Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Toque 2


Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool; worsted weight)
Color: Oxford grey
Needles: US 6s
Stitches: 90

It is immensely satisfying to have this troublesome project turn out so well.

Last night I vowed to finish this ribbed hat, but after drawing up the stitches I called it an evening. Why? I was paralyzed with the fear of ruining my hard work with the seam. I thought I knew what I was doing, but as I looked online, in a Stitch 'n Bitch book loaned from the library, and on a CD-ROM, I became more confused.

I'd been under the impression that I wanted to seam on the wrong side, yet every source was telling me to seam on the right side. Mattress stitch instructions were geared toward stockinette stitch. That doesn't apply to me, I thought. My project has ribs. (I've since had this explained.) Everything was geared toward seaming from the bottom up, but I believed I should seam from the top down. I didn't know what to do. By my 1 a.m. wisdom the best choice was to stop and not do anything dumb.

I woke up anxious to seam the hat. I was proud of my knitting and wanted to wear it, but I was still unsure of the best plan of attack. When in doubt, I ask Kristin. It was good to read in her e-mail that she hadn't found seaming instructions to be helpful. On the other hand, taking a trial and error approach wasn't the most comforting idea. She had some advice, and then it was up to me to see what I could do during lunch.

I pinned the sides together. It didn't hold but served its purpose long enough. I seamed from the top down and tried to follow the mattress stitch instructions as closely as possible. It looked like it was coming together the way it should, so I kept at it. I was very cautious and deliberate as I pulled the yarn through two bars on the right side and then the left.

When I got to the bottom I examined the seam on what I thought was the wrong side and was pleased.

I turned the hat inside out and realized that the numerous instructions were correct: seam the right side. Fortunately, I don't think it makes any difference for this project. (The right side is shown on the left; the wrong side is pictured on the right.)

I used the seaming technique to weave in the ends and didn't see them on the new right side. I cut the yarn and let out a relieved sigh. I tried on the hat and found it to be a little tight, but I'm pretty sure it should stretch like my first toque did. Otherwise it'll just be a snugger fit.

Can I tell you that this FO makes me ecstatic? I have a placid demeanor most of the time, but I was ready to jump for joy at the finished result. This was a hard-earned success and an important project for learning. I discovered how to frog judiciously. I figured out the proper way to seam with the mattress stitch. I have a better grasp of right side/wrong side, although future projects will determine if it's sunk in.

The learning continues. Now it's time to return to the circs...


At 11:25 PM, Blogger donnadb said...


(bows down)

Worth every bit of frustration to get something so flawless.

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's one fine toque! Really, it's very nice. Congratulations!

At 6:34 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

great job!! the hat looks awesome, matt! now you are ready to try knitting one in the round so there's no seaming : )
really though...wear your hat proudly...you did an excellent job!

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Wow! I say JUMP!!! Do a *happy dance*! You certainly deserve to celebrate the outcome after all your trials and tribulations.

You did a decent job on the self-photography, too, Mark.

I'm happy for you. :-)

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Congrats! That hat looks wonderful--I'm glad you got it figured out :)

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic!! And yes, finished objects are very very satisfying.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Hooray for digital cameras. Taking those pictures, especially of the back of my head, required a lot of shooting.


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