The Union Long Beanie
To start off I always tend to tweak the pattern I’m following to either fit my knitting or personal style. I will let you know when I stray from the pattern and why.
Ok with that out of the way, I am attempting the Union Long Beanie, by Connie Chang Chinchio. This pattern can be found in the Weekend Hats compiled by Cecily Glowik Macdonald and Melissa Labarre. The book is full of a wonderful variety of hats for all skill levels and personal styles. My mom gave me this book way back when I think with the hope that I would learn to read patterns and then teach her. Maybe? I visited my local yarn store, hereafter known as LYS, looking for a nice red to use for the beanie. The lovely owner suggested the Ella rae Classic sport that she just got in, there are so many wonderful colors, dark rich colors, tons of jewel tons which are my weakness. I went with the 07 color which is dark red not quite brick red but close. It is 100% wool so it is going to need to be kept away from the washing machine.
I started off changing the pattern a bit it calls for a tubular cast on and I just went with the long-tail method. Mostly because I didn’t have the patience, and just wanted to get started on the hat. I also used a 40″ circular needle and used the magic loop method which I usually use when doing hats so that I don’t have to change to double pointed needles, those then to make me swear alot. One thing to be aware of when using long needles is that you don’t always need the 40″ ones they can often overwhelm the user, me, with loops and loops. This just happened to be the only length I have with the size 3 points. They work fine, just be on the look out for the yarn tangling up in the wire, it will happen.
The first round of the lace pattern was “fun”, I really have to concentrate when doing lace. I tend to go into auto mode which is good only when you know the pattern, which I didn’t for that first section. It isn’t a hard pattern but I tend to go back into the previous pattern that I knit if I’m not paying attention. So that first section included some pulling out and fixing stitches as I went. The second section was better, much less to fix throughout and then by the third I was flying through it. Only distracted occasionally by the Bond marathon on the BBC, I am a bit of a fan of James. I love that the pattern switched between ribbed sections and the lace ones. It breaks up the hat visually but also keeps me interested while knitting. I like being entertained. The hat will start to get a “bubble” to it as the ribbed sections sit a bit tighter but blocking and wearing the beanie will make that disappear.
I had never been so happy to see these last four stitches at the end of the needle! It meant that I had finished the last section of lace perfectly, I finished up those four and then moved on to the crown of the hat. I was simple enough and kept the ribbing up to the end. I also ended this pattern with a change, it calls for pulling the last 22 stitches together at the end and I did an extra decrease row to make it 11 stitches when I threaded the tail through and pulled tight. This is just personal preferences, the 22 would have been fine using the DK/Sport weight yarn. I have done the tab for the button but don’t have it attached yet since we are away from home and I don’t have access to my buttons yet. I will be on as soon as we get home. I’m thinking a wooden one, don’t know if I want to do a light or dark one, I’ll have to do a preview.
Please excuse the model I had to use myself and my head is quite large so the hat doesn’t look as slouchy as in the photos but I still like how it turned out. I really like the look of the lace, it adds great texture and makes the hat just a little special.
So now for the giveaway. If you would like the hat, button included, you can do two things. 1) leave a comment for an entry and 2) follow this blog for another. You have until Saturday at midnight and I will pick the lucky person on Sunday Feb. 2, 2014.
Good luck and see you later.