School is back and I'm going to aim to get back into the swing of things. I must confess that I do find the balance between blogging about knitting and actually knitting hard. When on the kinder days I only get a couple of hours completely kid free during Miss L's nap I often choose to knit rather than blog because I have so much knitting I want to get through. However, since I keep starting new projects I don't think that status is going to change any time soon, so today I'm going to keep the needles aside and update the blogosphere about one of my latest finished objects.
After asking my friends and readers to help me choose between the Bartek and Crag hat patterns to make for my husband as an anniversary present (you can read about that here) I went with popular opinion and knit the Crag.
I wanted to use up the charcoal Debbie Bliss Cashmerino from my stash but after making two swatches with the aran (heavy 10ply) weight yarn I was starting to lack confidence in my choice. Using 4mm needles for the main pattern was still slightly off gauge but I didn't want to go any smaller because my hands were finding it uncomfortable knitting such heavy yarn on small needles. I kind of fudged it because I rationalised that if I kept my tension tighter for the actual knit and because the Hubs does have a bit of a big head I think I can get away with it in the end.
For the actual knit I started on 3.25mm needles for the ribbing and used a crochet cast on that my dear friend Jenny (Tatterz on Ravelry) taught me. I was leaving this present to the last minute so I decided to skip the tubular cast on because I just wanted to get onto it rather than fiddle with a third needle size and learning a new technique.
Once I got going into the main body of the hat it was pretty easy to memorise the pattern and it would have been a really enjoyable knit if it didn't hurt my hands. I found I could only do about one set of the pattern repeat before I needed to rest my hands.
In the end I didn't finish it in time for our anniversary but I did have it done for our time away in Marysville. The Hubs wore it when we went up Lake Mountain to take the kids tobogganing and he said it was perfectly snug and at times he had to take it off because it made him too hot. All credit for that goes to the beautiful cashmere and merino blend of the yarn. You can't go past good fibre when you want warmth.
My latest lesson that I have learnt after knitting this Brooklyn Tweed design and also the Rosebud hat is that I should substitute with either a light worsted or even a DK weight yarn rather than use aran. I have never used Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter yarn for which both these hats were designed for and I hope one day to get the chance to use it but for the time being I am definitely going to select more carefully when substituting for future BT projects.