Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trying but failing: how not to knit a hat

I predicted a few weeks ago that if I were to order from Bendigo Woollen Mills, the order would arrive before my Knit Picks order made at Christmas time. I was correct - I am still waiting for the Hawthorne Bare I need for my Japan Sleeves but four balls of Luxury 10 ply arrived on my doorstep five days after ordering them. My desire to get started on knitting some clothes can finally begin!

Unfortunately, to knit clothes that fit, one must knit gauge swatches. I hate knitting gauge swatches (which is probably why I knit so many socks and do not have a single hat that fits me properly). However, I have a lot more yarn that I need to finish the jumper, so I decided to follow the advice of the great Elizabeth Zimmermann and knit a hat as a gauge swatch. Even better, there is a hat pattern in the Home and Away pattern book: the Knitbot Simple Hat.

Perfect! I grabbed the recommended needle sizes for the jumper, cast on the number of stitches for my head size, and started knitting. I knit to the hat length recommended before doing the decreases and looked at what I had produced. It seemed a little big...

.. so I pulled out the cables and blocked it.

It's huge! I didn't check the needle size recommended in the hat pattern and it (unsurprisingly) is different for the jumper - 3.75mm and 4.5mm for the hat instead of 5.5mm and 6mm for the jumper. I had effectively knit the first 7 inches of the jumper. Grrr! So much for saving me time on knitting a gauge swatch! 

I have now cast on both the hat and the jumper with the correct size needles and learned my lesson: read the pattern properly to save both time and my sanity. Never again...


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