In Excess!

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I’m totally hooked on a new hat pattern that I found.  It’s the Excess hat pattern by Anat Rodan.  You can find it for free by clicking HERE.

One of the things I love about this pattern is that the hat is knit from fingering/sock weight yarn.  I love knitting with yarn of this weight, and I have a ton of sock yarn in my stash, so this project is perfect for left overs. 

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Stockinette brim already folded over and closed by knitting both sets of stitches together on a third circular needle. The body of the hat is then continued in the round from there.

The other thing I completely adore about this pattern is the brim.  It is actually a band of stockinette that is folded over and then closed up on three sets of needles (this requires that you begin with a provisional cast-on).  It makes a really neat and tidy looking brim.  I think it looks leaps and bounds better than the traditional ribbed bands described in most hat patterns.  I may be ruined for all other hat bands now.  I think I’ll be subbing in this technique wherever I can.

I pretty much followed the pattern for the hat pictured here.  I used Plucky Knitter Primo yarn in fingering weight, in this gorgeous purple color.  I thought it worked out super.  I knit the brim on this hat with size 5 circular needles, and the body of the hat with size 6 circulars. 

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The hat is very stretchy and the fit turned out perfect.  I have already worn this hat on several occasions, and I love it. 

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I couldn’t seem to get pictures that do this little hat justice.  It looks so much better in person.  I would recommend that anyone give this pattern a try, especially with a nice, hand dyed, fingering weight yarn.

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I have actually already completed a second version of this pattern (and I’m contemplating a third…) with the same yarn base, but in a lovely gray color.  This time I increased the number of cast-on stitches by 20, and used size 3 needles for the entire hat.  Since the yarn is so thin, I wanted the second hat to have a tighter weave to it to help hold in warmth.  I worked the body for many more rows to make the hat longer so it’s a bit more of a slouch than a stocking cap.  It also turned out awesome.  Photos are coming soon!

 

~Happy knitting!

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Second Scrollwork

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Now that I’ve got all of my projects back from the county fairs, I can show you my second attempt at Scrollwork.  If you recall, I knit up the first version using Sincere Sheep Equity Sport, and the hat turned out really cute, but smallish and thinner than I had expected.  You can read about it HERE.

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My first attempt at the Scrollwork hat pattern from Brooklyn Tweed.

 

I decided to give the pattern another shot, and this time I used some Plymouth Tweed yarn (which is Aran weight), that I had in my stash.  The colorway is Ecru.  This time I used size 7 needles instead of the size 6’s that I used on the first version.

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Using stitch markers to mark off the pattern repeats helped the project go faster, but did get a little tricky on the rows where the end of round marker must be moved.

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My new ChiaGoo stitch markers.

 

I do like my second version of the hat, but not necessarily better than the first one.  This one is definitely more functional as a warm winter hat, and would be more likely to fit the average person’s head.

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The stitch definition on each hat is different (in a good way) which I find really neat.  Neither looks as nice (in my opinion) as the apparent stitch definition achieved by using the recommended yarn for the pattern which is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.  I linked to the pattern in my previous post, but here it is again, complete with photos of the hat done in the suggested yarn for comparison, if you are interested:  Scrollwork Hat from Brooklyn Tweed (designer Irina Dmitrieva)When you purchase the pattern, you actually get instructions for the hat as well as a coordinating cowl.

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As mentioned in a previous post, this hat actually won second place in knit hats at the Will County (IL) Fair this year:

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~Happy cabling!

 

 

Scrollwork

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I mentioned in my last post that I was knitting with some special wool.  It was Equity Sport from Sincere Sheep.  It is made from Rambouillet sheep, who happen to have kinky fleece as they age. 

 

Here’s a Rambouillet ram:   (photo credit:  Oklahoma State Animal Sciences)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This makes for a great texture in the yarn.

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I was knitting the Scrollwork hat from Brooklyn Tweed, but rather than use tweed yarn, I wanted to try it out with my Rambouillet wool. 

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I knit the hat using size 3 circular needles for the brim, and size 6 circular needles for the body.  This yarn is sport weight, so I knew the hat would be a little smaller than the pattern promised to produce, but hats often turn out too large for me, so I was willing to take the risk.

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The pattern is lovely, and the root-like cables coalesce on the back of the hat:

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Unfortunately, the yarn did prove to be not the best fit for the pattern.  It wasn’t robust enough and the hat, even with all of those cables, is a little on the thin and limp side.  I will also go down an additional needles size on the band if I make this pattern again.  It doesn’t have the springy stretch intended for a ribbed band.

Luckily, after blocking, the hat grew a little, and will be wearable (at least for me….I have a small head).

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In other news, I realized after my last post that I had actually purchased YET another hank of yarn at Stitches Midwest.  I forgot to show it to you, so here it is:

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This was actually my first purchase at the market!  It was only $12 because it is only really half a skein.  I loved the colorway so much that I searched the full skeins in hopes of finding one with no luck.  This was the only skein in the whole place in this colorway.  I was about to walk away when I realized I could still make socks from it.  I have done this before:  weight the skein and split it into two equal halves (by weight since I don’t have a yardage counter, but I do have a gram scale), and then knit a sock from each half, using a coordinating color from my stash for the heels and toes to compensate for scanty yardage. 

Done!  I purchased the yarn, and if you read my last post, you know what happened next…

~Happy knitting!