Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Knit and Learn

I set aside the socks I was working on to knit a hat for me.


Pattern: Swirls Hat by Fiber Trends
Yarn: Classic Elite Inca Alpaca
Colors: Navy (1124), Gray (1103), Black (1113)
Needles: US 5 & 6 16" circular, US 6 DPNs

What I learned from this project:

1. I learned I like doing color work, though I could use more practice. The stitches I made with the yarn held in my left hand aren't very consistent in tension and I didn't leave enough slack in some of the floats. This is only the second project where I've used color work throughout. The first, a simple pattern with no floats, was in 2005. I don't plan on waiting as long to start the next project.

2. I learned how to knit a braid. It's turns out that it's really easy to do. It's a three round process. I'm glad the pattern explained that the yarns would twist on round two, but untwist on round three. It saved my sanity.


3. I learned to trust the pattern, especially if you're knitting to gauge. I started this hat with the recommended 120 stitches and after knitting the rolled brim and the first braid, I began to think it was too big. I tried it on to check. Sure enough, the ring I had knitted was huge! It fell around my neck like a cowl. I reduced the number of stitches by one pattern repeat and started over. It fit just right...until I finished the lower band of color work.

4. I learned that a mistake in knitting isn't necessarily a bad thing. This hat, though too small for me, will be a perfect fit for someone. A child somewhere will be a little warmer now, because I messed up. And, I'm happy about that.

29 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous hat! (it would make a very special gift) I too make mistakes on the gauge and have developed a catalog of people in my mind that would benefit from my mistakes as they all love home made items. I hope you knit one for yourself, please shar photos if you do.

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  2. LOVE THE HAT. I VERY SELDOM MAKE ANYTHING FOR MYSELF, IF I DO I USUALLY GIVE IT AWAY. SO I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, PART OF YOU IS SAD TO SEE IT GO BUT THE BIGGEST PART IS GLAD TO KNOW THAT IT'S GOING TO SOMEONE THAT WILL LOVE IT AS MUCH OR MORE THAN YOU DID.

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  3. Your hat is stunning! Wow! I am amazed at all the work and time you put into it. Great job! Someone will be very blessed to receive such a fine gift.

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  4. Gorgeous! It is amazing how color work doesn't stretch as much. Can't wait to see your next project!

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  5. Beautiful hat! I haven't tried color work yet...maybe after the first of the year. It's so beautiful and I've seen some darling children's sweaters and hats.

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  6. Lovely hat. I bet it won't be too difficult to find someone who would be perfect for the hat. I love color work. Most of mine has been on mittens. EZ mittens to be exact.

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  7. Very cute! It looks great; I can't see any uneveness.

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  8. It looks great! I love colorwork too, and try to have a stranded project going every few months. I usually knit continental, and can hold up to 3 strands in my left hand. I find it easier than one in each hand, although I can do that if I need to! :)

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  9. I haven't done a lot of two-color knitting, but I am enrolled in a beginner's class this month.

    I like your hat, especially the braid.

    It is important to learn something new: it challenges the mind and keeps like interesting.

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  10. The hat may not have turned out just right for you, but it did turn out nice for someone else:~D Just like Bob Ross said, a "happy accident".

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  11. It is a wonderful hat. I have done color work but didn't enjoy it very much. It required too much thinking! Again, a very lovely hat. :)

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  12. great lessons learned...i too am trying to look at my knitting and see how i learn as i knit. right now, i'm learning to watch my yo's very carefully. :) The hat is great by the way! Beautiful job.

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  13. Your hat is beautiful! Trying fair isle is on my "to do" list. I hope to get to it sooner than later. Do you recommend a hat for a first fair isle project?

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  14. Looks fabulous. And I think your stitches look very even. Alpaca is more difficult for stranding that wool, because it's more slippery. Wool will sit into place more easily and it's easier to get the right float lengths.

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  15. Wow I love the hat and the cord on the top it fits so well. Thank you for letting us see. The color work just makes me smile. I think your nearly ready for winter :)

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  16. It's so beautiful! The only Fair Isle knitting I've done has been hats - and only 2 of them. I enjoyed it a lot, though, and bought a sweater kit and a vest kit to do someday for myself.

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  17. I don't do much colorwork, but I have given it some thought lately. I used to hate dpns because of a bad case of laddering. I've overcome that, so I was wondering if my Fair Isle tension would benefit from practice, too. (It stands to reason, right?)

    I think the hat looks great, and you're probably being unnecessarily hard on yourself. And lesson #3 would have gotten me, too!

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  18. Awesome hat and beautiful yarn! You always seem to find the neatest patterns and yarns. I love that braid detail.

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  19. That is beautiful! I love it!

    I hate doing color work, myself, so i am impressed...i would never have the patience to make this hat. I finally made some of your mini-pumpkins, though...

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  20. Ooh! I love it! Too bad it's too small for you, but like you said, it will be a delight for someone else! :o)

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  21. The hat is sweet, and will undoubtably make a littler person's day. Now I gotta make something with a braid : )

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  22. That's a great hat, I love the looks of it. It looks like an interesting pattern to knit as well. I've only done one colorwork project - it turned out ok but I definitely need more practice.

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  23. It's lovely, Tracy. I am really impressed! I've never done colorwork. I'm not quite ready to tackle it, but someday I will.

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  24. It's lovely to see that you hat won't go to waste. It's far too nice for such a fate.

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  25. It's so fun watching the pattern unfold on color work projects. I really like the braiding. The overall effect of that pattern is fabulous!

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  26. Tracy all the years I have seen knitting I have never seen a hat like that. It is adorable! Your knitting is always perfect and some of my most favorite sites/blogs to visit. Beautiful work! How is the spinning going?

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  27. WOW that hat is gorgeous! I'm so impressed.

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  28. Wonderful hat!! I really like the pattern and yarn color choices...And how great you are making and treat for yourself! Color work is something I really need more practice too...I just seem all thumbs when manipulating both the yarns and trying to knit at the same time--LOL! One of these fine days... ;o) That braid is such a nice finishing touch on this hat. Off to take a closer look at that pattern...Happy week to you & yours. :o) ((HUGS))

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  29. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Beautiful!

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Thank you for commenting!
~Tracy