Friday, July 29, 2011

Keep your sense of humor and wash your head in hot water

In my ongoing quest to use up some of the crap craft supplies that are spilling out of my closet, I Googled for a knitting pattern using Sirdar Escape yarn. This photo isn't the best example of the color, but it is the one most often shown for color 0187 called Ecstasy.
I bought two skeins of this yarn, probably two years ago and if I had intentions for it, I've lost tract of what they were. Two skeins wasn't going to get me very far and I did not want to make another scarf so I settled on this hat pattern.
I knew the design would probably be obscured by the color changes in the yarn, but I wanted to test drive the pattern anyway. I usually don't wear this style of hat well (translation: I look like a dork) but hope springs eternal that I will find THE hat pattern that fits, stays put (doesn't inch off my big noggin and spring off like a spent rubber band) and makes me look younger, thinner and richer. Hey, as long as I'm dreaming...

Non-knitters may not know the importance of testing your gauge. It is very important. If the pattern suggests you use size X needles with ABC yarn, it doesn't mean you can't use another brand or that size X needles will be correct for how you knit, especially if you've substituted yarn. The key to the gauge is where it tells you how many stitches and rows per inch your knitting must be in order for the knitted item to be true to size. If the pattern tells you that you need 4 stitches per inch and your sample has 5 stitches, that doesn't seem like much difference until you think that 80 stitches at 4 per inch will make your knitting 20" wide. Five stitches per inch at 80 stitches will only be 16" wide. If this were the case in a front and back of a sweater, your total measurement would only be 32" around instead of 40". Oops! Probably not an attractive fit!

My gauge was correct so I spent two nights watching TV and knitting. There was one error in the pattern, but it wasn't critical, just misleading. After every pattern row it gave a stitch count and in one case it was off. Getting past that, I was happily knitting along but thinking this wasn't going to be big enough when done. Further confirmation of this project's unlikely fit came on Wednesday night when the leader of the knitting group said "That's going to be a hat???".

Here is the finished hat, flat. See what I mean about the lacy pattern being lost in this yarn?
That wouldn't have mattered if the hat fit well. Pardon the quality of the next two photos. I took them using my cell phone and guessing at focus.
The pattern didn't give finished dimensions to the hat. If I had done the math (multiplying number of rows in the pattern by rows per inch in the gauge), I would have seen that the hat was just over 6 inches from center (crown) to the bottom of the ribbing. There is no way that hat would sit beret-like on most adult heads as shown in the photo. Maybe the person modeling the hat is a young girl and the pattern neglected to specify this is a child's hat.

Since I don't think washing my head in hot water will shrink it, this hat is going to a charming young friend in my knitting group who has trouble finding hats small enough to fit her properly. She won't have the lovely silver highlights in her hair that I do, but she isn't aged to perfection yet. Photobucket


Sewconsult said...

You just make me laugh out loud. How I wish we could sit and laugh together in person. You humor is as sick as mine! (LOL) My hair shrunk on Wed. I gave directions to the girl cutting my hair. I am sick with the results because I am probably going to be in several photos tonight as we are celebrating Mother's 91st birthday. She's already stated that she hates the way my hair looks! She's too fragile or I would give her my opinion of her opinion. I just say, " I know, Mother".
Have a knitty day.

SkippyMom said...

I had to giggle through this whole post. Too cute! The hat is adorable, but I can see how it would be too small for an adult's head. The girl in the picture is either a mutant or a "pin"head. heehee

I like the "aged to perfection" line - I am going to have to use that on my beloved MIL - 'tis too true. :)

Chatty Crone said...

I don't sew - but I can tell this is a funny situation!

Rudee said...

I like the hat and I'm sure your friend will appreciate something to keep her warm. There is no greater gift than that gifted from one knitter to another.

linsypat said...

I am sooo adopting you and I luv this did a great job on it and I guess it was allll mean't to be? lol, Thanks for the laugh in this one...I luv the pics of ya with it too! You are such a fun knitting inspiration! Oh, and thanks for the "charming" are the the next knitting yoda if Nancy ever abandons us, you know. lol