Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Behind the Design of the Cloudy Rainbow Hat

My cloudy rainbow hat design is a really simple pattern.  You knit a tube and then graft the top together with the kitchener stitch. I even provided some tips on how to resize this hat to fit any sized head.  It took me some trial and error to get the right shape for Rowdy's head, and I sort of made up the design as I went along.  Today I'm going to share some of these notes as I was designing this hat PLUS take the opportunity to share more adorable pictures of Rowdy.

Why was there trial and error?  I knew that I only had 22 yards of my handspun chunky yarn and that that was probably not enough yardage to make a hat for a 9 month old baby.  I knew that I needed to push the design as far as I could to get something that would fit him.

I really like the "cloud" that ended up on top of the hat, even if that was not part of my original vision when I started spinning.

I started by casting on 33 stitches, but I quickly realized that this was going to be pretty big on Rowdy's 8.5 month old head.  Since I was only a few inches into the hat and already on the green yarn, there was NO way that I could create an entire baby hat.

I started over with 27 stitches.  This fit with negative ease (and likely wouldn't last very long), but I got almost to the top of his crown by the time I ran out of yarn in my chunky gradient.  

You may note that the pattern itself starts with 28 stitches.  I did this because I really wish I had used 28 stitches and it is easier to write insturctions for grafting an even number of stitches than an odd number of stitches.

So what was I going to do about my yarn shortage?  I had some thinner (worsted weight) yarn with the same colors that I had intended to use all along for the pompoms.  What would happen if I held this double with some white Tuff Puff to finish up the top of my hat?

And this is how I got the cloud on top of my rainbow.

Before I started knitting, I considered doing vertical stripes with a K1B technique but I REALLY REALLY wanted to show off this true gradient without breaking it up.

There was only 11.5 g left of the worsted weight before starting the pompoms.  I really wanted to make sure there is enough for 2, so I wound the yarn with care and kept my fingers crossed.

Each one a red-red colorway when winding.  Woot!

It would have been nice to have denser pompoms, but I knew that these were going to be super cute.  

I mean, look how cute they are before they even made it on to the hat!  

So there you have it!  With a little trial and error (well, a few errors), I ended up with a hat that I designed from dyeing the fiber, spinning the yarn and the knitting the hat.  

I know that I've done a good job when people I pass on the street start grinning at me.  

How can you not grin when you see this little hat?  I suppose the baby is pretty cute, too.  ðŸ˜‰