Saturday, November 12, 2011

Charlotte's Green Hat

Things Knitting Taught Me (that contradict my mathematical logic): Two rights CAN make a wrong.

Just because you have a beautiful yarn, and a wonderful pattern, does not mean said pattern will look great in that yarn. The combination can actually be a huge mistake. Knitters world-wide know this, but for me, I have to learn things the hard way. And this classic mistake is what I ran into with Charlotte's green hat. 

When I was showing off one of my latest baby hat projects to my good friend and boss (is it weird that I am friends with my boss?), she asked if I would make her a hat. I immediately said yes! Not only would I make her a hat, but I would design it myself! (Way too ambitious, but hey, I am a glutton for punishment.)

She wanted a lime green (or pink) hat. She wasn't picky, she said. She wanted a rolled, or ribbed, or ruffled edge. (She couldn't make up her mind. We have that in common, so I understood completely.) She wanted a flower. She wanted lace work. With these specifications, I became a woman on a mission!

First, I had to find the perfect yarn. Then, while watching the weekly episode of The Knit Girllls podcast, I found it!!! It was this shocking pink yarn that they were giving away. I entered their give-away immediately. I promised Charlotte that if I won that yarn, it would become her hat. Charlotte was thrilled! Now, let me tell you...I have NEVER won anything in a give away IN MY LIFE, so the chances that Charlotte was going to be getting a shocking pink hat were next to nothing. I did NOT mention this to Charlotte, however. (True to form, I did not win that gorgeous pink yarn. Oh well, congrats to the happy knitter who did.)

So, still needing yarn, I took a trip to my LYS (local yarn shop, in case you need the knit-speak translated for you) in search of the second-best yarn. I found a green variegated, light worsted weight wool that I thought would do the trick.

The next step was to decide on a pattern. Since I had decreed that I would be designing this pattern myself, and Charlotte had asked for lacework, I began researching lace work stitch patterns that I could incorporate into her hat. The variation in the green yarn made me think of spring leaves, so I kept with that inspiration when looking through the lace patterns. And voila! I found a beautiful leaf lace pattern, that would actually knit up in the correct direction for a top-down hat (which is what I had decided upon.)

Now all I had to do was knit up the hat. A few hours of knitting, and Charlotte would be one happy customer! Or so I thought.

I thought that it would be terribly romantic if I brought along the yarn and stitch pattern on a trip I had planned to a New Hampshire bed and breakfast, and knit in front of the fire while sipping wine and chatting merrily with the other guests. Sure enough, my first night there...that is exactly what I did, completing the twisting top of the hat in no time. The second night there; however, is when things went south.

I was knitting in the room, while watching a movie, when I got to the leaf pattern. I had spent hours with paper and pencil making detailed calculations on how I was going to incorporate this simple pattern. Now, as a math teacher, I am embarrassed to tell you, my calculations were way off - something I did not realized until half way through the first repeat of the leaves. Thus began the rip out, reknit, repeat cycle that continued on for the rest of my NH trip.

Back home, I finally finished the three repeats of the leaves that I had intended when I realized something dreadful, since the yarn was variegated...the stitch pattern did not show up well at all. This not being my first rodeo with a knitted hat, I should have realized that would happen before I began, but alas I did not. Showing the problem to several "consultants", they suggested I keep it simple, and just continue the twist that formed the crown of the hat, finishing it off with a ribbed edge and a few girlie details. (Charlotte likes girlie details. The girlier the better.)

In the end, I took their advice, and produced a cute twisting hat pattern. I ended up ripping out the hat 3 times before I settled on this pattern, but oh well. At least I had bought quality yarn that stood up to all that abuse.

Last, but not least, I added an I-cord pink flower with a yellow button center...and then NOBODY liked it...except Charlotte...which is all that matters, right?

(Pictured: Charlotte trying on her new hat. Hopefully she won't hate me for posting this pic!)

-Your (always logical) Knitting Girlfriend


  1. Enjoyed you hat journey. I find hats hard for some reason. They are either too big or too small. And next to no one I would knit for wears one. Great job in the long run.

  2. At least you cropped out the commode.

  3. At least you figured out how to comment! LOL