This is a Christmas knit, but since my cousin Pete has said on many occasions that he doesn’t read my blog, I feel like I’m safe sharing this project with you before Christmas. Last year for Christmas I knit my cousin a hat, and he has worn it almost nonstop since. Even in the summer he told me he used it to keep his wallet and phone bundled together when he went to the gym. He loved and appreciated it so much that I offered to knit him another hat for Christmas this year. I asked him what color he wanted, expecting it to be something interesting because last year he asked for neon green, and he said brown. I will admit that I asked him if he was sure three or four times. I’m not a huge brown yarn fan, and I was a little disappointed that he didn’t want something more wild. But his reasoning was that brown would go with everything so he could wear the hat all the time, and I can’t really argue with that.
Thankfully I found a great brown yarn shortly after we had that conversation. I discovered this skein of Black Trillium Yarns Pebble Worsted in the Nutmeg colorway at a booth in the Knit Fit market, and its variegated shades of brown won me over. I decided to knit Pete’s hat during Lee Meredith’s game knitting event at Knit Fit, and I went with simple, single purl stitches as my action. At Knit Fit we played to 10 Things I Hate About You, and I finished off my hat using some cues I came up with for old murder mysteries. For example, I’d purl a bump every time there was dramatic music or every time someone said “Miss” in a Miss Marple movie. I really enjoy game knitting, and the texture I ended up with works well with the variegated yarn. I think my cousin will like this hat as much as his old one.
I really wanted to love Knit to Fit by Sharon Brant because it’s a beautiful book, and from the description, it sounded like it would be exactly what I was looking for. The book is pretty short and has six chapters that are aimed at getting you a sweater that fits. There isn’t any filler, and there are no patterns which I appreciated because I feel like that makes the book a better companion for the pattern of your choosing. Unfortunately it doesn’t do everything I hoped for, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The first two chapters are on body types and choosing the style that best flatters your body type. I’m not a big fan of that kind of stuff because it has to assume that there is an ideal look to be achieved, but it can be helpful if you haven’t developed a good sense of what styles have a broadening effect, where they draw the eye, and so on. The next two chapters are on looking at clothing you like and your own measurements to create a body block, digging out unlisted measurements and creating a more detailed schematic for the pattern itself, and using these two diagrams to create a schematic of your ideal version of the sweater. The next chapter is on taking your ideal schematic and using it to calculate your custom version and making it work with the original stitch patterns and design. The final chapter covers finishing details that can influence fit like blocking.
It sounds great in theory, but I felt like the book only catered to fairly average bodies. Most of the chapter on taking measurements to plan your ideal version of the sweater told you to measure things that already fit you well. It did have a little advice for what to do if you didn’t have a well-fitted, store-bought piece to measure, but I felt like the book didn’t give enough attention to the group of people who need the most help fitting their knits. The knitters who need to most help to custom fit their knits are the ones who also struggle to find clothing in stores, so it seemed odd to me to put so much emphasis on measuring clothing you already own. The book also didn’t cover asymmetrical or severely disproportionate bodies. There was nothing on adding bust shaping, making changes to accommodate uneven shoulders, adjusting the front for a pronounced belly, etc. This book was so close to what I was looking for, and it’s unfortunate that it wasn’t more inclusive.
I didn’t get my sweater done in time for my knitting group’s Christmas party last Saturday. Although I probably could have seamed up all of my pieces and worn it, my colorwork always looks terrible if I haven’t wet blocked it, and I didn’t want to wear a sweater with sad, wrinkled colorwork on the sleeve caps. But the end is in sight! I’ll definitely have it done in time for Christmas, and I think I’m going to save it to wear for the first time on the holiday
Meet Fandangle, a kitschy stocking cap covered with ornament motifs. Stocking caps aren’t exactly trendy, but every time I watched A Christmas Story last year, I found myself wanting a retro stocking cap, so I made sure that I’d have one for this year. Once I had the shape in mind, I started flipping through my books for some colorwork inspiration, and I fell in love with some stylized snowflakes and ornaments in 1950s holiday ads. I doodled up some colorwork charts based on those images, and I was ready to knit my hat!
For the main color of the hat, I used Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool in the Devilish Grin colorway. The variegation and complexity of that yarn adds a nice depth to the hat and makes it a little more unique. For the solid-colored, deep, moss stitch brim and colorwork, I used Cascade 220 Sport. I used the remaining Cascade 220 Sport to makes a nice fluffy pompom to top things off. I knit the whole hat using US 5/3.75 mm circular needles.
The hat comes in three sizes with 20, 24, and 28 inch brim circumferences. It’s meant to be worn with some positive ease so it has that floppy, cozy, over-sized look to it, and my hat is the 24 inch size. Fandangle is $5, and you can get the pattern on Ravelry or in the Untangling Knots shop. As a special present for the holidays, if you’ve bought Untangling Knots patterns before, Fandangle is free when you use the coupon code FANDANGLE14 when you check out on Ravelry this month.
P.S. Fit book reviews will be back next Tuesday. This week’s book didn’t get shipped in time for today.