Monday, March 05, 2007

waves of color

Wavy Hat

I finally got around to washing and photographing the wavy hat, which I think I finished knitting about 2 weeks ago. It was just a fun little project with worsted leftovers, designed as I went along, with no attention paid to gauge. The yarn is Harrisville Highland (you might recognize the orange from my braid and bobbles hat), and the colorwork is based on a chart from Sensational Knitted Socks. (Pattern 2, on page 82, if you're really curious.) I cast on 96 stitches on size 6 16" circs, knit several plain rows for the roll brim, and then followed the chart until the hat was a good height. The chart is ridiculously easy, alternating 2 stitches of each color around and around. All that creates the wave effect is shifting the starting point on some of the rows. This, and many of the other basic colorwork charts in the book, would be a great starting point for anybody who has wanted to try stranded colorwork, and is looking for something easy as a first project.

The top of the hat took some tinkering:

Wavy Hat top

I wanted to do my standard 8 decrease swirl, and played around with a bunch of options before settling on a way to work the colorwork with the decreases. You can probably tell that I abandoned the wave chart for the top, in favor of keeping the color shifts in one direction. I think it worked out fairly well.

The hat will join my very tiny pile of garments for the Dulaan project, which is why I was able to completely ignore gauge. This hat will fit someone, and getting any specific size didn't really matter. I have a couple of interesting ideas for more colorwork hats, using up some more of my leftover worsted weight yarn. For these, I'm probably going to use charts in Joyce Williams' spectacular book Latvian Dreams. I have an urge to gush over the book in this post, but it would be disorganized gushing. I have plans to do a proper review of the book at some point, so I'll try to refrain from too much gushing right now. Needless to say, the book is spectacular, as a pattern book, a reference book, and as a collection of charts. I'm frankly overwhelmed at the choices for colorwork charts, and must sit down and force myself to choose just one or two to play with, or else I'll never get anything done.

Remember when I said, at the beginning of the year, that it might be a while before I do colorwork again? I guess I was wrong. I'm really excited by my hat design ideas, and have decided that my next sweater will be colorwork, too. I was wearing Vertical Stripes the other day, and realized that I really wanted to knit another one. Not another of the same sweater, but another fingering weight fair isle sweater with all-over patterning. I want to knit the Autumn Color Cardigan, which graces the cover of Sweaters From Camp. That sweater is the reason I bought the book in the first place, and it's long overdue that I actually get around to knitting it. I have some yarn money squirreled away, from earnings from my Stitch 'n Bitch calendar pattern, and from some commissioned knitting projects I've recently completed. It should be just about enough to pay for this project, though I'll have to kick in some extra to cover the expense of shipping from the UK. I had been planning to knit Am Kamin this spring, but the pull of fair isle is too great. I'm very excited. It will be my first time knitting set-in sleeves knit in the round and saddle shoulders, as well as my first colorwork project in which both the background and foreground colors are constantly shifting. A challenge, a learning experience, and the most gorgeous sweater I may ever knit.

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Blogger Becki said...

Set in sleeves in the round and saddle shoulders are SO much fun. I made a sweater like that for James and for some reason it seems to go faster than other sleeve and shoulder combinations in the round, and it looks really tidy, too.

Pretty hat! I'm a sucker for the decreases on the tops of hats.

3/05/2007 10:15 AM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

The hat turned out great. I think the decreases work very well with the swirls. It's as if the pink came cascading down from the crown of the hat.

3/05/2007 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That hat is great! If only I didn't have so many projects on the needles!

3/05/2007 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the swirls and the colors. Terrific hat!

3/05/2007 2:50 PM  
Blogger Kris B said...

I love the hat. It definetly worked out well.

3/05/2007 4:14 PM  
Blogger gray la gran said...

now i'm all excited about the next fairisle sweater !
i have that same knit picks yarn, but have only knitted bugs & finger puppets with it! ... a far cry from the complexity and skill of true colorwork.

3/05/2007 5:25 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

I love the hat! It looks so warm as well.

I agree about the sweater on the cover of Sweaters from Camp. It is really spectacular.

3/05/2007 7:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

The simple sturdy hat is beautiful! I really like how the decreases turned out.

3/06/2007 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the hat. I think the top is my favorite part.

I have had Sweaters From Camp on my list for a while. It is full of great projects.

3/06/2007 11:39 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Gorgeous hat!

3/06/2007 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to try the Options needles from KnitPick. I always preferred either Addis or Inox Express but, I have to say, the Options are awesome!

3/07/2007 11:36 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

That hat is freaking adorable -- now I want to try to figure out how you did it. Thanks for linking to the Dulaan project, too, and I'll definitely add some child-sized hats and scraves to the spring knitting queue.

3/07/2007 2:03 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I've also wanted to knit the sweater on the cover of SWEATERS FROM CAMP! If you do this, I just might have to tag along - maybe knitting it or, most likely, just following your progress.

The hat is fantastic! What a great way to use those yarn scraps!

3/07/2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

That swirly top was so worth the extra effort!

3/07/2007 7:57 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

That's a great-looking hat top! The movement of the swirl on top coordinates well with the wavy colorwork so you don't even notice when the waves stop.

3/09/2007 7:07 PM  

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