Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doing it the Easy Way

So I started with this:

Three turtlenecks I bought at Goodwill (or some other used clothing outlet, I don't remember) in order to harvest the cotton they were made from. I've mentioned them before because I used them for my cotton cloth project last summer. (Wrote about it here; no, it's still not done...)

When you disassemble sweaters for yarn harvesting, you generally start at the top. First step: remove the turtleneck. Once I had the turtleneck sitting on my lap I realized I had a very good beginning of a hat.

So this Christmas I took the three "necks" with me when I went to visit family as a simple take-along projects.

Here you have the three stages:
The purple (left) is straight off the sweater. The red (center) is in the process of being knit and the blue (right) is done.
Straight off of the sweater, you have to pull on the yarn pieces until you have it raveled to the same row all the way around. (It's pretty much impossible to cut it along one row.) Then put the free stitches onto needles of an appropriate size. Then it's time to count the stitches and figure out how you're going to do the decreases.

The "default" decrease ratio is to do them 8 times on every other round. But if your stitch number doesn't divide by 8 and you have a rib pattern you want to keep intact, you may have to make something else up.

For the blue one, I did increases 10 times in a round, beginning every other row and then switching to every row because the hat needed to end more quickly.
It was done in a basic spiral pattern.

For the red, the stitch count worked better for six decreases in a round. Instead of a spiral, I did a pattern like three upside down Vs which meet at the top.
Since six stitches in a round would make the decrease section way too long, I threw in decreases in the purl sections at various points. It doesn't disturb the rib pattern at all.

The purple hat is still waiting. (It needed smaller needles than I had handy at the time.) It has a lot more stitches and I don't think the total divides evenly by eight either.

Meanwhile, I can introduce you to Suzette who is capably modeling the blue and red hats:
Yes, Suzette has a divet in her nose. Don't mention it--she's a little sensitive.
(:whisper: nose job gone bad)
Suzette was a gift from my sister who heard me saying I needed a model for my hats. It's very hard to take a picture of a hat on your own head.

Being made from turtlenecks does make the hats a little on the small size. But that's ok because hats always fit someone! When I have the third done, I'll be sending them on to the Ravelry group Caps for a Cure for people with cancer who need a little head covering. The cotton will be great--non-irritating, washable, soft, and good for indoor wear. The only drawback is that the turtlenecks have a seam in them which could be a problem. I think that is a very minor problem, however.

I can report that the blue one went very quickly and I finished it in one evening even while chattering away with various sisters and my mom. The red one took just a little longer as I was more distracted. I did have a chance one morning to sit and knit with my niece. I just found out that she started knitting.
I taught her older brother some time ago, but every time I come over he's still working on the same pair of orange slippers. This one has already finished two Barbie scarves. (Barbie has to be the inspiration for a lot of new knitters and sewers. It's how I started designing.)

All for now!
-Clickety Clack

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