Thursday, October 23, 2014

Post Factum: Nobody Knows the Trouble This Was

This time of year I'm always knitting hats for the mitten tree at Church of the Sharp Elbows. (It's called a mitten tree, but it includes hats and scarves as well as mittens.) In a departure from the usual watch cap, I knit up Salunga Beret by Heather Zoppetti, which pattern is in Everyday Lace and also is available free.

I started with some luverly Yarn Hollow 80/20 Merino/Tussah handspun, liked the color, but wanted better stitch definition.

Yarn Hollow handspun wip

So I frogged the handspun, set it aside for another day, and started again with Louet Gems Sport Weight. Much better. (Can't tell from the photo? Gentle readers will have to take my word for it.)

Gems wip

Knitting with black yarn has never been an issue for me before, but for this project I needed daylight or bright artificial illumination. I also had the darndest time keeping the pattern repeats straight. It's radial symmetry, five reps per round, mirrored increases and decreases within each rep – nothing out of the way, but apparently my eyes and mind are rotting. The studip got so bad I finally resorted to stitch markers and a lifeline. Then there was the hell of the tubular bind off in 1x1 ribbing. Gah, I know this stuff. I finally substituted Kitchener tubular bind off for the BO given in the pattern. I also forgot to take a pic of the beret at the sad pouch stage and only have pix of it blocking.

Even so, the transformation wrought by blocking is worth documenting. Here's the top view, with dinner plate inserted. (I have no idea why the color of the beret – basic black – is so different from photo to photo.)

Salunga blocking, top view

And here's the bottom view. The yarn threaded through the beret is to reduce strain on the ribbing.

Salunga blocking, bottom view

A good blocking erases many hiccups and frustrations. Perhaps it's more brain rot, but when I look at the FO I forget all the trouble I had.

Salunga FO

The tubular bind off ended up looking well, if I say so myself, but of course I forgot a pic of that too. Gah. But, onward.

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