Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Double Double Take (or A Hat is a Gauge Swatch)

I've started a hat I've had in mind for a while...something with a skull on it for someone I work with. (No, I don't want him dead--it's the haunted house thing again.) He always admires my knitting and extols the virtues of wool and alpaca. There's not much more you can do to make yourself knit worthy! (Ok, maybe actually buying me wool would raise you up a little higher, but that's not necessary.)

I had already decided to double knit the hat for warmth and to avoid the long floats the colourwork would require. I found two complementary shades of brown of the same yarn in my stash and set to work.

The slit in the top is from when I was working in rows.
Once the increases were done, I started working in the
round. It will be short work to sew the seam shut with
the long tails I left at the cast on.
The first start was not very successful. I started at the bottom as the pattern suggested, but the number of stitches was way off--the hat would have been huge. The double knitting part, however, was making it hard to get a good sense of my gauge. I had the brilliant plan to start over from the top so I could just stop increasing when the hat was big enough.

That worked fairly successfully. I did the crown of the hat on straight needles in the flat (i.e. not in the round). It was a new skill to do increases in double knitting, but it went pretty easily. I would increase 8 times around in the one colour on one row, and on the next row I would increase in the other colour. That way I never had to increase both colours at the same time (and I could do all the increases on knit rows instead of purl rows), and each colour got a plain row of knitting in between the increase rows.

By the time I got to the right size, I had one pattern repeat less than the pattern called for (14 sts). No wonder my first try was so big!

Then I followed the pattern's instructions and did 12 rows of plain knitting--no increases and no colourwork.

Then I started the colourwork pattern:
I'm not quite half way through the colourwork, and I can tell that this hat is going to be way too tall. (This is making me think my gauge is way different than the pattern's, but I'm telling you it does say to use worsted weight and that's what I'm using--on smaller needles, no less.) After a brief phone consultation with my hat-knitting sister, we've decided that if I rip back to where the increases end and skip the 12 rows of plain knitting, the hat should come out alright. Maybe a touch long, but that's better than short.

One side:

the other side. Double knitting makes a perfectly reversible hat. I think it's like magic...only real.

1 comment:

  1. Like the magic reversability.

    Hey, I caught that football commercial reference...



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