Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Project Done...

Actually, not just one project, but two. However, the second one didn't exactly turn out as planned.

First, the successful project. I made a quick and easy Booga Bag from Shepherd's Wool that I bought at Nature's Yarns - it's great for felting and comes in fabulous colors! The pattern is free from Black Sheep Bags. This was a VERY quick knit. I started knitting on Wednesday night, finished knitting on Friday, quickly felted it, dried it overnight, and finished it on Saturday morning. Talk about instant gratification!

Before felting (left), the bag as 12" tall x 4 1/2" deep x 12 1/4" wide. Post-felting, it was "6 3/4" tall x 3" deep x 8 3/4" wide - a cute little thing!

I covered a pasta box with a plastic bag as my "felting form" to give the bag the proper shape and dried it overnight. Luckily, the air was fairly dry so it dried quickly.

Next, I poked holes in the bag to feed the i-cord through using the same DPNs that I used for knitting the bag. Knitting needles obviously have many uses - I just love a good "multi-tool"! Voila! A finished bag!

My next project didn't turn out quite as expected. I was making a tam from the Knitty Pattern, "Three Tams" - Winter 2007. I decided on Tam B. The yarns I selected looked great together - a nice medium grey in Zealana Eco (80% Merino/20% Possum) and for the variegated color, I decided on Poems (100% wool). The hat was actually started last November or December...and I had only knit about 3 rows before putting it off to the side.

I picked the project up again in early April, and the finer points of the hat's construction and appropriate needle sizes were a bit fuzzy. As I was knitting away, I discovered that the band was going to be a little too tight for an adult hat. No problem! I'll make this a child's hat. I continued on.

I had started this project with size 4 circs, and never thought to check if I was to continue with the size 4's for the entire hat. I simply continued knitting with the original size 4's, carefully following the chart until it was time to decrease. At that point, it was a bit cumbersome to deal with the circs, so I switched to my more preferred needles - DPNs. Of course, being CERTAIN that I had "pre-packed" my project bag with the proper tools, I grabbed the only DPNs inside the bag and without checking the size, began knitting once again. The needles were a size 6. I had knit only about 12 rows when I realized that something just wasn't quite right - the top of the tam was NOT lying flat...instead, it was starting to "peak". Ugh! I quickly re-checked the pattern, and STILL did not see that I should have switched to the size 6's MUCH earlier....NOT in the middle of the tam top! I simply thought that I'd somehow managed to pack my size 6's instead of the size 4's. Once again...I continued knitting away with the wrong needles.

Well, this project was DEFINITELY not turning out as expected, but it WAS a good learning project. I continued on. My final product was a cute "beanie" style hat that's perfect for a child...but not at all similar to the intended tam...except for the color work design!

In spite of the "project mutation", I was quite pleased. The color work was nice and neat - both inside and out - and it has a very even tension - no pulling caused by the color changes. Whew....at least something went right with this project! However, I was still puzzled about the needle sizes...why would I put size 6's in the bag if they were not needed??? I carefully scrutinized the pattern yet again....determined to discover the error. Aha! There it was in black and white - I needed to change to the size 6's right after the hat band. I HAD packed the right tools...I just neglected to switch to the size 6 DPNs after the hat band.

I do like the hat...even though it definitely was NOT the same hat that I'd originally intended!


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