Archive for the “cowl” Category

I finished my Sockhead Hat! It could probably be a little slouchier, but I like it just fine. I made the 152-stitch size because I was using thinner yarn and smaller needles than the pattern specified, and it fits perfectly.

Pirate models a rainbow-striped hat

The difference between the two balls of yarn, which were supposedly the same dye lot, is less stark in the finished objects than it was in the balls - but it's still quite obvious and I'm glad I didn't end up making two not-matching knee socks out of this yarn. I would have been really, really annoyed at the discrepancy.

A hat and cowl, knit in similar rainbow stripes

I used about 70% of the second ball of yarn to make the hat, so there's probably enough left for a pair of armwarmers. Another thing I love about working from home - I can set the thermostat warmer and no one laughs at me for bundling up in warm clothes at my desk!

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That secret gift I mentioned in my last post is a neckwarmer/cowl for Grandma! I knit it with a yak/silk blend that I spun a couple of years ago, but didn't know what to do with it... until now. The pattern is Polyphylla, which is available for free on Ravelry.

A cowl, with a ruffled edge at the bottom, knit in handspun yarn. The colours are stripes of dark and light red, blue, and green.

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern, not to mention knitting with my own handspun yarn of silky warm softness. It's well-written, though I was a little bit unsure about the instructions to shift the stitch marker for the beginning of the round. Fortunately it's so easy to see where one is in the pattern by looking at what's already been knit, so I got around the confusion easily enough. The bindoff makes a really nice edge, but as I mentioned in my previous post, uses up a lot more yarn than I expected!

The cowl used one skein of my handspun yarn, and I am absolutely loving the self-striping effect that I produced! The only thing is, I had two... and they had slightly different yardage, and I don't know if this was the 118-yard skein or the 140-yard skein. I'll have to remember to re-measure the remaining yarn before I start another project with it, just to be on the safe side.

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This project is a gift, so I can't share pictures of the whole thing yet. But holy wow did I ever cut it close on the yarn! The project called for a long-tail cast on over two needles; I overestimated the amount of yarn I'd need and had nearly a yard of tail remaining. Laziness said "it's 168 stitches, you don't really want to start over - and besides, it's handspun yarn and super soft, what if it gets fuzzy when you pull it out and do it again?" I definitely didn't want that to happen, so I just started knitting.

The beginning of a knit project, showing nearly a yard of yarn trailing from the starting point.

You see where this is going, right?

I knit the project, convinced even up to the last round that I would have plenty of yarn. But then I came to the bind-off, which is a really nifty one that I hadn't tried before, and which took up A Lot more yarn than I expected. As I worked my way around, I started to get worried... so I worked faster, because that's how that goes, right? Knitting faster means you might outrun the end of your yarn.

I finished with five inches of yarn left over.

The end of a knit project, showing five inches of yarn trailing from the ending point.

I'll share more details about this one after the gift has been given!

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Originally, I'd thought that this was going to be a hat, and the not-really-matching ball of yarn (in the same dye lot! grr!) would become a machine-knit cowl. But I changed my mind, and this one became the cowl... because, really, the mindless knitting was exactly what I needed, and I won't mind doing it all over again for the not-really-matching hat.

While it's a little smaller than the original pattern calls for (this is what I get for using finer sock yarn than standard, I guess) it fits me just fine. I wouldn't mind if it were an inch wider and that much shorter... but not enough to knit the whole thing all over again!

Also, dang, my hair is getting long. How to cowl + hair? over? under? How does this not make a rat's nest of tangles at one's neck? I have no idea how this is supposed to work at all!

Pirate models a rainbow-striped cowl. It is pulled over their nose and mouth. Their eyes are smiling. Pirate's hair is bright purple and they are wearing a red plaid flannel shirt over a red t-shirt.

Seriously, look at the difference in these two balls of yarn. Is this ridiculous or what:

Two balls of rainbow-striped sock yarn that are marked with the same dye lot number. One is a clear rainbow. The other's colours are marled and muddied together. They do not match at all.

I've already started working on the hat, and I'm halfway through the ribbing. If I'm lucky, there'll be enough leftover to make armwarmers, too!

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With my scrappy leftovers hat finished, the only other project I have on the needles is a sock which is just slightly too complicated for knit night and football games. So, I thought to myself, what should I knit? Then my sworn-sister made a Sockhead Slouch Hat... and there it was. My next hat. A stockinette slouchy hat in sock yarn will take approximately zero mental effort and approximately forever to finish - what could be more perfect for knit nights?

The bare beginnings of a hat on 16" circular needles, with an entire ball of multi-coloured sock yarn above it, sit on a teal desktop.

I have two balls of Trekking XXL in this rainbow colourway, but despite being the same dye lot, they look totally different. This one seems to be mostly marled; the other has the colours in each ply matching up more closely. This would have driven me crazy for socks, but for a hat I'll just use one ball of yarn and it won't matter at all!

The Trekking is finer than the "standard" sock yarn called for in the pattern, so I'm using size 2 (2.75mm) instead of 2.5 (3.00mm) needles, and I've cast on for the 152 stitch size based on my gauge math (8 stitches per inch x 21.5 inches around my head x 0.9 for snugness = 154.8) - I'm told the hat is stretchy and large, but at worst if it's too big for me then it becomes someone else's hat.

There's a matching cowl pattern for the hat, which I plan to knit on the machine using the more solid variant of the yarn. It will be a good excuse use of the ribber, with which I haven't yet fully acquainted myself. The machine can either knit ribbing or in the round, but since the cowl has only a bit of ribbing at the top and bottom, it won't take much to seam that up the side. And I won't mind if the hat and cowl aren't exactly matching in their stripes or colour progression, either.

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