I didn't intend it as such, but now I can't help but invoke La's recent "one of these things is not like the other" posts.
pattern: Braid and Bobble Hat (FiberTrends)
designer: Carolyn Doe
yarn: Harrisville Highland
modifications: I left off the braided tassel. Last night I was looking at the hat, while it blocked on the styrofoam head, and realized that it looked perfect as-is. I kind of like the whimsical tassel in the pattern photo, but I think that my hat turned out less whimsical looking than that hat, regardless of the tassel. Maybe it's the color? Or the fit? Either way, no tassel for me this time. Also, I just learned that I've been misspelling "tassel" my entire life. That's kind of sad.
I also charted out the hat, since the pattern didn't contain any charts. I highly recommend doing this, as it's so much easier than reading the pattern as text. If I'd done the latter, I'd have to go back and forth between several different sections for every row. In fact, if I had to do that, I probably wouldn't have knit the hat at all. My chart is kind of wonky looking, because I did a literal charting of every row. This is as opposed to what I'd do for most cabled patterns, which is either not bother to chart the "wrong side" rows, or to chart everything as it appears from the right side. Because this hat has a section where the "right side" is on a different side than most of the pattern (because of the folded up brim), and because there's such a mix of seed stitch, stockinette, and reverse stockinette, I did literal charting. It's a bit dizzying to look at if you're used to more traditional cable charts, but when reading the chart row by row it was perfectly digestible and a huge help.
It fits my head better than I anticipated. I knitted it for a contest at my LYS because I had the yarn, and liked the pattern. But I wasn't sure that it would look right on me, and thought there was a good chance I'd give it as a gift, or put it in the charity knitting pile. (Well, there isn't yet a charity knitting pile. It would be the pile.) But it looks nicer on me than I thought it would, so it may be a keeper. Even though the orangey-red color will probably clash with my more classic red winter coat.
Thanks to Irie for the silly post title. Oh, and go listen to her podcast. And look at her grapevine socks. Good stuff!
Misty asked me a question about one of the Hiawatha charts. She was confused by the following row:
It helps to remember that the section of the row above is a repeat, which means it will be knitted back to back several times in a row. Notice that there are 3 plain knit stitches at the end of the repeat, and 4 at the beginning. This means that for all of the repeats in the middle (not the first and last), you'll end up knitting those 7 stitches all in a row. So the 4/7 is just giving you a shorthand, so you don't have to count those boxes every time. You'll knit 4 stitches at the beginning of that repeat, do the fancy lace stuff in the middle of the row, and can then just think to yourself "knit 7", instead of "knit 3", then "knit 4". Does that make sense?
In case you need more clarification, take a look at this row, which is from another part of that same lace pattern:
If you look carefully, you'll see that it's basically the same repeat as the one you were confused about. It's just shifted over, so the repeat starts and ends in a different place. But that only really matters at the beginning and the end of a row. In the middle of the row, you could just as easily be following this row of the chart as that other row of the chart.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. I would urge you to at least try to read the charts, instead of writing the pattern out. Once you get the hang of it, it's a lot easier than following written instructions. It helps if you use something to cover up the rows of the charts you're not working on, so your eye doesn't wander to confusing places. Just think one row at a time, and it's a lot less daunting of a challenge.