Wednesday 15 June 2022

The Saga of the Beanie

Remember last month I started to knit a beanie.  Well, it's done. What should have been a quick, easy project turned into quite a saga.

I’ve done quite a bit of knitting over the years, but still only consider myself to be an “advanced novice”.

Just to recap, I was wanting to replicate a beanie I knitted about 30 years ago and sadly lost.  This time I wanted to have a go at knitting in the round, as it is something I only did once, back when I was a teenager, so about 40 years ago.
Firstly, I watched a few Youtube videos to work out how to do this.  I only had long needles of Mum's, so tried the Magic Loop method and ended up in a mess.  We were going to Rylstone, so I bought some pretty shorter needles.  That was the best move.
Let's find a pattern.  I was going to use some homespun wool that my Dad spun, so not a standard commercial size.  Therefore, just grabbing a pattern and working from that wasn't necessarily going to work.  I found a great little tutorial which basically taught you how to custom make a beanie to fit you, regardless of the yarn you use.  It was just what I needed.

Right, now to cast on.  Yep, it looks like I forgot how to count and cast on ten stitches too few, so had to start again.  

Second time around, and we were off.  Joey did a great job of keeping the knitting at the right height.
I knitted the cuff and started on the checkerboard round and decided that it looked like I really should have cast on more stitches.  I tested it against another beanie and other patterns, and decided it was OK, so kept on.

After knitting the checkerboard band I looked at my ball of the main colour and thought I would run out before the beanie was finished.  I looked in my box of Dad's wool and there wasn't another ball of that colour and also, everything else was a thicker ply.
I had to wait until I visited Mum to see what she would have.  There wasn't anything there in the same thickness either.  Most was thicker but there were two colours that were just a wee bit thinner.  I decided to work a striped band in those.  Here are the two extra colours with the main yarn. It ended up looking quite OK.

Next, it was time to shape the crown.  Using my calculations for the length of the beanie, I would have to decrease on nearly every row to finish it off, so it ended up fairly flat on the top.  Oh, well, it still works.
Ta Da!
I finished it on Friday and got to wear it on Saturday. The double band and the extra thickness of the checkerboard kept my ears nice and toasty warm.  I was nice and snug in my beanie and my big scarf that I crocheted a few years ago.

So, what is the verdict?  It turned out OK.   After wearing it, I realised it could have been a bit longer, so I could have made the crown a bit better shaped.  I’m not going to worry about fixing it.  Where the stripes in the slightly thinner wool are, it tends to bend, but not anything that you notice while wearing it.  In hindsight, I could have cast on some more stitches, so the ribbed cuff didn’t have to stretch as much.  I did enjoy knitting in the round, once I got started.  As I decreased to very few stitches, I had to have another look at a tutorial and use the Magic Loop method.  Yes, it worked but I’m still glad I used the shorter needles for the majority of the project. Oh, and I didn’t run out of the main yarn, although I still think I would have if I hadn’t added the extra.

Now I am itching to try another beanie, using commercial yarn and an actual pattern, with a bit of a pattern in the knitting.  However, that may not be until next winter.


kiwikid said...

It looks fantastic Janice despite all your hiccups.

ButterZ said...

It sure looks nice and cosy. Definitely covering the ears helps.

loulee said...

It certainly looks the part.

Jenny said...

Didn't you do well! So nice to make a beanie using your Dad's home spun wool.

Karen's Korner said...

A lovely warm result regardless of the dramas along the way.

Fiona said...

It looks great and so wonderful to have it made out of your Dads wool...

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

I think it looks wonderful and warm. As a non-knitter, it all look like yarn-magic to me.