Wednesday, February 16, 2011

kumara diamonds for kayla finished and lessons learned

I didn't finish it in time to bring it to Kayla last Saturday night.  I blame work.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  As a relatively newby knitter (I learned when I was about 10 but stopped knitting for decades before finding a passion for it about 2 years ago), I learned a few lessons from this hat pattern.  I am happy to share them.

  1. I got this one right.  Knit a gauge swatch.  I knitted a fairly big swatch with the recommended needles in the diamond pattern.  
  2. M1 (make 1) stitches can make holes if you don't do them correctly.  I started the M1 row and realized they weren't invisible new stitches as advertised.  What was I doing wrong?  I followed directions I found on a YouTube video, but I got little holes.  I reread the directions in the pattern which state: "insert LH needle under horizontal strand between st just worked and next st, from the front to the back, knit through the back loop."  Examining my method, I saw that I was picking up the stitch, but not knitting through the back loop.  Knitting through the back twists the stitch and closes the hole.  To rip or not to rip?  I had some little holes.  Holes - shmoles.  I chose to see them as design elements.
  3. Try to use a yarn as close to the recommended yarn as possible.  I had the yarn weight right, but Lion Brand Wool Ease is wool and acrylic.  I want the hat to be easy care for a soon to be 18 year old who may not want to hand wash and block her hat.  I gave up some stitch definition for this choice.  The yarn called for is Kumara which is merino/camel.
  4. Switching needle sizes would seem like a simple thing.  I use interchangeable addi clicks.  They are wonderful, but don't actually think.  Your brain has to do that part and mine failed at this instruction. Here's what I did.  When the pattern said to change from size 7 to 9, I pushed all of the stitches on BOTH needles onto the cable and changed BOTH needles to the size 9s.  I then cursed through the process of pushing the stitches back onto the now too large needle.  I got through the round, but realized...HEY!  I could have changed just the right hand needle, knitted the round, then changed the other.  Go ahead, laugh. 
  5. Change from circular to double points when the going gets small.  I turned to YouTube again for this (even though I think I received bad instruction for the M1).  Instructions usually say to do these things assuming you, me and everyone else reading them know how to do this.  After all, if they explained every little thing, the pattern instructions could be as long as War and Peace.  This video helped me to see exactly how to change to the double points.
  6. Now I have to close the last stitches.  I had 14 of them on 3 double pointed needles.  It seemed like a lot and I wanted to decrease them, but someone with more experience than me wrote this, so I took up my tapestry needle and cut the yarn.  Thread the yarn end on the tapestry needle then through your remaining stitches.  Pull it tight and weave in.  
  7. Blocking.  I've done that!  On flat things like bookmarks and shawls.  This is a 3 dimensional object.  I happened to have a basket the perfect size and shape.  The hat is drying on it now.
From knitting
From knitting
I immediately started another bookmark and a mitered dish towel (from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines).

To be added: picture of the lovely Kayla wearing her new hat.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Very good post Leigh. Lots of useful ideas that I will use eventually.