Friday, 7 August 2009

Autumn Ana

I forgot to show you another of my finished hats. I photographed all three hats and berets together on the first dry day but forgot to tell you all about this one. Meet Autumn Ana. Its knitted using one of the first of my dyed yarns from january. I've been saving it for just the right project - a project that will show off the variegations and the colour contrasts to best advantage. And I think this hat pattern does the job nicely.

The pattern is called Ana, but I can't help calling it ana bandana:-) It just rolls off the tongue you see! I chose it because it reminds me of the hats washerwomen wore to keep their hair out the way when they were working. And I'm always having to tie my hair back when working so I can have practical and lovely at the same time. Mind you as long as it's a LOT more flattering on than some of the washerwomans hats;-) I haven't tied my hair up in these photos but it does work well to keep the hair in place - and your head warm!

With drier weather comes better light to take photos that are spot on for colour accuracy. I love the little hint of the cooler green in there with the warm reds and oranges, and a little plum. I do love how this has knitted up. It was worth waiting for.

The actual construction of this hat is unusual but relatively easy once you get going. You knit a long rectangle of stocking stitch to the S/M/L size you want - please check your gauge here! This pattern uses a DK/worsted weight yarn and I substituted my fingering sock yarn without adding more stitches on the width. Of course I didn't realise this was a problem till I had FINISHED and it didn't fit! So, please do check before you have knitted 22" or so of mindless st st and have to rip it all back.

Then you have a pleating technique to 'fold' the fabric into gathers at the back. I thought this was more complicated that it was and didn't 'get' the pattern until three attempts later. Not that it is hard, I was just making it harder than it actually was. So, tip when you get to this stage - just follow the instructions, trust the instructions, they are right and we are wrong;-)

You use a three needle bind off, casting off small groups of stitches into pleats. Once you've done the first one, you think, hey! I can do this! Then you start the second and wonder if you are doing it right as the yarn at the end of the pleat pulls the tip of the pleat back to the base of the second pleat. This is right!! Don't get creative and try reversing the process to get the perfect pleat - moi! That was wrong, wrong wrong and taking back the pleats takes longer that knitting all that stocking stitch. Well, not quite but it felt heartbreaking so near the end:-) (three attempts remember!)

So I hope this saves someone a load of hassle so they can move swiftly on to enjoying a gorgeous and lovely hat design - without the cursing and the swearing part:-))) But I love my ana bandana and I think it will get a lot of wear!

1 comment:

Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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