Over the cold winter months I decided to use up my stash of yarn to make woollen hats for our Art and Artefact exhibition coming up in May next year. There is nothing more cosy than sitting next to a fire with knitting on your lap. But already I am finding there is a lot to learn about yarn. That not all 8 plys are equal and wool and acrylic have different properties.
Where to start – working out what wools will go together for each hat
I have collected a lot of wool for a ‘One day I will’ event. Some of the wool has been given to me, some bought at garage sales or op shops and some I bought new. As a result I have a large variety of wool.
In the past I have made a few scarves, a beanie, some booties, and baby cardigans that fitted my child when he was two. My proudest achievement was when I made a jumper for myself. It was ok when I was pregnant but my husband wore it after that. Making woollen hats should be a bit easier.
First I start doing a bit of sorting and discover that not all 8plys are the same. Also there is a problem of whether to mix wool with synthetic? I begin to knit some tension samples using acrylic yarn because it is cheaper and not so precious.
Testing out colour combinations and tension swatches
Here I have made different swatches to not only test out colour combinations but also test the tension for various stitch patterns. The ribbed stitch pattern on the right and the three colour stranded knitting are less stretchy than the middle stockinette stitch. This is something to think about when designing a woollen hat.
Now that I want to design woollen hats, I realise it is even more important to know how many stitches make up a 10 cm square. This is something I have neglected in the past.
This three colour stranded knitting swatch made me remember I need to change my needles to a larger size when going from a single colour to using many colours.
This is my first attempt at cable knitting.