Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's an Art ~ Not a Science

I have at last finished my Silver Birch hat and I am once again humbly reminded that knitting is an art, not a science.

I want to make it clear from the outset that I love, love, love the hat. But, it could be a little smaller and fit better. Next time.

In fact, a little ditty came to mind when I was finishing this hat up. It goes like this:

Little dabs of powder,
Little dabs of paint,
Help a girl look,
Just what she aint!

You see, I had to use little dabs of powder and little dabs of paint to "finish" this hat. The yarn and design of the hat combined to create fabulous drape but not much elasticity. In addition, while the crochet edging is beautiful it does not have any elasticity either. Now, if the hat had been smaller this probably would not have been a problem because the mohair content is quite "clingy" and the lack of elasticity would probably not have been a problem. But, as already mentioned, the hat would have fit me better if it was smaller. So, a few strategically placed sew-on snaps were needed to keep the hat brim up where it belongs.

Here's the artist shot amidst my peppermint scented geraniums leaves! Both the Tao silk and the Parisinnie mohair are in the moss colorway.

Even though crochet was, I believe, my first foray into the world of crafting (think garish yellow and purple throw) it has been a very very long time and I found this YouTube instructional video on the double crochet stitch very helpful. I was somewhat discouraged at first when I realized that I was not getting it based on the diagrams provided by Crochet for Dummies. Things that make you go hum. This is a closeup of the crochet edgeing, which I really do like.

I must observe that while the pattern is simplicity itself, it could certainly have been written a great deal more clearly. Also be forewarned that if you ask a non-knitter for help following directions that refer to sewing together "right sides" of an object that is shaped like a parallelogram , you might find yourself politely listening to a discussion of things like the Pythagorean theorem. Honestly, I don't know where Mr Puffy picks this stuff up.

The finished hat is very elegant and I think I shall wrap it in tissue paper when tucked away between wearings!

Project Specs: Pattern: Silver Birch Hat, Colinette Arboretum Book; US 6 needles; 1 skein tao (100% silk); 1 skein Parisienne (70% mohair/30% ).


Monika said...

This really is an elegant hat. I'm in love with the yarn combination, the fuzziness of the mohair, and the fabulous shine of the silk. The colorway is just gorgoues! Once again you've found a lovely project. I forgot, did the yarn come as a kit? Or did you put it together yourself? I'd love to knit with this combo someday. I hope you'll find many occasions to wear this lovely hat! And thanks for posting on the weekend. It's always to quite on the weekends! :o)

Bridget said...

What a pretty hat - it looks like spun silver!

That Mr Puffy is quite the intellectual, isn't he? We used to have a cat that was always working on Fermat's Theorem. Sadly, she forgot to carry a zero, and missed being the one to solve it by one day ...

Silvia said...

It's really beautiful- the combo of yarns is just gorgeous. Hopefully will stay on!

jillian said...

It's lovely! So glad you persevered and found a solution for the fit. It's beautiful on you!

mary said...

It's really lovely, very elegant and sophisticated with its geometric lines. The yarn and color look really beautiful!

fireflynights said...

Such lovely color changes. This really is an elegant hat. I'm sure Mr. Puffy is jealous that he doesn't have one in a more manly color. The colors really stand out in the photo with the geranium leaves.

What was it about those old afghans and throws our mothers and grandmothers crocheted? So many of them were SO ugly while the quilters from the old days could turn out such lovely colors and patterns in their quilts. Even considering they probably had limited yarn choices, some of those crocheted pieces from 50 years ago can just be ugly. My OH's grandmother had one where the major color was olive green, and my mother bordered hers in large areas of black. It would have been a stunning afghan if she had chosen a color that coordinated better with the body colors.

You chose a very good video to help you with your double crochet.

Give Mr. Puffy a pat for me.

chanknits said...

It does look like spun silver. When the first photo popped up in Reader, I thought you'd made yourself a "yarn pin" or something of the sort.

tiennie said...

I like the oversizeness of the hat. Very pretty on you!

Knitted Gems said...

This yarn is beautiful and the hat - just elegant! It looks wonderful on you.
I'm so glad that Mr. Puffy stayed awake during Geometry class so he could help you piece the hat together. I have had to relearn (or learn for the first time, since I was too busy staring out the window) math skills to help with the knitting. I never would have guessed it to be so helpful.

knitting dragonfly said...

Love the hat. I am constantly amazed at Mr. Puffy's knowledge. Do you think he could tutor my dogs?

Windyridge said...

It is indeed very elegant!

Don't feel bad about "getting it" with the video instead of the diagram. I almost always use videos as I don't get diagrams very well at all.

amanda said...

Beautiful hat! I love the drape and the way it fits you. Brilliant work with the sew on snaps.

Hilary said...

You may say you wish it were smaller but I think it looks absolutely adorable on you as is. What GORGEOUS yarn, too!

Denise said...

Hi there, I love your blog, and the hat looks great. I am originally from Englans (lived in the US now for 9 years, TX for the last 3) and just loved the pic of your pancakes. They look just like the ones my mam used to make on 'Shrove (pancake) Tuesday' and my fav topping was sugar and lemon juice :-)
thanks for sharing.
oh, and Mr. Puffy is adorable!

Nan said...

Hi! I'm here via Firefly Nights. She posted on my beagle post and thought I should hop over here for a look and to meet Mr. Puffy.
I'm not a knitter, but we do have beagles in common. I love a good feel free to pop over any time you need a laugh. Hopefully, you won't laugh at my decor or my cooking........just my jokes.

fleegle said...

Fabulous hat! And the colors are just gorgeous!