I have finally hit the halfway point on my niece’s cream and red blanket. I decided to reward myself by taking the weekend off from the blanket and knitting myself a much needed hat. I had purchased yarn, some Manos del Uruguay, while in MD for the Urchin hat from knitty. The yarn I chose is thick and thin but not quite as much as the pictured hat.
Kind of a blurry shot but you get the idea.
Friday night I cast on for the hat. The yarn calls for size 8-10 (5-6mm) needles and the pattern is knit using 7mm needles (there is no US equivalent size, between 10.5 and 11.) I decided to forgo the gauge swatch and try using size 9 needles while knitting the largest size hoping it would fit my small/medium sized head. After one row I realized the hat was going to be way too small. I then started again with size 10 needles. I got a little farther than with the 9s but again I realized that the hat would not fit (not even close really.) I therefore moved up to size 10.5 needles. I was watching a movie while knitting and finished about a third of the hat.
Saturday I picked up that hat and looked at it again. I got out the tape measure and realized the hat might still be a touch small. I figured it would be close so I kept knitting. I finished the hat Saturday night. I put it on my head and decided that although it fit, I wanted a looser hat. I hate hat head so I wanted something that was not too tight. That and the pattern was not supposed to fit as tightly as my hat did. So I did the only thing I could and ripped out the completed hat. I cast on again using size 11 needles this time. I still did not quite get the gauge of the original pattern so I continued to knit the size large. By late Saturday night I had about 1/4 of the pattern completed on size 11s.
Sunday I continued to knit using the 11s. I finished the hat. I tried it on. It seemed big. I sighed.
I pretty sure I am not unhappy enough with the fit to knit it again (the third time could be the charm.) The other problem is the hat fits the way I want it to from crown to brim, but it is a but too big around. The way the pattern is written you knit the hat sideways making 8 short row shaped wedges. At the end you graft the first and last wedge together. I could possibly pull out the grafted part and eliminate the 8th wedge making the hat smaller. Or because the hat is wool I could throw it in some hot water and see what happens (part of me feels this is what the hat deserves, but blaming the hat is a touch irrational.) I do not think hot water will be a good solution for a few reasons. First, I like the fit of the hat in one direction and not the other, shrinking will happen in all directions (though one direction more than the other which I am pretty sure works against me.) Second, as soon as I put the hat in the water the wool will become practically impossible to rip out if I can’t shrink it the way I want. Third, I do not want the hat to shrink too much and be totally unwearable.
I am stuck. I could always just wear the hat as is and pretend I meant it to fit the way it does. I am leaning toward this because I think I look like a goon in all hats so the hat fitting better will not make it look any better on me.
Here is the above blather in picture form.
Friday’s progress (size 10.5 needles):
Saturday’s progress (after ripping out the completed hat knit with 10.5s and starting over with 11s) :
Sunday’s progress (finished hat using 11s):
Yarn – Manos del Uruguay (1 skein, 138yds, color 27)
Needles – Size 11
All in all the hat would have taken about 3 hours to knit, if you aren’t a moron like me and knit enough to have made 3 hats. I would like to point out that all the mistakes were of my own creation. The pattern is well written and I would recommend it to anyone. I will leave you with a fun close up.