I recently posted about ‘Knitting when I can‘, and promised to post a picture of the hat I was working on when I finished it. The pattern is called Earl Grey, by Clare Devine, which I purchased at the Glasgow School of Yarn. If you fancy giving it a go, you can buy the pattern through ravelry (Earl Grey Pattern). It is part of a larger collection of patterns named after teas from across the world, which you can buy as part of an ebook (The Tea Collection) – it’s worth checking them out because if you like more than one and want to purchase them then it might work out cheaper to buy the ebook (£10 for 13 hat patterns and 2 cowls, as opposed to £3.50 per pattern.)*
As I tend to be a tight knitter I did the adult large, however I think I could have got away with the medium as the hat is a little on the big size. I had wondered about doing only 2 repeats of the cables prior to decreasing, but on advice from some of the lovely ladies on my facebook page, I decided to do the recommended 3 repeats. I think this was the right choice as it might have been a big snug otherwise.
One of the ladies who has knitted up this hat a few times also recommended I definitely block it. Now, much like checking gauge, I’m a bit lazy when it comes to blocking and don’t always do it. But as this was a gift I thought I had better give it a go. I don’t have specific wool wash (and the crimes against hand knitting just keep mounting…) but I figured regular non-bio would do. I popped it in some water, squeezed through the suds and left it for 15 minutes. My only problem was, my 5 week old decided that that was the time he was going to wake from his nap and demand to be fed. Fearing a yarn disaster (feeds can take over an hour – I don’t block enough to know what would have happened if I’d left it to soak that long, but I can’t imagine it would have been pretty), I quickly rinsed it through, trying not to agitate it too much and avoiding wringing it, as tempting as that was to get the water out quickly. Then I wrapped it in a towel to get most of the water out. I put the hat over a balloon I’d prepared earlier (it was all very Blue Peter) and attempted to shape it whilst feeding my son. As we are still in the relatively early stages of feeding where latch can be a bit precarious, this was easier said than done. So the stitches aren’t quite ‘set’ in the way they might have been had I had a bit more time and the full use of both my hands. But overall I’m pretty happy with the end result. I gave it to my friend today and she was thrilled so I can’t really ask for more. Now I just need to make something for her son and partner…
* I don’t know Clare Devine and don’t benefit from the sale of the pattern. Just in case any of you were wondering!