third time's the charm

When my parents were visiting last week, my mom and I made more than one trip (I won't disclose just how many times we went!) to Stitchers Crossing, a lovely local quilting shop that also happens to sell yarn. Their selection is somewhat small, though very nice; they have quite a lot of Berroco, Plymouth and Blue Sky, including the full line of Spud and Chlöe. I hadn't intended to buy anything our first trip to Stitchers, but lately Anya has been asking for a pink scarf, so I picked up one skein of Outer, thinking it would be easy enough to whip up a soft, warm cowl in an evening or so.

Here's what I made:

It's a fail in so many ways. The original design is the very charming and clever Cambrian Cowl from the new Coastal Knits (which is a lovely new book by Hannah Fettig and Alana Dakos and I'm not at all sorry I bought it). I haven't even put this up on my project page on Ravelry and I probably won't at all because I botched it so badly I wouldn't want to sully the reputation of the original design at all. My first mistake was picking such chunky yarn. My gauge on size 11 needles was 10 st = 4", which is just too thick and cumbersome. Plus, that top section is too tall and gets in Anya's face. Third, the part at the bottom doesn't flare enough, so instead of sitting nicely on her shoulders, it just bunches up around her neck. Fourth, the buttons I picked out (not pictured) looked cute next to the unworked skein of yarn, but in reality just couldn't hold their profile on such chunky yarn.

Lesson learned. Beware thick yarn and its wily ways!

That said, S&C Outer is pretty expensive (on account of the organic content and the fact that it is distributed by Blue Sky), and since I had to go back and get a second skein to finish a project I should have known was doomed from the start, I wasn't about to let the yarn go to waste. So I started a hat:

The good thing about hats is that you can make just about ANY yarn work for a hat. Yarn so thick it makes a cowl look like a neck brace does just fine sitting atop the head. Alas, even though I had checked for gauge, I didn't think too hard about how many stitches to cast on, and I cast on too many.

Anya endured several tryings-on during a painting session the other morning before she started to complain.

Then I started sticking it on my head, and when I realized the hat would be loose even on me, I decided to frog and start over.

The third time seems to be working. I knit it up in about an hour yesterday afternoon while both kids were in school (still getting used to that luxury), but had to stop before hiding the ends to go pick them up. So the hat isn't quite it's terribly boring - just a plain hat in fat yarn. I think it needs a knitted flower to adorn it, or possibly bunny ears. I haven't decided.

I leave you with a serene picture of my morning with Anya. Messy paints, knitting, the sun shining through the window. Really, things could be worse.


ann said…
The cowl looked so cute in your picture. Shows what I know!

Also, I love these pics! I really love the one of you in the unfinished hat! If I didn't already love your banner pic so much, I would tell you to change it. (And you would listen to me, of course, because I know so much about knitting and photographs and blogging.)
Suze said…
I really do need to change that banner picture!
ann said…
Well. In that case, I recommend the one of you in that unfinished hat, because you are adorable!

But I always thought the one that Daniel took of you knitting, where you can sort of see your face and it looks "mad" would be an hilarious pic. (I would say 'a hilarious', but I wanted to be fancy.)

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