Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This is not good. This is just not good.

Well, I was sitting here at my computer because there's good light, and I was waiting for the phone to ring, and the kitchen one has static 90% of the time and I'm too distracted by yarn to call the phone company and tell them to fix it since I have another phone 12 feet away in my office.

My office chair has wheels. I had my yarn in a Farberware metal bowl on the floor, which keeps it from rolling around. A strand got pulled too long, and laid on the floor. And my chair kept rolling over it. I don't know how long that went on, but I think for some time.

That sucker was really wound up in there! I didn't know that my chair had such complicated roller feet. I thought for sure this was going to be another time I'd have to cut the yarn. But I kept rolling the wheel because a whole loop got sucked up in there (two strands on one side of the wheel, and a big loop as the "end" on the other side). Well, I got the loop sliding around the wheel part (which, of course, is embedded in the housing so you can't reach the other side). And then it snagged. The photo is what I ended up with. I could only pull on one end and hope it would unsnag from whatever mysterious crevices are up in there.

And it did. The yarn got dirty. (As you can see, my chair pad has a HUGE residue of dried mud and God knows what else from coming in from the barn after mucking Cloud's stall, then traipsing through snow and ice (which is water when it gets inside). So the yarn got dirty. But it's okay. I brushed it off. Gonna wash it anyway once I'm done knitting it.

So here's the second thing that's not good. The hat was supposed to have a circular shape on the top. Well, it doesn't. It has a square. (I prefer to think of it as a diamond so rotated the photo so it looks like a diamond, just ignore the blank canvas parts where it's just blank canvas).

Okay, I think what made it square was that I forgot I was knitting in the round. So on the non-increase rows, I purled. Doh! I was after stockinette but decided that was a lucky mistake, I liked the garter stitch top.

Here's the top.

Okay, that's not all. After a while of purling, I decided there wasn't any reason why I couldn't pretend it was a design feature, and switched to knit, knit, knit (stockinette if doing it in the round). I had no idea how big the hat would be, I was guessing. But I did stop doing increases. Omigod.

It's a good thing. The hat measures 28" around. And that's with zero stretch on it, stuck on the cable (which is only 24" needle tip to needle tip. It would fit a head bigger than any human's, even big men with gigantic heads. Nobody has a head that big. Except maybe Bush, but that's only figuratively. He could just as easily be described as a pinhead, which is smaller than most people's heads, and you know what that means. In any event, this hat is huge.

Here it is from the side, perched on a roll of toilet paper as a prop.

It's not as long as it looks, it's just huge so it looks longer than it is.

So I decided now was the time to switch stitches again, and do 1x1 ribbing. I called the yarn shop and asked what's the tightest ribbing, thinking maybe I could make a whole new style. They said 1x1. After a couple rows, it still wasn't going to fit, so I called back to see if I could switch to way smaller needles and end up with a tam. But they were closed by then.

I hate to say it, but I see possibilities for this hat. If I were to FELT IT!! It's that big.

I can't imagine felting anything made from homespun. I mean, you want to felt something, you just go buy cheap yarn. But after all that spinning and plying and especially when you thought it was uneven as hell and it turned out to be pretty consistent? You just don't go around felting your 2nd plyed spin.

I think I made some big mistake on a stitch also. Can't figure it out. I don't know if it's a dropped stitch or it got otherwise messed up, but the hat, as is, is toast city anyway. Before I rip it out I'm going to take it to Jenny's on Thursday and just see if she has any ideas. Maybe we can bind off so I don't have to contend with those needles, and really measure it and see just how much too big it is, then maybe rip PART of it out, but not all.

I'm going to call it a learning experience.

As for starting at the center and being able to pull that loop tight so there's no hole, all I can say is next time I'm going to tie something to that loop. It gets pulled into the stitches. I almost couldn't find it. It was a struggle and I'm actually not sure I found it. I found something, and pulled like hell, and the hole closed. So I think I lucked out and it was the loop.

Damn, all of this is going to take a shitload of time to learn.


Emma M. said...

Hey, I found your blog on Ravelry (in the beginning spinners group--I'm a newbie too!). This post makes me want to give you a hug!

A few things:

You shouldn't worry about the hat looking square. You're knitting a tube, and it's going to wind up round no matter what. The reason it looks square (I'm guessing) is that you were increasing in four places around the hat. Four points of increase equals a square. Six points would give you a hexagon, eight an octagon, etc. I'm pretty sure you can't get an outright *circle*, but it all evens out in the end. (There are some cute hats that are based on a square!)

As for the size . . . well, that one's not as easy to work around, but I will say that the first hat I ever knitted came out HUGE (probably about the same as yours, I think), and it's still one of my favorite hats. It was garter stitch, like the top of your hat (knit one round, purl the next), and I just made it long and folded the brim up.

However, if you ever try this again, you're in luck! Because, when you start a hat from the top down, you can make it exactly the size you need. You just increase until the crown is as wide as you want it to be (you could measure, but I generally just plop mine down on my head). I knit top-down hats all the time, because I abhor swatching.

Anyway, your handspun is *beautiful*. I think you're doing great!

Carol said...

Gee, Emma, thanks for the encouraging words! AND the hug.

I did plop it on my head, and it seemed that if I knit straight from there it would be somewhere near right.

I had two sets of 24" circulars dangling off of it though, with no room to spread out the stitches. Also I didn't know how stretchy ths yarn was. I think I need one very lightweight L-O-N-G circular in any size needles just for being able to try on and spread out.

I'm not going to frog it entirely until I check out further options, and will definitely include your link in that!

Thanks for your visit. This is my first blog, brand new, and you're my first unrelated visitor ever!

Anonymous said...

Now I know what you've been up to!!
:) The hat is BEAUTIFUL!!! Really! I have no clue how to knit in the round. As for not having it come out square, I would think that staggering the increases would prevent that somehow and figuring out those numbers would challenge my brain powers I'm pretty sure. Increase in 4ths and the next time half way in between the first increases....something like that. QQ But geese, it really is nice.
All but that yarn in your wheel! Talk about snags!!!

"Talk" to you later.

nittykit said...

Me again. Having problems identifying myself so I'll try this way. The 3rd comment was mine. nittykit

Jenny said...

I think it looks good. I can't tell how big it is, but I'll see it in 2 hours anyway.

The one thing I'm noticing, which is good, is that the knitting of that yarn does not look purple. It looks red and blue, which is what you wanted. :)