Because I felt like it…

So one of the adventures of the offline time was that I have gotten the hang of knitting 2 colours using the 2 handed technique, which neatly ticks off one of this year’s knitting objectives and opens up a world of creative colour possibilities.

The project which made 2-colour knitting accessible to me is the deservedly popular and much celebrated Selbu Modern; a well-charted, easy-to-follow and quick-to-memorise pattern with clear instructions, faultless maths and joyous results. The only problem I encountered – and this is nothing to do with the designer’s excellent work – was that my completed Selbu Modern ended up being large enough to bedeck the head of a baby elephant. This was more baigneaus than beret. I do not have a photo of the Selbu Modern on my head in its original size, but it was 13″ across, which is bigger than a record if you require a comparison to perceive the scale of the problem.

You must understand that the major driving force for me when I cast this on was the burning need to learn how to do colourwork and not the need to create a perfectly-fitting garment, which is why I totally failed to swatch for it. I also fell in love with these shades of New Lanark wool the second I saw them, decided I needed to knit this hat with this yarn, decided 3.75mm was the appropriate needle-size for this yarn, and cast-on with unabashed faith that All Would Be Fine, in spite of my total disregard for the original instructions for needle-size and yarn given in the pattern. Taking all that into account, I wasn’t *too* upset (or surprised) when my Selbu Modern turned out to be unwearably massive. Afterall, just look at those even, un-puckering, loose, meandering floats on the back… wouldn’t you be pleased? Even if the hat was ridiculous? I was.

In the same enterprising spirit with which I had cast this project on, I set about ingeniously fixing the size-issue by unpicking the cast-on ribbing, adding some well-placed pleats to draw in the voluminous fabric of the main hat, and furnishing the entire beret with a tighter, stretchier ribbing section. I then continued the ribbing for long enough to double it back in on itself and sewed it onto the interior, thus making the ribbed section as thick as the fairisle section.

It was still ginormous.

I therefore threw it into the hottest possible wash at the local launderette along with a very large, heavy, cotton duvet cover and plenty of soap, and then – once washed – placed it in the tumbledrier along with the rest of my coloured items.

The resulting item is satisfying in that should the climate drop to Siberian, sub-zero temperatures this winter, I shall be adequately prepared. With its felted layers of knitting and floats, its thickened headband and voluminous pleats, this is a hat for Winter. Or perhaps some kind of Arctic expedition.

To my mind, all this just goes to show that seriously, when you have knitting urges, you must yield to them because 99% of the time, it really All Will Be Fine. And if you don’t believe me, ask Meg Swansen – a woman after my own heart – who in the most recent edition of Yarn Forward magazine said;

…You are the boss of your knitting and can do what you like. For instance, I don’t like to swatch. I will cast on 300 stitches and work for several inches – then if I don’t like it I’ll rip it out and start again, rather than knit a 30-stitch swatch. Knitter’s Choice!

As if I needed further justifications. To summarise: the Because-I-Felt-Like-It Selbu Modern represents my audacious entrance into the realms of 2-colour knitting! And the best part is, the hat I now wish to design from scratch in New Lanark yarns has already been swatched for, which means I can just go right ahead and cast that on really right now too…

FO details:

Yarn: New Lanark wool in Heather and Sky Haze (100g of each… there was NONE left over!)

Needles: 3.75mm Addi Turbos

Pattern: Selbu Modern by Kate Osborn of Zeitgeist Yarns

Mods: Pleats, massively reduced stitch-number on headband, one less pattern-repeat than called-for in the pattern, doubled-over ribbed headband, felted in hottest wash available at local launderette and tumbledried for sheer knitting chutzpah

Ravelled: Here

3 Responses to Because I felt like it…

  1. Emilee says:

    It looks lovely, felted and all!

    That’s what I love about knitting – you can be reckless carefree and jump in with both feet without really planning. It’s just yarn!

  2. Georganna says:

    Love the comment about being ‘the boss of your own knitting’ — too funny! Love your hat too, and it would probably have fit me as I have a ginormous head — I’m sorry to say ;-).

  3. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » Tantallon

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