Thursday, March 6, 2008

Koolhaas Pt. 1 (the rant)

I'm a terrible updater, I admit it. But a whole lot of nothing's been going on. Just life. I'm working a little. A very little right now. I'm looking for work, daily. I visit my man whenever I can. At this point it really does feel like I spend almost as much time at his place as I do at home. In fact, his place does feel like home. I call it home without thinking about it, so it must feel like home. He feels like home, I think that's the key. I'm so happy to have him. I know that's mushy, and I hate mushy, but it really is true - all the time I feel my luck at having found him, at his being mine. :D

Ok, enough with the mushy! I blame it on the late hour, and the rumbling in my tummy - makes it harder to think. Yeah, that's it. ha.

I haven't been knitting much lately. Well, up until about a week ago I was knitting like a fiend. I wanted to make myself a Koolhaas hat. I even bought the pattern! That's something for me, usually I would have just winged it and tried to figure it out on my own, or do something of my own concocting, but I actually liked the pattern so well I paid $4.50 US for it. It's a damn good thing I liked it too! I ended up knitting the hat about 3 times. I knit the top 5 times, it'll be 6 by the time all is said and done actually.

Never being one to follow a pattern exactly, I decided I wanted a very warm hat, but I also wanted that hat to be the Koolhaas hat. It's not a cold weather hat. So I doubled up some gorgous teal alpaca that I had in my stash, and used that. This meant I was knitting on 6mm needles, and therefore not able to follow the pattern in terms of CO stitches or numbers of repeats.

I CO 80 stitches, knowing the yarn in the Koolhaas pattern had stretch. I did three repeats then began the decreasing for the top. I tried it on and realised right away it was WAY too short! It barely covered the tops of my ears! Disgusted, I ripped it off my head.

I like a hat much longer than that, so I frogged the top, and re-knit it, this time with four repeats. When I tried it on again I learned two things to my utter dismay: it was definitely way too tight and about 1-1.5 inches too tall!! It was so tight in fact it gave me a headache! Yes, I'd tried it on while it was on the needles, I knew it was a little tight, but I had no idea it would be as tight as it was!

I frogged the hat to the point where I thought the decreasing would start - for someone with a 19 inch head (3 repeats for those keeping score). Neda helped me on that part as she has a 19 inch head.

koolhaas v1

I must note: when Neda saw the hat she fell in love, when she touched it she became enraptured. It's gorgeous in design, colour and execution (even if I do say so myself), soft, warm, in short (or is this long?) it's everything a hat should be.

Neda convinced me to go with the plan I was leaning towards: leaving this hat on the needles and making myself another with the other two balls of this lovely alpaca yarn I had in my stash. I have to give credit where credit is due, this was not my idea, it was Chris', and after all the work I'd put into the hat thus far I was really very hesitant to frog it completely.

The plan was modified to include a contingency and a recipient of the smaller hat. I would knit myself a hat, and if/when I would need more yarn, as I was sure I would, I would take said yarn from the ball attached to the smaller hat. If and only if there was enough yarn left over would I finish the hat. In the case of being able to finish the smaller hat (very likely as there was a good bit of yarn left over with 3 repeats), it would go to Neda. We just have to agree not to wear it at the same time. ha. A condition she easily agreed to, happy at the prospect of the lovely hat being hers. Yay plan - everyone's happy!

So, I cast on again, this time with 88 stitches. This time I knit 3.5 repeats, knowing that would be the magic number for my head size. I got about half way through the decreasing when I realised, to my utter dismay, I'd seriously fucked up the pattern a few rows back and the only solution was to go back to the beginning. I actually think I fucked up row 2 but managed not to realise until row 6. The only solution was to rip it out and go back to row one, as ripping this hat had proved...problematic. I knit the top again, and again I fucked up, this time about row 7, and had to go back to row 5. I need to stop watching new, well 'new to me' episodes of CSI:Miami while knitting! I so wasn't paying good enough attention, obviously.

Finally I got the dang thing finished. I was so frustrated, and so.. relieved to have it done. It was satisfying in a kind of stubborn, "I beat you!" kind of way. I immediately had to show if off to my parents. ha. In a very childish/proud "Look what I made!"kinda way. Even my Pa was impressed. I could tell cause he asked all surprised, "Did you make this?" Why, yes, yes I did. And I have the journey of frustration to prove it! ha.

My new hat is currently in use, as in it's taken the place of my light-weight bright pink beret as my hat of choice. Sadly, it's not as warm as I'd hoped it would be, and I'm not really sure why. I can't imagine that I knit it too lose, the 6mm needles seemed perfect, but I tell you what, a lot of wind gets through, a lot more than I thought would. Perhaps that's a result of it being 88 sts instead of the truly perfect 84 stitches in diameter. 84 just wouldn't have worked with the pattern. So on well.

It really is a lovely hat though. I am so in love with the colour, design and even the yarn choice. It's gorgeous and I think it looks great on me. I have yet to get a picture of me wearing it though. I'm too busy being out in the world actually wearing it to model it. ha.

I do have some pictures of the finished product. On my camera. At home. In Hamilton. Currently being in Toronto at my Chris' they are doing me no good. I forgot to offload them, so I will have to post them later. But I will. Oh, I will. I worked way too hard on this hat not to show it off!

I did have a point, other than the knitting story, way back there: all this knitting has made my right wrist (the one with carpal tunnel syndrome) really sore. That is exactly why I've not finished Neda's hat. I will though. I'm just not too sure when.

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