And so it is. I do kinda need some advice though first, if that's alright with you.
Firstly, I decided to try out the loop stitch on one of my hats. I had this brainwave of an idea using this stitch but of course wanted to try it, and so have started to knit it as a band on another hat. Surprisingly, I've never used this stitch before although I've lusted over it many times, so you can imagine my excitement when an idea pops into my head of a feasible and suitable way of using it.
Now, I know it's heavy on the yardage and could end up breaking my 100g rule (go on, you know you want to). I followed the instructions as stated in the 2nd Harmony Guide, which go a bit like this :~
1st row (wrong side) - Knit
2nd row - K1, *K1 keeping st on left needle bring YF, pass yarn over left thumb to make a loop (approx 4cm) YB and knit this st again, slipping st off needle, YO and pass the 2 sts just worked over this loop (1 loop made = ML); rep from * to last 2 sts, K2
3rd row - knit
4th row - K2, *ML, K1; rep from * to end
Now the problem I'm having is that this pattern as it is here pressumes you're working on straights and so gives a garter stitch ground for the loops. I'm working in the round as usual, and so I'm getting a stocking stitch ground. To be totally honest, the ground looks *really* untidy, and my work hasn't looked this messy since I was a kid! And so that bothers me. Also, I'm finding that those little loops aren't quite staying put and want to loosen up, making the ground look even worse. I have tried a couple of solutions, including knitting into the back of the st both times when making the loop but it's not made that much difference. Also, this method is taking an incredibly long time compared to my other hats and I fear I could get bored....
Can anyone else suggest another method for making the loops? I might try purling the ground instead of knitting to see if that makes it tighter. Otherwise, I've drawn a blank and really don't like having my knitting look so untidy.
Next up, I found this great pattern for a pixie hat online so thought I'd try it out. It was the shape and structure that fascinated me, so before I could explore this in my own designs, I needed to knit it to get under the skin of the pattern.
It's based on a sorta mitre pattern, worked as a rectangle on straights and then invisible seamed. Nice idea. Now in the pattern it states that originally it was designed as a child's hat but they had re-written it for an adult version. And their way of doing this was to keep the number of stitches the same, and just increase the gauge with larger needles and thicker yarn. Must have taken them *ages* to think of that, eh? ;)
So, first time I knitted it I got the gauge they suggested for the adult size with some of my hand-dyed roving in pinks. It was looking a little dinky near completion, so added a couple of rows of half trebles around the edge. As you can see from this ever so charming photo of Tom, it still wasn't big enough (bless my boyfriend for always being the guinea pig when it comes to trying out hat sizes)
So I have to say dear pattern writers, IT DIDN'T WORK, this idea of yours. Oh well. I could do with some child sized hats to sell.
Now, being as I liked the hat design, I didn't give up. So went for knitting it in Rowan Big Wool with even larger needles, and decided to add extra stitches too. The mitre rib pattern was pretty easy to work out and add extra width to... and if you add extra width you inevitably add extra length. And this time it worked.
The main body, excluding the crochet trim took me just under an hour to make - the beauty of super-bulky wool. Mind, I'm not that keen on it as it will show up the slightest mistake or uneveness in tension (which doesn't happen too often, thankfully) I'll stick to chunky or aran, thanks. Still, the simplicity of the structure has given me lots of food for thought, especially from a free pattern point of view - not everyone feels comfortable knitting in the round.
Gonna crack on and sort out this loop stitch before I abondon it completely.