Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cables and Cables and Cables

The Three Kings dropped off a cable-knit hat for each member of the family last week (because someone hadn't quite gotten them done in time for Christmas).

When I was in Ireland two summers ago (how can so much time have gone by already?), I picked up several skeins of Donegal Studio Aran Tweed yarn, each a different color, with the intention of making a hat for each member of the family, each in a different cable-knit pattern, because Ireland. And also because I love the way cables look and wanted some practice knitting them (in case I ever get really wild and crazy and knit a cabled sweater).

I started knitting the first one while I was still in Ireland, but as it turned out, it took me several months to almost finish it (didn't I say I'm not a summer knitter?), and then I ran out of yarn after the first few decrease rows. I tore the whole thing out and started again, knitting it with one less cable section than the pattern called for, and still ran out a few rows before the end. So I gave up and turned it into a headband.

I then found an online source of the very same yarn and was able to get another skein in each the teal, light green, and dark red colors. 

I wasn't able to match the dark green or light red, so I found a pattern that included both cables and color work. It doesn't look terribly Irish, but it was a lot of fun to knit.



I discovered along the way that the disadvantage of using free patterns that I find online is widely varying inconsistency in sizing: the teal hat came out tiny, the light green enormous, the red-and-green a bit big, and the red just right but not quite long enough. If it were just my loose knitting to blame, they would have all been huge, right?



 I learned my lesson and actually paid for a pattern for one last hat:



When I made my order for extra yarn, I bought two skeins of purple that remind me a little of the heather that grows on the hillsides of County Kerry. I also moved down a needle size, because I really do knit loosely and I don't want an enormous hat. Although this one is intended to be a bit slouchy, I don't need a shower cap.

It's keeping my hands busy these winter evenings as we work through a season of MI-5 that I got for Christmas, our weekly NetFlick (last week: Little Women), and, of course, Downton Abbey. Maybe that's why winter is my knitting season: it's also my TV-watching season!

Pattern names and (minimal) notes at my Ravelry page.

13 comments:

  1. They turned out well in the end! They were worth the wait :). I know what you mean about free patterns they can be a bit hit and miss. I knit a hat recently and it was too short so I ripped the top stitches out and knit some more rows and it fits now! I can recommend the Antler Hat pattern from Tin Can Knits it is a free one but it was a perfect fit for me when I knit it up recently - for someone else!

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    1. Thanks, Sustainablemum! The antler hat is super cute...I love the way the cables taper to the crown. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  2. I hear you on free patterns, I feel into that trap last year with a hat. Love your hats, and the colours are amazing!

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  3. Great selection of hats (and headband) in stunning colors.
    Interesting observation on free patterns, I'll keep it in mind when choosing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by EMMA. I'd be interested to hear if other people run into similar issues with free patterns.

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  4. Good work on these hats. Love them! I am continually impressed by all you do. And I am glad to find you on Ravelry now too!

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    1. Wow, Amanda. I just peeked at your Ravelry page. You're one amazing knitter. Love those rainbowey blankets.

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  5. All such pretty colors! Thanks for sharing!

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