Monday, January 21, 2008

FO: Jules' Rasta Beanie

I may have been all excited about the socks, but this was what Jules is really excited about.

When we started talking about things I could make him, Jules came up with all sorts of ideas. First, he wanted a knit headband, then a knit sarong, then a Super Mario Brothers-style mushroom pillow. Then he settled on what he called "the Rasta Beanie."

As soon as he started talking about it, I knew what he was thinking of was crocheted. He wanted a beanie with red, green, yellow and black stripes like he had seen for sale in Santa Monica. And it seemed simple. So simple I started it sans pattern.

And I'm sure I could have finished it sans pattern, but I was in a rush, and kept forging ahead despite the disaster coming off my hook. The result was something that was not going to fit on the average human head, no matter how big I made it. I didn't get the increases right.

I finally wrapped what I had for Jules to open on Christmas, with a note promising a finished beanie later. He was very understanding. Besides, this gave him room for more input. He asked for the hat to be just like the hacky sack I had let him keep while he was helping me prepare for the fiber festival. This was actually easier, because I didn't have to cut the yarn between rounds. This made it easier to go back if I needed to.

I was hoping to finish it before he went back to California, so rather than doing the math myself, I found a pattern on Ravelry. Without checking gauge, I embarked upon A Very Simple Skateboarder Beanie. Fortunately it worked. You can see the difference in shapes of my first attempt and the finished product.

The pattern is good, although I would have staggered the increases. I didn't on this attempt because I was worried it wouldn't work if I messed with the pattern, and I wasn't in the mood to start over.

I didn't get to finish it before he left, but I did enough to confirm that it would actually fit.

Beanies don't leave a lot of room for error, so towards the end I kept asking everyone at knitting group if it was long enough. I finally quit despite the fact I hadn't reached a full color repeat. Only the OCD people will notice.

I finished it up at the Knitting Nest a few days after he left. Of course, I just managed to get it in the mail (along with some things he left behind) this past weekend.

There's always the issue of "the jog" which happens with anything crocheted in the round. I went with the join that was written into the pattern, which theoretically should prevent the color jog, but you can still see the line.

The yarn is Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy, which I've only seen at the Knitting Nest. It's an excellent synthetic. I recommend it for baby, kid and boyfriend items and anything that needs to be machine washed, sturdy, but still nice and soft. It's an acrylic/nylon blend. I used an F hook.

I really hope it fits. And that the line of yarn where the colors change isn't uncomfortable. (It didn't bother me when I tried it on.)

One last shot:

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