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Thursday, September 16, 2010

FO: Poke-Head

Ah, Pokemon. Is it me, or is this the Fad that Would Not Die? When I first met my darling husband, his eldest son and many nieces/nephews were into Pokemon. Now, more than a decade later, there are still kids in the family who have fallen under the spell.

So I present, for our 7yo nephew...the PokeBall hat! (The pattern is free at Ravelry, courtesy of Sasha Stavsky.)

modeled by T
Now that it's done, I'm going to do my usual overly self-critical review. Sigh. First, I need to extend the red section down lower...don'tchyathink? Next, the black stripe was far too narrow for my "jogless stripe" trick to work invisibly. It's better than the jogs, but you can see where the K2tog's at the round join kind of pull.

Also, despite the fact that I recently told a friend that I no longer have problems with ladders when knitting in the round with DPNs...lookie here.

LADDERS! Okay, small ones. But they bug me.
The two things that bug me most, however, were the duplicate stitching (the circle/button on the black band) and the brim. The duplicate stitching was kind of a mess. Trying to put white on top of bold/dark colors is an invitation to frustration. If your tension matches the stitches beneath, you don't get full color coverage. If you loosen your tension, you get better coverage (but look below--still pretty shoddy!) plus an uneven, sloppy look. Blah.

What's wrong with the brim, you ask? Nothing at all...if you like a rolled brim. I'm not a big fan. Plus, if I had *wanted* a rolled brim, I would have just finished off in stockinette. I knit this hat from the top down, and decided to teach myself a new technique...the applied i-cord bind-off.

With the exception of my messy fudged-on-the-fly join (look directly above my wedding band. Yup. There it is.), I was VERY happy with the results of the i-cord bind-off. And I'll be fair, it *does* stay put if the wearer pulls the hat down, as T did in the first photo. So that's just a style issue.

All in all, I think that many of my "problems" were caused by fast work and crappy material. Every time I work with acrylic yarn, I swear Never Again. Then I consider that most gift recipients (especially mothers of small children) will likely not hand-launder and air-dry the final product, and I fear the ruin and heartbreak of unintended felting. And it's a long haul to my favorite LYS and frankly, it's easier to raid the craft cabinet for some crappy leftover acrylic than to drive to the other side of the city and shell out for the nice superwash. All the same, I'm convinced that if I did this project in good yarn, many of these issues would take care of themselves (ladders especially).

Now. Despite all of my bitching, I'm going to do this again. Immediately. No, really...I have the next hat cast on and sitting just to the left of my keyboard, staring me down. It seems that T needs to have a matching hat so he and his favorite cousin can be twins. And how can I refuse that?


  1. Ha ha... you make my knit-picking-OCD look RELAXED in comparison.

    You are a more experienced knitter than I so forgive if I show my ignorance. A couple questions: do you block after you finish? (I don't know if blocking works for acrylic). Would that help the ladders?

    Second, I love the i-cord bind-off. Did you follow a pattern? I've never done a top-down hat. It's funny you hate roll-brim because this looks near identical altho' an experienced knitter would be able to tell of course.

    I don't have any yarn that isn't wool or cotton or silk. I've never knit with acrylic. Your reasons tho' are sound, I get it. I knit only a half dozen things a year. As with sewing I always end up hating/regretting working with a fabric that isn't quality and lovely to handle, so I do that inasmuch as I can afford it. Funny what you say about ppl accidentally felting. The community I started my family in up in was VERY handknit conscious and no mom would have done that! (even the ones that didn't knit!)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have avoided the Pokemon craze so far (and plan to keep it that way) But my sister DID make Goomba (from Super Mario Bros.) hats for the kids- which are sure to be VERY popular around here!

  3. Kelly--no, I didn't block, and you assume correctly: blocking really doesn't work with acrylic. You can get *some* shaping, but acrylic fibers are less malleable, if that's a term I can even apply without the Knitting Gods smiting me. So yes, that's what I mean about certain issues (ladders, over-rolling at the brim) being fixable simply by using *good* yarn.

    I tend to start hobbies by buying affordable materials...and then learn as I go that paying for quality matters. Greatly. I'm piecing my first quilt and have no idea when I'll finish it, but I *know* that it is going to have to have cotton batting. My sister did some otherwise nice patchwork pieces but used polyester batting and ugh. You can tell!