Odessa Hat

Pattern: Odessa hat from Grumperina

Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft Aran from Purl Soho, 1 skein plus just a little of the second skein. Color is foxglove. Each skein was $9.50. If you use the aran weight, you do need the second skein, but only barely.

Needles: 16 inches circular in size 4 and size 6 DPNs. The brand that is made of colored metal–um, Susan Bates, I think?

Modifications: I made this out of the aran weight instead of the DK. I also knit the ribbing for 2 inches instead of 1 inches, a la Brooklyn Tweed. I cast on 90 stitches and started decreasing at 5 inches instead of 5.5 inches.

Notes: This is a very elegantly written pattern. Every part of it makes sense. However, if you are knitting-challenged like me, it will turn out to be way harder to knit than it should be.

First of all, I wanted to make it out of a thicker yarn so it would be more manly, like the one made by Brooklyn Tweed. But since the yarn was heavier, how would this change my gauge? I decided to ask The Internets, and I emailed Mr. Brooklyn Tweed himself, Lickety Knit (who also made an aran weight Odessa), and Grumperina for help. The internet, allowing you to hassle people you’ve never met.

Anyway, Brooklyn Tweed gave me some helpful advice about knitting Odessa for a man’s head, Lickety Knit kindly contributed the advice that she had cast on 90 stitches instead of 110, and Grumperina also offered up her own head measurements for help.

Then I cast on three times. Like Goldilocks, I was convinced it was too big and then too small and finally just right. Then accidentally made the diagonal ribs flow out of the purl part of the ribbing instead of the knit part. And then I got confused during the decreases.

Anyway, I think it finally ended up working well. Adam likes to wear it like a Smurf hat instead of pulled down over his ears for some reason.

Odessa Hat

I make poor Adam crouch down on the sidewalk so I can take a photo of the swirling top.

Odessa Hat's tag

The tag inside the top.

Posted in Finished Objects 2007, Hats, Uncategorized at April 15th, 2007.

As part of my never-ending analysis of this simple project, I shall now continue my epic recounting of how it came to be. So, anyway, once at The Yarn Tree (see below), I decided I could not figure out how to thrum a bonnet or hat on my own. My sister had requested a gray with blue thrummed hat, and since I had abandoned the thrum idea, I decided to substitute a mixture of two yarns.

I’m not sure about the marled result, though a couple people have pointed out that it looks like chain mail. It does, though for some reason, I couldn’t think of this concept (chain mail) and the only words that came to mind were “helmet liner,” “Monty Python,” and “Asterix and Obelix.” But if I were a little smarter, I would have realized the thing that connected these three ideas is chain mail.

Anyway, is knitted chain mail chic? I don’t think so, but it’s not that bad. So on a chicness scale from 0-10, I would say it is maybe a 4. On a utility scale, I would say it is higher.

I myself found the yarn combo sort of itchy, but I have sensitive skin, and since it seemed itchy, I gave it a good wash before I mailed it to my sister. I’ll have to wait till she wears it a lot before I give a judgment on its itch factor. The Joseph Galler yarn has tremendous yardage (665 yards!), and the Frog Tree yarn is relatively cheap. The Frog Tree is, I think, maybe the itchier one, but since I did use the yarns together, I am hesitant to blame it.

I am actually contemplating destashing it, but for the record, here’s how much I have left of the three balls of fingerling-weight Frog Tree and one skein of Joseph Galler (undyed sport weight). Both yarns are alpaca.

Yarn for destash.blogspot.com (by Slice)

Yarn for destash.blogspot.com (by Slice)

I think I would make the hat again, but in a bouncier yarn. The alpaca is too drape-y. Also, I would never use this yarn for something where you care about stitch definition, because it is quite fuzzy.

If I made the hat again, I doubt I would make the scarf, because it was boring to make. It required both concentration and repetition, not the most exciting combination. The hat took a week, and the scarf took two months.

So, in conclusion, is it a winner or a loser? I am not sure, and am going to take the wimpy Californian way out, and say, “There are no losers in life. It’s all about how you play the game.”

Posted in Finished Objects 2007, Hats, Scarves, Uncategorized, Yarn Review at March 16th, 2007.


sister hat.jpgArms & Armor

This is a very belated Christmas present for my sister. It’s kind of a knitted helmet-meshed with a scarf.

