Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Carpathia Scarf/Hat

First FO of 2008! Here is the secret Carpathia Scarf and Hat, which I knit as a gift for Daisy. Not a Christmas gift, really, just a to-be-nice gift. I won this yarn in a blog contest, and although it's quite nice, it's really not my color. However, Daisy took one look at it and proclaimed that she loved it, being a fan of the chartruese. So, then and there (about 1.5 years ago now) I decided that I would knit her something with the yarn. It came with the pattern for the Carpathia Scarf, so I knit that, and because it was getting to be a good length with a lot of yarn left, I made a matching hat.
Project Stats: Carpathia Hat and Scarf
Pattern: Carpathia Scarf from Cider Moon. I improvised the hat based on the scarf pattern.
Yarn: One skein each of Cider Moon Champagne (mohair) and Glacier (superwash merino), colorway "Ruffled Feathers," held together throughout.

Needles: Size 11 bamboo straights, circular, and DPNs. This is why one needs so many needles!
Time to knit: Not long, a week maybe?
Impressions: These were lovely yarns to knit with, and I'm really happy with the finished scarf, although the hat came out a tad larger than I intended. Daisy seems to like it (or she is a convincing liar!), and it looks better on her than it did on Dave and I when we were testing it out during the knitting, which is good (notice there aren't any photos of us in the hat...). The stitch pattern is easy but results in a pretty cool pattern, as you can see in the close-up from yesterday's post. I didn't get a chance to block the scarf, but it's quite drapey and I'm not sure how well it would have held the blocked state. The scarf pattern called for one skein of each yarn, but I knit the scarf almost to the length in the pattern, with hardy fringe, using only slightly over half of the yarn, leaving me enough to knit the hat as well. If anyone is interested I can reconstruct how I made the hat - I wouldn't mind having one for myself, albeit a bit smaller in circumference.

Now for the juicy details of what I really learned knitting this project! First off, it is not wise to try to be efficient by winding two skeins of yarn together into one ball to save oneself the trouble of carrying around two balls, especially when one winds up knitting the entire project at home anyway. Ask me how I know this. Because this project entailed knitting with two strands of yarn throughout, I had the brilliant idea of winding them together with both skeins on the swift at the same time and a giant ball on the ballwinder. Well, in theory this was a good idea, but the first go at it I had one yarn going one direction and the other going the opposite way, which obviously didn't work. A little foresight could have prevented that. Also, a little foresight could have prevented me from putting the larger wool skein above the smaller mohair skein, such that it kept falling down around the mohair while I was winding the ball. Although annoying, that didn't result in any real difficulty. The problem I ran into was during the knitting itself. Anyone who has knit with mohair knows that it likes itself. Very much. So, while I was knitting (from the outside of my giant double-yarn ball), several rounds of adhered-to-itself mohair would peel off together, causing tangles and preventing the wool strand from coming off the ball. So, I spent a lot of time untangling yarn, removing it carefully, or, when all else failed (often), breaking the mohair, removing the mess, and tying it back together. Let me tell you, this was really irritating. If I was really careful I was able to prevent the yarn belching (not vomiting, as it was only one yarn of the two, and in smaller quantities than would have come out if I'd have been using the center-pull method), but more often than not, even with due diligence, it would happen. But, that's all water under the bridge now, right? And I've learned my lesson on this one...

In case you're keeping track, I'm doing pretty well with my January goals. I have accomplished #2 (soon to be gifted and then blogged), #5 (Carpathia Hat), and #8 (the gold shawl). #4, the hat for Rembrandt, is at the crown decreases (thank you Dave) and will be finished any day now, and I am almost finished with the sleeves of #3, the Drops swing cardigan. So, I consider that good progress being made, although looking at the sleeves I'm a bit skeptical about them going into the sleeve holes, but I'll have an answer on that pretty shortly, maybe even this evening...


Anne-Marie said...

Did I read correctly that you FINISHED the gold shawl? Wow, that was fast... I'm curious to see it!

Emily said...

EEK! No, I've only done three repeats of the second chart so far. But, I have accomplished the goal, which was to pick out a pattern and yarn, so I counted it :)

f. pea said...

good heavens, you are a prolific knitter! and you have learned some important lessons with this project -- lessons we would all do well to heed! i love chartreuse too, BTW... in case any gift-knitters out there wanted to know.