I taught myself how to knit around Christmas of 2012 and one of my goals for 2016 is to really advance my skills. As I mentioned in my last post, there’s a rather complicated looking hat on my #2016MakeNine list that I’m excited to tackle but I wanted to ease into charted knitting slowly in order to set myself up for success. The Rosebud Pattern by Brooklyn Tweed is a really excellent pattern for doing exactly that.
This pattern has the PERFECT amount of chart (just one small section) for someone who has all the basics of knitting down but has yet to even attempt to decipher charted knitting. Before I started Rosebud, my brain wanted to short circuit every time I saw knitting instructions laid out in a chart. I guess it’s all those blocks and symbols, but once I sat down and sorted through the directions I was surprised at how much easier it was to make sense of the project! Silly me, I was afraid of charts for nothing!
I made all sorts of notes for myself in pencil when working across the page so I never got lost or mixed up. In fact, the only time I lost my place and made a mistake was in the decrease portion of the garter stitch, not even in the complicated chart section! I’m pretty proud of myself for that! My only experience with cables prior to this was with the Craftsy Knit Lab hat class by Stefanie Japel, and that was definitely a great introduction to the basics that carried me through this project.
The yarn is MadelineTosh Vintage (a present I picked up for myself while at Finch back in December) in the Candlewick colorway and I looooooved knitting with it. It’s super soft and squishy and wonderful, and the subtle variances in color throughout make for some really beautiful fabric. My only complaint is my hat is pilling a bit already, which I guess is to be expected given the fact that I haven’t taken it off my head in days. What can I say, I really love hats.
I kinda dropped the ball on the blocking step with this hat, but it turned out alright in the end. I don’t have a form to shape my hats on (or even a balloon for that matter) and every makeshift thing I tried was just stretching everything waaayyy out. I mean WAY out. I didn’t want to dry my hat completely flat and gigantic so I decided to do a potentially stupid thing and tumble dry it in a lingerie bag. That method actually worked quite well in shrinking things back down to size, but as a general rule of thumb you shouldn’t tumble dry yarn!
Oh well. I got lucky this time!
I think it’s the plague of every Maker to look at a finished project and pick out things they could do better next time, but I’m not going to let myself “knitpick” this one. I love it, I’m proud of it, and I did a really damn good job for a first time charted knitting project and second-time-ever cables. So take that self-doubt!
Plus, let’s face it, no one is even looking at my hat when Lucille is in the same frame. I really can’t blame anyone for that. 😉
Speaking of Lucille, her cute little mug has a small feature in this month’s issue of Simply Knitting (issue #145)!! Okay, so I guess it’s mostly about me and my knitting journey, and why I think knitting is on par with real magic, but they specifically requested photos of Lucille. I have all kinds of outtakes to share here soon! It’s a UK publication so I can’t find it at Jo-Ann’s or Barnes&Noble yet, but as soon as I do I’ll post more of the photos of Lucille modeling my knits. Plus I want a photo of her pretending to read the article because I’m ridiculous like that. 😉
Now that I’ve dipped my toe into the waters of charted knitting patterns, are there any hats you’ve made that you’d recommend for me? How about a good method for blocking hats? I need to advance my skills in that arena, too!