A couple of hats

It’s been a while.  I know.  I have realised that as things drew towards Christmas, and term became more and more of a whirlwind, I began to procrastinate in different ways; ways mostly involving mindless TV shows and wine.  I have missed jotting things down, that little bit of time afforded to considering words and how best to express my joys or frustrations in whatever project has been keeping my thumbs particularly busy.

WIP

Just before the holidays began it was this WIP which was on a Christmas deadline.  A friend at work has recently had some bad news; a very good friend of hers who has been in remission from cancer has unfortunately discovered that more treatment is now needed.  She is expecting to lose her hair again, so some hats were requested.  I was thinking about the softest yarns I had worked with this year and thought of this.  I have loads of the Mustard and Teal stashed because I have been promising E a scarf for more than a year (bored, bored, bored), but thought that the deep reddish-purple of the Cyclamen was suitably feminine.  I suggested a range of patterns and my colleague chose this little number.

I find reading even the simplest of lace patterns quite difficult – I know what every abbreviation means, but can’t seem to see the symmetry or understand how it will eventually lead to the intended outcome without seeing a chart.  The k2togs, yos and ssks swim around on the page entirely unpredictably and I find myself craning forward and pointing and losing my place so often that I may as well not bother.

I therefore decided that the only thing to do was to learn to chart patterns myself and spend some time to save it later.  I used this guide to help me and thoroughly recommend it.  It was simple to follow and I ended up with an entirely useable document – which surprised me somewhat.  The only thing I altered is that instead of using a screenshot to save my finished chart I selected the relevant section of my document and saved it as a PDF.  Anyway, this is the chart I created.  The project pootled along quite nicely after that.

Finished Beanie
It sells itself as a ‘slouchy’ beanie, which I’m sure it would have been if I had used the correct needle size.  I like the dense feel this chunky yarn gives when knitted up on smaller needles, so used 4.5mm circulars and ended up with a snug fit.  I would probably go bigger next time, or simply repeat the lace pattern once or twice more.  I was right about the yarn though, it is beautifully soft, and I feel really pleased that this little gesture might help to cheer someone through a tough time.

A day or two later and I was sprinting towards the finish line on another project; this time a tinier one.  A friend of E’s from university, a really great friend in fact, has had her first baby.  On a particularly horrible Monday evening we were invited over to H and D’s particularly welcoming East London flat to meet their baby girl, Scout and eat the most hearty of lamb stews. I was determined to make her something for her first Christmas but as our plans (as they often are) were rather last minute I was in need of a quick knit.  I decided this was just the ticket.

It was truly an overnight project – I started it in the evening, knitted until late and got up early to carry out my pom-pom duties.  I was tickled with how it turned out – particularly the way the cables alternate and diminish, leading your eye up to the jaunty little bobble.

Scout's Cabled Bobble Hat

I think if I were to make another I might try a two-by-two rib and extend the rim a few more rows, just to stabilise it a little.

Well.  That’s one post-Christmas post dealing only with things that occurred pre-Christmas.  I fear there may be a few more of these to come in the great blog catch-up of early 2013.

I can only apologise.

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