Monday, January 22, 2007

Don your caps!

Thanks, all of you, for your extremely kind comments about my Clapotis! You are all so generous with your praise that I'm sure the Clapster hardly deserves it, but this blogger sure appreciates it!

I finished two hats this weekend, one for myself and one for Coffeeboy. It's cold out, but is it really winter? With daffodils coming up in 25 degree weather? At least they keep our ears warm when we need it!

Lusekofte hat

Pattern: Lusekofte from Hats On! by Charlene Schurch
Yarn: lining: one strand fingering weight wool, one strand Rowan Kidsilk Haze, in greenish colors. Body of hat: The main color is a Cascade 220 yarn from an LYS that's out of business. Brown contrast: Mission Falls 1824 in Cocoa. Dark orange contrast: Knitpicks Swish in Copper.
Time: less than a week
Needles: for the lining, Addi Turbo size 4; for the body, Addi Turbo size 5. Finished off with some bamboo DPNs.
Thoughts: I'm glad I decided to do this pattern in 3 colors. It was fun to see the speckles switching back and forth at the top. Also, it was an obsessive knit: each new row revealed the pattern in greater detail, so I couldn't put it down!

Lusekofte hat - unblocked Lusekofte hat - inside
Before blocking / After blocking, inside out

I learned a lot doing this pattern. For example:
1) It's really a good idea to keep the floats loose.
2) I shouldn't have put those first few rows of MC on the body, or I should have ribbed them as the pattern specified. That would have taken out some of the flare on the bottom of the hat.
3) The lining. The pattern didn't call for it, but Coffeeboy likes his ears warm in his hats, so I figured I'd do it. The lining was mighty difficult to attach. I shouldn't have included the mohair on its first few rows, and I should have cast on in such a manner that knitting in the lining wouldn't have been such a messy operation. I also shouldn't have knit so tightly on that row; it makes the lining really obvious. Ribbing the lining also might have helped.
4) Significant negative ease helps a hat fit better. The first hat I knit for Coffeeboy was way too loose; the second was a bit tight, and this one is just right. As Goldilocks might say, the third time's the charm.

The third time's a charm in the world of tams, too. As I mentioned before, I knit one tam to match my Clapotis, but it was too small. I knit it again on Friday; it was better but still too small. Finally I remeasured my gauge and discovered that I'd gone from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. Right! That would explain it!

Blue tam

Pattern: Tam from Ann Budd's Knitter's Book of Handy Patterns
Yarn: brim and sides of tam: 1 strand mohair, 1 strand Koigu in light blue, 1 strand Claudia Hand Painted in Blue Sky (from my Clapotis). Top of tam: 1 strand lighter blue mohair, the same strand of Koigu, 1 strand Lorna's Laces in Jeans, and eventually, at the center, some tan-colored Kidsilk Haze just to add some brown back in
Needles: size 7 Addi Turbo in 16 inch for the brim, followed by size 7 Knitpicks Options in the 24" length for the increase section, and finally size 7 DPNs at the end.
Time: a matter of hours once I had the gauge right!

Blue tam

Thoughts: I modified this pattern a bit, making the brim quite a bit narrower than the size called for, and then increasing to the right size during the increases. I also made the tam about 4.75 inches deep rather than 4, so that it would cover my ears. A good solid steam blocking on a cardboard cutout of a circle the right size really helped this hat assume its present pleasing shape. Before blocking, the decrease seams were causing funny crown-like points on the hat, and now it's much smoother and more round.

I haven't started the any sweaters yet. (I think I might be a sweater commitment-phobe at this point. Note the UFO presence of Eris in the sidebar, mocking me. Not to mention Cozy.) I'm thinking I need a detailed, fun sock and am debating the many, many (many!!) possibilities! I'm sure I'll share the results of my debate with you in a day or two!

Juniper won't let me leave this post without saying hello to you...

The cutest cat of them all
...and herself...


Anonymous said...

Isn't it a swanky new hat? I'm wearing it right now even. Thanks for making it dear!


Julia said...

Wow, those are great hats! They look so warm and wearable - I'm sure they will be favorites. That's one classic kitty picture!kn

Anonymous said...

Wow, those came out great! Does the tam really keep your head warm? I've always wondered about that. Juniper is too cute! :)


cathy said...

The hat for coffeeboy is so perfect for him. And your hat is perfect for you.

keri said...

That hat looks great, I like the colors that you used. The tam look great on you too, the color is so flattering on you!

Lazuli said...

Jessica - yes, the tam was warm enough today, even for low 30s. I made it to cover at least part of my ears, despite what the books say about tams being worn above the ears. I choose warmth!

Keri - well, you know, I like the color blue! ;-) But thanks to you and everyone for the kind comments!

Angel said...

love both hats- but I especially love coffeeboy's hat- it looks great and is perfect for him.

And the clap looks great!

schrodinger said...

The hats are great!!! What a wonderful job on them both, great to hear that coffeeboy loves it. And I wasn't just blowing smoke about the clapotis, it really does look lovely.

Jen said...

What great hats/caps/warm ears! And the picture of Juniper looking at therself is priceless--the scientific criterion for self knowledge and intelligence.

Greta_Jane said...

So those are the hats that have kept you off the phone? Don't worry about it: I have been AWOL as well. Just ask Angel.