, 2012


So, about a year ago I was in the Unitas yarn store and there was this yarn that was calling my name. Literally.

Unfortunately, Sara is 100% acrylic. I bought it anyway, it felt really soft to the touch. In fact, I bought two skeins. 

Yesterday I finally decided to use it and make a hat. As with all Unitas yarns, I encountered a gauge problem. The label says to use 4-4,5 mm needles, but this yarn knits too tightly in those sizes. Other yarns of similar thickness always call for at least 6 or 7 mm. 
But here's what I was thinking: The people who made the yarn put the 4-4,5 mm on the label for a reason. So I used 4 mm for the ribbing, cheated a bit and used 5 mm for the rest of the hat. It's thick and not very stretchy, but I can live with that. At least it will protect my ears from the wind. 

The pattern is Bonnie's Cable hat.

The hat itself turned out great, I love the color of this yarn, it matches my glasses. And therein lies the problem.

Sara, being the plasticky plastic that it is, has a squeaky feeling when you rub it in your hands. And when you wear it snugly against your head while also sporting plastic eyeglasses, it makes a sound. Squeak, squeak, squeak. Very annoying. 

And that is why, if you're shortsighted like me, you shouldn't wear acrylic hats. Or if you insist on wearing them, you should probably switch to contact lenses. Or,  you could just walk around without the eyeglasses, and hope you don't get hit by a car or something.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sea of regret

Few words can express that feeling you get when, having spent hours calculating gauge, sleeve shape and size and many weeks knitting, you realize you produced
The. Worlds. Ugliest. Sweater.

One of those words definitely rhymes with SUCK. Other one could be: WHYYYYYYY? Or even HOOOOOWWWW?

But the fact is, I made a sweater and I don't like it.

The yarn I chose was so wrong for this project. Actually, I'm thinking it's wrong for any project. Marija by Unitas. Even tough I went up the recommended needle size, I still ended up with very a dense, tight sweater. It makes my boobs look enormous accentuates my tiny waist - and not in a good way. I'm pretty sure I calculated a bit of positive ease, but math was never a friend of mine. 

Why yes, that blotch is the place I added a new skein. 
Also, even tough I calculated and calculated, I managed to mess up the sleeves big time. Yup, math and I do not get along at all. The sleeve cap turned out too long, in the end I ripped back and improvised. As it very obviously shows.  

I should have just followed the pattern, used the correct yarn weight and gauge, instead of trying to make it work with this bulky crap-yarn. The pattern is Sea of jeans, and it looks great when knit in DK yarn.

A smart knitter would give up and frog, use the yarn for something else. Not me. I just keep knitting until it's done. And now I have yet another item of 'just around the house' clothing.

I should probably make a hat next, to remove the bitter feeling of a disappointingly looking sweater.

But the plan is to cast on for Eastlake. I actually got gauge this time (unless it turns out I can't count properly, or that my gauge changes when I knit something larger than a swatch – let's face it, the chances of that happening are pretty high). I really hope the Eastlake will come out nice. Because if it doesn't, I might just have a massive breakdown.