Pattern: The hat part is from this pattern here. It is the Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap, and apparently designed for chemo patients. Cute, even if you are not undergoing chemo. Some other knitter made it into a Princess Leila hat/wig here. You can see it in its hat-only form above. (I also think it looks like a helmet, hence the shot from the arms and armor room at the Metropolitan Museum.)
The scarf is a diagonal rib (k2, p2, scooting over one stitch every right-side row) for two feet, and then I increased on one side only for about half a foot and then decreased on the same side for another half a foot so it would form that triangle shape to fit into the bottom of the hat. Then I knit for another two feet.

Yarn: Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca (1 skein) and Frog Tree Fingerling Weight Alpaca (2 skeins) from The Yarn Tree, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Needles: No. 7 Addi bamboo circulars. I rarely hear people mention Addi bamboo needles, but I like them a lot. This is the only pair I have but they have a better cord than the Clovers, I think.

Cost: Well, I bought 3 skeins of the fingerling weight but only needed 2. So, if you bought 1 of the Joseph Galler ($26.50) and 2 of the Frog Tree ($13), your total would be $39.50. I will evaluate the yarn and yarn store in another post.

Posted in Finished Objects 2007, Hats, Scarves, Uncategorized at March 10th, 2007.

sister hat.jpg

I do actually occasionally knit, instead of just going to yarn stores on my vacation.

I’m almost done with a project, actually. Here’s part one of it (above). It’s a hat, that I’m going to attach to a scarf and give to my sister.

(That photo is taken at the Met–the art museum, not the opera house–when I went to go see the Nan Kempner show at the Costume Institute.*)

*Nan Kempner has the taste of a crazy 1980s diva. C’mon Costume Institute, get some cool clothes there, not just Dynasty-era suits.

Posted in Hats, Uncategorized at February 26th, 2007.

Kim says her hat is a little too short, which I suspected might be a problem. Here’s the thing — when I started making the decreases, I was worried I would run out of yarn (I also did the decreases two or three times because I was having problems) even though I also knd of felt that the hat might be too short.

Moral of the story: Believe the measurements. Trust the yarn. If I had not freaked out about running out of yarn then the hat would have been fine, AND I would have had enough yarn, because I had enough left over. Sorry Kim!

P.S. I think I thought it would be okay because I tried it on and I figured *I* had a big head. (I know this because when I was a kid I once got my head stuck in a restaurant chair and they had to unscrew the whole chair to get my head out!)

Posted in Finished Objects 2006, Hats, Uncategorized at May 2nd, 2006.


Pattern:I started with the calculations from this site, and then I ended up switching to the instructions on Crazy Aunt Purl’s site here.

Yarn: A little less than one skein of Louet Sales Gems Sapphire (their bulky weight yarn) from Seaport Yarn

Needles: Most of it was done on Clover 9 circular (24″) and then at the end I also used Balene 9 circular (16″) as well.

Skills learned: How to decrease using two needles instead of double-pointed needles. (I had a tough time with the double-pointed needles for Francisco’s hat, so I decided to try the two-needle method.); Using markers to mark decreases.

Other thoughts: This yarn has many ply (eight, maybe?), so it’s easy to split. If you don’t watch carfeully, you only pull the yarn through some of the loops, so it gets splitty. On the other hand, the yarn has a nice, dry hand (now I sound like a wine critic), and feels smooth and crisp. Also, it is machine washable, so that’s a plus.

Click through for more photos.

Read More…

Posted in Finished Objects 2006, Hats, Uncategorized at April 16th, 2006.

Samurai Kabuto front

Originally uploaded by truegod.

(1) The sweater is stuck until my colleague, a knitting guru, is able to look at the bind off for the neck.

(2) Kim’s hat is stalled because I am running out of yarn, despite the fact that the owner of Seaport Yarn felt that one skein would be enough because:

(a) Kim claims her head is 23″ around

(b) Kim wants her hat to fit like a bowl and not like a cond*m. (I don’t want my blog to come up under that word. Not cause I’m a prude, but this is a knitting blog, you know.)

Though I fear the hat will still be snugger than she wishes, it has ended up being quite a big hat, and so the options are (i) a stripe in another color or (ii) me getting another skein of this yarn.

Kim! What kind of hat do you want? Stripe? If you don’t answer soon, I will knit you the hat in the photo instead. It is a samurai hat with a dragon on top.

Posted in Crazy Knitting, Hats, Uncategorized at March 30th, 2006.

Photograph by baba lu.

Here’s F-Ro wearing the first hat I ever knit. I didn’t use a pattern–I just winged it using some number 8 circular needles and sport-weight wool-ease. The top is a little messed up, due to the lack of pattern, but all in all, I think it fits pretty well!

Posted in Finished Objects 2006, Hats, Uncategorized at March 8th, 2006.