Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yarn Along...The Hat

It's been awhile!

So I mentioned "the hat" the other day.  It all started out innocently enough.  I had been gifted some beautiful yarn - handspun from one of my all-time favorite sheep, Mia.  I searched and searched for an appropriately special enough pattern, found one I liked, knew I was probably going to have trouble making the proper gauge, so did a swatch.

I'm a good swatcher.  Especially with handpun yarn (my favorite), it's always a really good idea to know where you stand before you start so you aren't surprised and disappointed by how your finished item fits.  Here's where yet again I become "an example for others"...

I was, indeed, unable to hit the required stitches per inch.  I don't have it in front of me, but say, for example, I was supposed to knit 6 stitches per inch and I could only get 5.  If I cast on the instructed number of stitches for a 22" hat (6 stitches/inch x 22" = 132) at 5 stitches per inch, the hat would end up being almost 26 1/2" around.  


This pattern was perfect though (I thought...yep, thinking ;-) as it was created/offered with different sizes.  The next smaller size, substituting my swatch math, would fit perfect.  I cast on, started knitting, pulled it off the needles a few inches in to try it on, fit perfect, I'm a genius!

So...the other part of useful swatching is your rows per inch.  I'm fully aware that you can go up or down a needle size to try and get closer to the stitches per inch gauge, but have never figured out how to change the rows per inch.  I mean, your rows are your rows, right?  Since I didn't think there was any way to affect that, I don't didn't even measure for that.

Let's do the math.  Okay, so if I'm supposed to be getting 5 rows per inch and I'm only getting 4 (again, just examples) and the colorwork pattern is based on, say, 60 rows, the hat should be (at 5 stitches per inch) 12" tall.  If I'm only getting 4 stitches over 60 rows...the hat then ends up 15" tall. 


Yeah...um...

The hat fits perfect around my head.  If I'd have realized the error of my thinking regarding the height ahead of time (using the aforementioned swatch), I could have modified the patterning to accommodate that.  It's a wonderfully cozy hat and the stranding of the colorwork makes it double thick and super warm especially with the bottom few inches folded up inside.  Quadruple thick over my ears?  Perfect for single digits. 


It's wrong though...and I know it. And I see that every time I put it on.  For the time being, the warm-ness trumps the wrong-ness, but as a graduate from Stella's Knitting School, it's headed for the frog pond.  Not the actual Frog Pond, but the rip it rip it "pond".  It won't really hurt (much) and Mia deserves better.

To end on a happier note, here's a cute iPhone shot from the Wool House yesterday.  I was working on threading the full size scarf and was happy to realize (for once before it was too late ;-) that I could turn my little loom around so I could sit right up next to the fire.  It's all about the warm-ness this winter!


As far as what I'm reading these days, I just finished listening to Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good by Jan Karon.  I've thoroughly enjoyed the entire sweet Mitford series.

Joining in with Ginny...


23 comments:

madeinoxford said...

I admit I had to stifle a giggle when I got to the picture of you in the hat. Oh dear, I'm so glad it's not just me these things happen to! Sorry it didn't work out, though, and hope frogging it isn't too painful.

fjord girl said...

You are too funny! Great picture- this has happened to me many times. Love the hat- the soft colors swoon. Your home looks so warm and cozy.

thingsherelately.com said...

You totally made my morning. That picture of you in your hat! So great! I do love the hat...the softness of the colors, the halo of the yarn, the Fair Isle. I'm so sorry it didn't work out. I'm not sure how to make up for that pesky row gauge. That last picture of your home...just lovely! *hugs* :)

MarmePurl said...

Row gauge. Ugh. I feel your pain, And laugh so heartily at your wit!

Auntie Reg said...

I love the photo;-)). The hat would have fit Mia. I miss sweet Mia.

steph said...

we all know....slouchy hats are very 'in' at the moment!!! Looks like this one might make that category!!!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Well I smiled at your photo...well I might have laughed out loud too. How about gathering part of the top into a big button with some folds...a new style for sure. Frog on! I have a hat I have been working on for a couple of years...too loose too tight...it is in the projects pile. You are a wonderful knitter:)

I need orange said...

Oh dear! I have never understood the row-counting gauge thing, either. I can see how it matters, but I can't see how it HAPPENS. As you said -- the rows are the rows, right? Not right, clearly, but I don't understand why..... How can the stitches be the right width, but too tall?

Ah well.

Thanks for the eddification (and the chuckle).

Karen Battersby said...

Since you mentioned the Stella School of Knitting...I'm sure she would say, "tear it out, you're bound to knit it better next time." I didn't even go to the Stella School but I hear her voice in my head when I'm waffling on whether to frog or not.

Alice said...

With some tissue paper tucked inside it would make a great chefs hat for winter outdoor grilling! It's a beautiful piece that could probably be banded with yarn to make a little bun on top and it would fit just fine. I'd wash/ wet it first before making it any shorter.

Fiona said...

Now that's a stylish Toque! It really is lovely and your loom by the fire is a piece of weaving heaven!

Michelle said...

That last shot looks like such a cozy scene.

Heather aka Proud Mama said...

I must admit I giggled out loud!

Tyche's Minder said...

lol

Tombstone Livestock said...

Love the hat just say it's a new style. The sheep on the floor looks like an Otagiri is it?

Lisa Smith said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has made that mistake with the gauge! I thought, as "steph" did in the comments above, that perhaps it'd make a perfect slouchy hat. You are such a talented knitter!

karen said...

love love love the hat and the colors, bummer about the math....oh well, may the knitting the second time around be just as joyous as the first time around :)

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

Hmm, that hat pic looks familiar :) I Never pay attention to rows per inch as it Never happens. I just measure.
Nothing like a warm butt when weaving haha

LannieK said...

Oh my! :-○ :::tear::: ♡ :::chuckle::: I totally agree... Rows are rows, are not rows, or they should be! Or? I did something similar, intentionally, as I wanted the fabric around my ears to be warm -warm. So I turned up the ribbing, tacked it and who'lla! Extra warm ears ~ just a thought. (Although I know the feeling of, you know how it is sapose to be. Wanted it to be. Dang :-\ But you are not alone, as I have 2 projects facing the same fate. And.I.will.fix.them.one.day.)

Sandra Morris said...

I am not good with modifying patterns.I have a hard time following simple ones!
I did a poncho that I wish was longer, and I am still stuck on how to finish the neck.. knitting patterns is like trying to read in a foreign language for me.

Miha Giustina said...

It would be perfect for my giant head, then :-)!

Shirley said...

Well slouch hats are all the rage now you know! It looks like the perfect size for a slouch hat.

Kelli Page said...

I have row gauge issues with patterned mittens because of my short hands and the thumb needs to be started later than where the pattern says to start. I read that somewhere. But you do need to knit the mitten first, to figure this out, ie gauge swatch.

Thank you for sharing the photo of your studio with the wood stove and the loom. I learned of your blog from Robin Nistock, when she was commenting how much she loved your studio with the wood stove.

Thanks again for sharing, ENJOY!

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