Sunday, February 22, 2009

"You've Got Some Nerve!"

"You did what? How dare you?!"

Ok, so I did something I wish I didn't have to. And I'm feeling a little shameful about it, but before you judge, let me defend myself.

I absolutely loved the hat I got at the hat exchange. I did.
First, it's alpaca and dreamy soft. Let me say again, Al-pa-ca. Yum. I loved that someone made it with care and did a great job. The colours are gorge. BUT...

But, I couldn't wear it. It just didn't fit. The colour stranding wouldn't stretch and the hat was too tight. I finally decided that if I really loved the hat I had to remake it, rather than let it sit in a drawer never worn and feeling unloved. I hope if its maker ever reads this post she will forgive me for the sacrilege and recognize that I redid this hat out of love...

But once the decision was made, I unraveled the hat from the top down. Another testament to how well the hat was made was how straight forward it was to undo. No knots, and logical construction. (So often not the case.) When I got below the colour work, I put all the stitches onto some dpns [double pointed needles]. 112 sts.
And rolled up all the yarn I had to use:
Then I started again. Although I considered recreating the original pattern, I didn't because 1. it would be a pain to try to chart it, and 2. I'd probably run out of yarn since I would be knitting looser so that hat would stretch and fit.

So, instead, I went with the Three and One pattern from EZ's book The Opinionated Knitter. It's a colour pattern she designed for sweaters in which every row contains 1 st of one colour and 3 st of another, with a few solid rows thrown in. It's one of those cases where something very simple leads to a deceptively complex design.

I started following her pattern closely, except that I had to stick with the same two colours for a few consecutive rows instead of changing them as often as she did. Then after I lost my place in the chart once, I was "loosely" following her pattern. And by the end I was doing a pattern "inspired by" EZ's pattern. I did, however, stick with the Three and One principal. When the hat was long enough, I switched back to black yarn and made the crown according to EZ's pillbox pattern in the same book.

The final hat:
I am a little disconcerted by all the left over yarn I have, but I think my version came out shorter. (The original was pretty long; or at least long enough that I could fold the brim over as a cuff.) I still feel a bit like I've lived the comic scene where someone rebuilds a clock or an engine and has three leftover parts that don't seem to belong anywhere...but you know they must have been needed somewhere...

But in spite of that, and best of all, it fits!

Or, if you prefer, a side-by-side comparison:

While knitting this up, I took pics and video for a colour stranding tutorial...look for it soon!


  1. What a great post! I really like your blog. I am uber impressed with the way you redid the hat! It looks so great and now you can wear it!

  2. I would have never had the nerve to do that. Mainly because I've never done the stranding thing.

  3. Gorgeous! I think the original knitter would be more than pleased with the results, and hopefully touched that you loved the hat so much that you would take the time to reknit it so that you could wear it. Great job!

  4. @Moonlit: well, you could also have chosen to remake the hat with stripes out of the yarn. Avoids the whole stranding issue.

    @BerlinBetty: thank you! I still hope the original knitter doesn't find out, but if she does, I sure hope she thinks like you!




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