Saturday 17 January 2015

Seeing Stripes

I know we're already over two weeks into 2015, but Happy New Year!

Today I thought I'd write about a WIP I started and finished during the holiday season.

I decided to take up knitting again, and had to have a little bit of a refresher-crash course from my Nan to remind me what I was doing. My Great-Nannie taught me how to knit, maybe about 12 years ago? As I pretty much hadn't even touched knitting needles since then, it was a bit tricky to start with. I'm so used to crochet that my tension was completely off, and I'm pretty sure that because I was so young, my Nannie had only taught me the knit-stitch and nothing else. I didn't know how to cast on, cast off, how to purl. Nothing. So it was a bit of a task.

To inspire me, I decided to visit Toft again. I picked up two balls of Aran wool in the colourways Mushroom and Stone and had a look at the hats they had in their workshop. I chose to make the 'Striped Beanie' as it had a skill level of 'Beginner', which I definitely was.

The Striped Beanie pattern is available on the Toft website for free, or can be ordered as a kit with everything you need included.

To make my hat I used Basix Birch fixed circular needles in a size 60cm x 5mm by KnitPro.

Before I started my hat, I decided to practice my stitches and tension by making a few squares of ribbed material. I used 3.5mm normal needles and DK wool for this, before practicing with 5mm needles and the second colour I was going to use for my hat.

Once I was happy with my tension and the way my stitches looked, I started the hat. I found it a little tricky at first, as I'd never worked with circular needles for anything before. I'd only ever worked with standard needles, so the cable connecting them seemed a bit unusual. I got used to it eventually, though.

My next challenge was colour changing. I'd never done this before, and as I was knitting in a continuous round, I didn't really want to fully cast on and off again, every single time I had to change colour for one row.

Eventually I got there, and I ended up with some nice, little stripes.

It took me around three weeks to finish the hat once I'd started it, I had a sizeable gap in the middle of working on it due to my birthday and work commitments. Overall it was really easy to do, and anything I struggled on, there were plenty of knowledgeable books and videos that I could refer to for help. It was a really nice thing to make, it wasn't horribly complicated, so I didn't get frustrated or anything.

And lots of people have given me praise on my hat and how nice it looks. I've even been asked to make my friend one!

I'll be posting again very soon, see you next time!