Fair Isle FinishedPosted: February 2, 2006
Lately, I have been focused on finishing.
Pattern: Bea Ellis Traditional Hat
Yarn: Dalegarn Heilo, 1 skein color #0020 (cream) and 1 skein color #3152 (brown); Marks & Pattens Camomille, 1 skein color #208 (for the lining). The yarn was purchased in a kit.
I took an extremely stupid and circuitous route to knitting the top portion of my hat. It was so stupid that I’m sure many of you will catch my mistake before I explain it.
The story starts at the end of the snowflake pattern, which I knit in December. This was where I left off.
I put it down for awhile and only knit an inch and a half further here and there. When I picked it up again last week, I found that I missed a few rows in the pattern. (This can happen if you have the chart on a magnetic board, use the magnets to track the rows, and the magnets move without your noticing.) So I frogged back. No big deal.
Dark brown lifeline shows where I frogged back
I proceeded to knit all the way up to the crown decreases. This is how the hat looked:
Yeah, you can wince. Those ridges aren’t supposed to be there. My floats were too tight, causing all that bunching. While I was knitting I had a sneaky suspicion that this was happening, but I was in denial about it. I didn’t think blocking would help because the tight floats would prevent the hat from stretching out. So I frogged the entire cream portion of the hat and started again.
The second time around, the hat was looking pretty good from the outside. I made a very conscious effort to spread out the stitches on my right needle before stranding the yarn in the back. I got all the way up to the beginning of the crown decreases again. Then I decided to check out MJ’s finished Traditional Hat and the Norwegian Knit-Along Gallery to see at how others’ hats looked on the inside. Guess what I discovered?
There are many rounds that are knit in just one color (cream). Thus, I could have cut the brown yarn and just rejoined it when needed for the brown fleck pattern. This would have eliminated much stranding and I could have avoided the float problem. The bottom line is that I did a lot of extra work for absolutely no reason. Ugh, sometimes I wonder whether I have a brain! ***big sigh***
Now, I would have left the hat alone and just finished it if it weren’t for the fact that now my floats were too loose.
What did I do?
Yup. Frogged it again. As you can see my yarn is now fuzzy.
I knit the entire cream portion again for the third time. The positive side of all this was that I got much better at knitting with my left hand. I can now feed the yarn more smoothly and Continental knitting doesn’t feel so foreign anymore. My right-handed knitting is still much neater and faster, but I feel like I have a good start with my Continental knitting.
I finally proceeded through the crown shaping and pulled the yarn through the remaining stitches on the needle. Here is the hat with the “proper” floats:
My hat is far from perfect, as some of the floats are too still loose, a few rows are too tight (particularly the all-cream rows in the snowflake portion of the hat) and some of the stitches remain uneven after blocking. But I’m thrilled that I tried two-handed fair isle knitting! I will definitely practice Continental knitting more before tackling another fair isle project.