Friday, November 9, 2007

It starts with a swatch

Yesterday I was at Zellers to pick up some whosits and whatsits, when I stumbled upon a "knitting yarn" sale. Now, as my readers know, I'm a bit of a fiber snob, and I don't usually go for the acrylic all that much. I figure "I'm safe" and move on. I head to the baby department, and as I'm putting a winter hat for Maxime in my cart, it occurs to me that no self-respecting Canadian knitter (let alone one who professes to love knitting so much that she actually has a blog devoted to the subject) would EVER buy a pre-made hat. It's just wrong. So I circle back to the sale bin and find a ball of Red Heart Soft Touch to make a hat.

Now, to make up for the fact that I'm basically using crap to knit a garment for my infant son (cue violins here), I decide to make up my own design for this hat. Yes, that's right, I'm actually going to try to design something.

Here's the prototype. It's an earflap hat with a brim. Not too difficult to make, right? There must be a gazillion patterns out there to make just such a hat, you think. And you're right, dear reader. There are indeed a gazillion patterns out there. I've found patterns for baby hats with a brim (a no-brainer, really), and for earflap baby hats. But I haven't found one that does both without seaming ( I detest seaming, and would like to knit this piece as one straight garment).

Here's my swatch. Purdy, ain't it? I figure I'll use the leftovers to knit a scarf for the Red Scarf project or something. Anyway, I've been thinking about design stuff since yesterday. It turns out that designing knitwear is hard (who'd have guessed?). I keep wondering if I'm just a knitting dumbass or if this is what everyone goes through.

Finally, it seems that I've been racking up the WIPs lately, and I needed some basic notions, like row counters. I decided to stop at my local "arts-and-crafts-crap-that-also-happens-to-sell-yarn" store (seriously, it's the place yarn goes to die), because they can at least be counted on to carry the basic necessities. I found three row counters and headed out to the counter to pay for my purchases. The owner looks at me like I'm from Mars or something and says "Why do you need three? Do you have more than one sweater going at the same time?". !!!!!! I SO need to open up my own LYS.


Maggie said...

You definitely don't need to seam this. Once you get the hat part all figured out and knit, just pick up stitches along the edge of the hat where you want the earflaps to go and knit them right on. No seaming necessary. This way, you can just knit one flap on, put the hat on Maxime, mark where the other flap should go, and Bob's your uncle.


Also, you obviously need 3 row counters because you know you're going to lose one of them right away. At least, that how it goes for me. :)

Kate-the-enabler said...

ok - so looking for spinning gurus and starting to design isn't enough - now there's quiet reference to a LYS....(Did you go to that place on Cure Labelle? Laval could REALLY use a nice one. We can't the only people who notice a great gaping hole where a LYS should be. Your basement, or mine?)

Good luck with the hat - can't wait to see it develop - I assume it's actually red, and not the delightful shade of rose that my computer is showing.

AliP said...

My husband and I actually discussed the feasibility of a real yarn shop in Terrebonne last year. We were going to do a combination used books shop (with coffee and chairs) and yarn shop. Then i started hyperventilating and we put the idea away.
Ear flap hats: knit both earflaps first then start casting on the hat. When you get to the point an earflap goes on, knit it onto the needle, continue casting on to the next earflap and do the same. This will make an earflap hat that does not have a turn-up brim.
As for cozy hats, I love love love superwash wool. Mission Falls is crazy soft and non-itchy.