Friday, June 3, 2011

Pinstripe Slouch Hat

So I didn't end up finishing hat 26 on Tuesday amid the (imagined) fanfare and cheering of adoring crowds-- I finished it a bit more quietly yesterday morning. It's a bit hard to believe that I'm halfway through this project, but time does have a way of marching on after all.

Here's my halfway hat, courtesy of my husband's awesome new camera:

I hope you will indulge my desire to give everything an artistic blur for the next couple of weeks

I'm very happy with my decision to start this one over-- you may recall that I found the hand-painted yarn to be a bit garish on its own. Striping it with a solid, neutral color gave me the more toned-down look I was aiming for. The fit might be off just a bit... more on that later.

Project Notes

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Fingering-- hand-painted by yours truly! I haven't worked with hand-painted yarn before, though I have longingly fondled many an expensive skein. While those mesmerizing colors are so tempting in the yarn store, they often take on a jagged, sawtooth appearance when knitted up, which I don't really love. I didn't exactly go for a subtle color scheme for my first attempt at hand-dyeing, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to turn this stuff into anything remotely attractive. Luckily, Knit Picks had just the right color to throw into the mix. I can also imagine striping with bright red for a higher-key effect... and I have plenty left over for further experiments!

Pattern: Pinstripe Slouch Hat (Ravelry Link) by Veronik Avery, from her excellent, recently released book Knitting 24/7. I love literally everything Veronik designs-- she somehow combines timeless styles with perfect tailoring and just the right hit of high-fashion. This pattern is great for showing off hand-painted yarn-- the "knit one below" columns interrupt the color sequence just enough to prevent major pooling. I did find it a bit strange that the pattern calls for the hat to be knit in reverse stockinette... since it's reversible! I followed along anyway and my purling speed is now rather brisk. As it turns out, I purl tighter than I knit-- I have suspected this for some time now, but this hat is irrefutable proof. I think I would have attained more slouch by going up a needle size or two... oh well.

Techniques: I learned another nifty trick for this one: no-purl garter stitch in the round, courtesy of Fleegle's Blog. Using two balls of yarn, you simply change directions after each row-- knitting the right side rows from one strand and the wrong side rows from the other. Genius. Now, I know what you're thinking: why did you bother with this fancy technique to avoid purling on the brim, and then switch to reverse stockinette for the body of the hat? And I really don't have a good answer for that-- I guess it's just been that kind of week.*

The Bottom Line: Fit issues aside, I'm pleased with how this turned out. It was fun to use my own hand-painted yarn-- and if my fiber-enablers have anything to say about it, by next year I will be spinning AND dyeing my own yarn. But before I get too far ahead of myself, there are still 26 more hats to knit...

*On Wednesday, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the discount movie theater in-town Portland, rather than one of the bigger theaters with huge, free parking lots... $7 for garage parking PLUS a $15 parking ticket kind of cuts into the $1.50 I saved. D'oh.


  1. tehehe, I love that no purl method. I am a loose purl, tight knit gal.

  2. Fiber-enablers? I don't know who you could be possibly talking about!! still want that ride to Fiber Frolic tomorrow? ;)

  3. I think #26 is one of my favorites. I love how you combined the colors. Off to favorite the pattern...

  4. Wow, I can't believe you're on 2 already! I remember #1! I love your dyed yarn. It's beautiful, as is the hat! Great job. I actually just read your dyeing post for the first time and had to comment. :)

  5. Oops, my 6 button sticks since I spilled a drink on it a few months ago. Make that 26. LOL

  6. This is such a great hat. The colors are amazing. I have this book and intend to knit this one up now that I've seen yours. I recently discovered the no purl garter stitch in the round technique. So cool! Congratulations on hitting the halfway mark.