Friday, 26 December 2014

Hats in the power of three

There was a time that my hands were itching to make a hat and instead of just making one, I made three! For two out of three I wanted to experiment with increases, binding off and different ribbing. The one that stands out was a present for my mother: she asked for a slouchy warm hat and even gave me the yarn! But that yarn has an interesting story.

It is reclaimed acrylic yarn from an enormous cable scarf my mother had bought a considerable time ago in a Bershka store. She didn't use it, because it was so long that it would reach her feet. That's not very practical.

crappy last-minute-before-unraveling picture

Unraveling was quite simple, since the thing is basically one huge ball of yarn:

and quite fun, too. I have been unraveling a few things lately and between sweaters, cardigans and scarfs, scarfs are naturally the best sources for yarn.

This particular gray one is 100% acrylic but if the label was not there, I would have mistaken it for a wool/acrylic blend since it does not look the 'cheap acrylic' type. It's soft, warm and oh-so-bulky. It works up well too. 

The pattern I used is Ion by Norah Gaughan. I had my eye on Norah Gaughan Vol. 9 for a long time, especially because of Aeneas, and I thought of killing two birds with one stone. Ion is a nice design and I like the pom pom feature, but my mother doesn't wear that. :)

It is my first time trying out a Norah Gaughan pattern but not the only one. By the time I write this, I have completed a second design and I have a third one on the needles. Trying to match yarn and pattern for a fourth one too!

I like the design elements she uses and the overall look of many of her designs. I like how for example a specific cable stitch can define the whole garment (see Gullveig).

For the other two hats that I made, construction was my main focus. You can see from the pictures alone that they have a different form. The both are worked top-down with the same yarn but with different needles: 4 and 4,5mm. There are some differences in the increases, the rounded one features decreases in/before the brim. My experimental goal was to see which technique would produce a hat that is not too tight at the edge but at the same time does not fall off. 

I personally like the rounded version more, where I also used the tubular cast off. I will be trying that version with a hat that features stranded colorwork even at the brim.

The.. looser version was so boring (to me) that I just had to add a pom pom to it. The pom pom itself is rather big, and my first attempt to create a flower pom pom. Can you tell it's a flower?

Since I currently have no use for them, the two purple-gray hats are available for sale [here and here].

Oh, and just yesterday, after coming across a project that has been hibernating for 2 years next month (!), I wondered about how did I work through that project improvising all the way. (It is about 50-60% done). I worried a little. Have I lost my improvising confidence? Am I turning to rely on patterns just a little but too much? Hm...

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