Saturday 16 May 2015

Finished object file: Rosebud Hat | The Fibre Co. Road to China

Hi ho hi ho it's a super slouchy hat for me.
Today I finished knitting Jared Flood's Rosebud hat. I mentioned in the post covering patterns that I was stalking, that I have had this pattern queued for at least a year now after it caught my eye. I was drawn to the striking cable panel set within garter stitch and the perfect level of slouchiness in the design. I consider Jared Flood a bit of a genius in knitwear design and anything that comes out of his brand, Brooklyn Tweed is phenomenal. Though this hat is a pretty easy knit it does not lack any of the fine Brooklyn Tweed blueprint.

Originally I had planned to knit this with some Quince & Co. Owl Tweet but I ended up using that yarn for other projects. So, I bought some Dark Amethyst coloured Road to China made by The Fiber Company because I wanted some really luxe yarn for a personal project. This yarn is an aran weight alpaca/ silk/ camel/ cashmere blend and it is the softest thing to touch. 

The Road to China is a thicker yarn than the BT Shelter for which the hat was designed for and I had a tricky time swatching with it. I tried the suggested 5 mm at first and was getting 4 stitches for 1 inch when the pattern's stated gauge is 4.5 stitches for 1 inch. I know it seems like such a small difference but it all adds up when you start knitting the whole hat. When the number of stitches is fewer than the suggested gauge it'll mean the measurements will be larger than the pattern's design. So, I knit another swatch with 4.5 mm needles and came up short again. I then tried 4 mm needles and hit the stitch gauge but not the row gauge. By this time you can imagine I was getting a bit frustrated and I just wanted to get onto the hat because I really wanted to wear it.

In the end I did a very 'naughty knitter' thing and knit the hat with 4.5 mm needles even though I didn't achieve gauge with these needles in my swatch. I didn't go with the 4 mm needles because I felt a bit absurd knitting aran weight yarn on such small needles and I wasn't sure if I should knit the rib band on 3 mm needles or just go down two sizes as the pattern suggests to 3.5 mm. In my eagerness to get into the knitting I knit the band on 3.75 mm needles and then switched to 4.5 mm for the main body of the hat.

I used up almost all of the three skeins of yarn that I had purchased from the online store, Zigo Zago which means that my hat used about 40 yards more yarn than what the pattern suggests and this is the result of the larger size that it became. I am happy that I have merely 3 metres of yarn left so I don't have to deal with remnants.  This yarn has actually been discontinued by The Fiber Company and to my knowledge Zigo Zago is the only Australian stockist to still have some. The US distributors, Kelbourne Woolens are selling off their mill ends on their website and they will ship to Australia but you need to email them to get a shipping quote. I want to work with the Road to China blend again but may try the lighter sport weight and lace weight lines.

As a knit it was easy but the exquisite cable pattern kept it interesting. It was nice to be able to pick this project up as a break from the more mindless knits that I am currently working on.

The result is satisfactory in my humble opinion. It's super slouchy and some might consider it too big but I actually think it looks like the hats that the seven dwarfs were drawn wearing in the Disney version of Snow White. It is also so warm and I know it will be perfect this winter when we go to the snow.

You can take a look at my project page for this hat on Ravelry here.

To be honest, if I knit this hat again I will use a lighter weight yarn and definitely match gauge. After all, you really only need one super slouchy seven dwarfs hat in your wardrobe.

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