I had my first Katie’s Kep class on Sunday for For Yarn’s Sake, and we had a great time. We started off with a chat about size and gauge. I think that’s especially important with this project, which is prescribed to be 22” around. You can see how much smaller my second kep will be, and you can also see how lovely the fabric is after blocking. Blocking is magic, both for this yarn and for stranded colorwork in general.
Even though I’m reducing the circumference, the top will still have this lovely six pointed star. Math!
The crown is definitely the star of the show. Absolutely gorgeous. Both of these pictures are pre-blocking.
I didn’t knit to gauge, but I’m not willing to knit a hat on smaller than US3 needles. The hat is supposed to be 22” but mine is 23” instead, and 9” tall. I don’t swatch for hats. I go by Meg Swansen’s maxim that the hat will fit *someone*! My first hat is a great big gauge swatch.
I’m knitting a second hat, with one fewer repeat of the body stitch pattern. My kit from For Yarn’s Sake has enough of all the CC yarn for a second hat, if I buy an extra ball of the main color, which I did. (There are 5 colorways to choose from.)
I’ve adjusted my cast on, too. I know how to get the crown to work out, based on my reduced number of stitches. Math tells me that my new hat will measure 19”, which gives me some negative ease to help keep it on my head. I might try to remove a few stitches to make it a bit shorter…or not. When it stretches out to accomodate my 22.5” head, that will also make it shorter. Fabric has to come from somewhere! My hats are generally 8” tall.
I’m teaching a Zoom class for For Yarn’s Sake this Sunday, and again later in the month, based on this pattern. (Classes are full. Should we schedule a third class?) We’ll start the class with a discussion on gauge! We’ll also talk about swatching, or not, and ways to adjust the size of the hat. I’m really looking forward to it!
In other class news, I’ve picked a winner for a free class with me at January Vogue Knitting Live. It’s Lauri T! I’ll email her and let her know that she’ll be in my YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Elongated Stitches class. I’m pretty excited about that one, too. I just re-vamped the handout for class, adding more fun stitches. We won’t get through them all in 2 hours, but the handout is a good reference and jumping off point. Congratulations, Lauri!
What new knitting skill do you want to learn in 2021?
I’m knitting away on Katie’s Kep, a free pattern from Shetland Wool Week. Anne Lindquist at For Yarn’s Sake put together 5 different color kits, based on the ones in the pattern. This made it really easy for me to choose my colors without agonizing over what goes with what. Thanks, Anne!
I’ll be teaching a stranded colorwork Zoom class with this pattern in January for For Yarn’s Sake, twice! Both classes are sold out already. Should we add another one?
I’ve been struggling a bit with this project. It’s not a pattern problem; the pattern is well written and easy to follow. The charts are great. The problem is my needle; the stitches keep getting caught on the join between the cable and the needle of this 16” ebony circular. Yesterday I decided I’d had enough, so I walked up to Close Knit and purchased a new needle. I wanted a wooden needle, hoping to avoid gauge changes when swapping. The old needle is ebony, and the new needle is from the Knitter’s Pride Ginger line. The smooth join makes knitting this project much more enjoyable!
While I was swapping needles, I took the opportunity to measure for gauge and try on the hat while the stitches had room to spread out. It’s definitely big enough for my biggish head! The hat is supposed to measure 56 cm, which Alexa says is 22 inches. And that’s pretty much what I have. (I love that I can ask Alexa to do my conversions for me, so I don’t have to look it up and do the math.)
You might wonder how I got so far without checking gauge. I mostly don’t do gauge swatches for hats, knowing that I don’t usually wear hats, and that the hat is a sample and will fit *someone*. By the time you cast on enough stitches to knit a gauge swatch, you may as well have jumped into the hat project, if you’re willing to rip if it’s way off. And so I do. (Hint number one from class.)
Also, stranded colorwork always looks lumpy and bumpy before it’s blocked. Fear not; things will calm down. Clearly, I haven’t washed and blocked my swatch (for looks nor for gauge), since I didn’t knit one. I’m fine with that. Again, you have to assess your own risk tolerance. (Hint number two from class!)
I may order one more ball of the background color; the pattern doesn’t use much of the patterning color, and with one more ball of background I think I could get a second hat. Eventually. When I catch up with myself! (The kits have 2 balls of the background color, but you won’t use all of the second ball.)
Have you knit stranded colorwork? Did you enjoy it? Have you *cut* your stranded colorwork?
Oh! I’m also teaching a class on cutting your first steek! Homework is knitting a simple coffee coaster, in the round. We reinforce the steek and cut and finish during class. February 21 through For Yarn’s Sake. Cutting a coaster is much less fraught than cutting your first steek on a sweater you’ve knit for months!
Okay, back to my knitting. Actually, I have to take one more picture, and then I can publish my Leafy Origami pattern. So many (figurative) hats to wear: Photographer, knitter, designer, publisher, teacher… At least they don’t mess up my hair. Onward!