Friday, January 21, 2011


Hat 7 is finally finished, along my last reserve of patience and enthusiasm. I believe I invented at least three new curse words this week-- whoever said knitting was "relaxing" or "meditative" clearly never tried closing the top of a double-knit hat. And there was collateral damage:

Let's review the upside-- the colors are nice:

And it's reversible:

But the hem flare is working my last nerve:

Why can't you lie flat? Why?

Perhaps it will improve with blocking... and perhaps my mood will improve with some Malabrigo:

Project Notes

Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark. I didn't exactly love this yarn for We Call Them Pirates, and its diabolical properties-- namely splitting-- magnify with further use. Making SSP decreases with Telemark made me feel a little... stabby. Fortunately, no living things were harmed.

Pattern: Improvised, mostly-- I cast on approximately enough stitches, knit a tube with some stripes, and started decreasing when it seemed long enough. I worked myself into a bit of a lather over gauge, so about halfway through I checked to see if it would fit.

Techniques: Double knitting is a nifty parlor trick with many practical advantages: stockinette that doesn't curl, stranded colorwork without the stranding, yarn ends that magically disappear between the layers of fabric. There are great tutorials here and here. The most difficult part for me was casting on, but it didn't have to be. I used the two-color Italian cast-on, which creates an invisible edge-- tutorial here-- but is a real PITA to work in the round. Next time... and I think there will be a next time after a lengthy recovery period... I will probably use a different method. One thing I learned about tubular cast-ons: work them on tiny needles, then switch to the appropriate size for your project. Unless you want hem flare.

The Bottom Line: Once the dazzle of double knitting wore off-- and believe me, it does (right, Denise?)-- I found this to be a fairly tedious project. Progress was slow, and I had to concentrate pretty hard to maintain even tension. I wish I could say that I'm overjoyed with the results... maybe with a little time (and Malabrigo) I will feel better.

Though he doesn't know it yet, my husband has volunteered to model the hat in a future post. Yes, I still have more to say about it... just very little inspiration at the moment. I'm sure to find some over at FO Friday-- won't you join me?


  1. You should LOVE that hat, because I do! It looks so amazing. I wouldn't have even noticed the little flip if you hadn't zoomed in and pointed it out! I can't wait to see your hubby modeling it!

  2. Great hat! I love the colors and that it is reversible!
    RIP knitting needle - your sacrifice was worth it.

  3. The double knit looks so functional. That would be such a comfortable hat!

    It seems like double knitting is worthwhile only for a few type of projects, anyway. Kudos to you for finishing this guy up.

  4. Aaah, Malabrigo is always a wonderful mood enhancer. I love that the hat is reversible. Despite the issues you mentioned, your photos of the hat make me want to try the technique. I don't think anyone else would notice the flaring. It looks fabulous.

  5. The hat looks fantastic. I tried double knitting socks a while back and gave up about 2/3/ of the way down the leg so I am very impressed with your hat.

  6. I really love this one. The color combo is one of my faves. And I'm doubly (pun intended) impressed that you improvised this pattern. Can't wait to see what you are going to make with that lovely Malabrigo!

  7. The hat looks great. I think the flare will be hidden by being worn.

    I covet your Malabrigo - what a yummy colour.

  8. I love the colours, and the fact that it's reversible is awesome---sorry about the frustration/collateral damage/hem flare, though! I'm interested to see what this hat looks like being modelled and to read what else you have to say about it. And that Malabrigo yarn looks delicious. Their colourways are so, so amazing, I can never stop from picking them up and cuddling them in yarn shops.

  9. Malabrigo makes almost anything better.

  10. that hat is really cute - i didn't even notice anything "wrong" with it..... the malabrigo yarn is super gorgeous!!! have fun with your hat project xx