In the latest issue of Knitty, there is a stranded colourwork hat featuring a Rhode Island Red chicken design by Pam Sluter. I don’t know Pam, but clearly we share a love of chickens, wool and knitting. In short, I had one of those moments, and decided to cast on RIGHT AWAY! Because, I have these handspun yarns. Mmmm. Polwarth, my friends. Soft as anything. Perfect for a little hat.
I had an early period of doubt, because provisional cast on, and then three circular needles in play for a while. I held my nerve. I consulted a book on cast ons and bind offs. I love a good book.
I tried to talk myself out of taking it on the bus. Because charted patterns are not really ideal for bus knitting and I have a perfectly charming sock on the go. No hope of resistance. I kept wondering if the woman on the other side of the aisle could really be staring at me as intently as she seemed to be from the corner of my eye. How can my eye possibly be following the chart, keeping track of two yarns on the needles, and still noticing a total stranger? Eventually as we neared our destination I looked over. Yes! She was utterly intent. It appeared we didn’t share much common language so I showed her the picture. She grinned.
Here is the finished hat, being blocked over a big jar. But you know, not a jar as big as my head.
I did not do a gauge swatch. Risk taking knitting, I tell you! I went up a needle size as even when not using two colours, I tend to be on the tight side with knitting, and stranded colourwork has a tendency to mysteriously come out smaller than planned. Especially in the hands of a novice. Especially with long floats. Well. Not truly a mystery, then! This is the medium size and I have to say, nowhere near fitting on my head. I didn’t swatch because I was quite prepared to give this hat to whomever might like it and fit into it… and I am thinking of starting out with one of my very small friends. Who would look cuter than any button in this…