Katsucon Update and the Gnome Hat part 3 (are you sick of it yet?)

sick of me yet

Before I get into the hat, there was an update to the Katsucon AA fan art issue this morning. Both were pointed out to me by an email by the con chair and a message that misa1 posted. This was something I was hoping to hear. Everyone can breath now.

… and now for the hat. You can see those gnomes peeking back, can’t you? I will be honest, I was so close to frogging the entire thing and starting from scratch right before making this post. A couple of nights ago I broke down and decided to try the two handed stranding technique. By this I mean knitting one color continental style (hold one color in the left hand) and knitting the second english/american style (hold the second color in the right hand). I know I’ve said that I can not knit english style so I kind of improvised in a rather butcher variation. I know there is a proper way of holding the yarn… I’ve just been too lazy to look it up. Despite this I noticed two things. Number one, my knitting speed improved. Instead of picking through two treads on one hand, now I pick at one and wrap the other. I find wrapping very slow but a whole lot faster than going back because I accidentally picked up the wrong color 20 stitches ago. But seriously, before I kept thinking “if I can get at least five rows a night in, I can have this done by Katsu”. Yet after finally getting it into my head that I should use both hands I knocked out eleven rows in about an hours time. My number two is that my tension relaxed. Before I was getting a little bit of puckering in some of the blocks of colors. Here I wasn’t getting that. In fact I was more on gauge than before. The rows I knitted first have very little give to them where as the later rows have a ton of stretch. When I finally got to a point where I could try it on, I’m finding that the hat is a bit tighter than I would like it to be at the base. I was really thinking of frogging the whole thing and just trying again, this time using this new technique. Right before making this post I decided to give it one more try so I put the hat on a long set of circs and placed it on my head. It’s a better fit and since it’s wool I’m noticing that it’s stretching on its own each time I try it on. I think that after a good wash and blocking on Margot over night(the glass head) the stitches will work themselves out and I’ll be more comfortable wearing it.

So despite the drama of fit and after trying out this two handed stranding… I love fair isle… LOVE IT!! It’s quite addicting especially when I have con projects to work on. My mind keeps going back to the hat and I think “oh, just one more row and then I’ll weave in sweater ends”:3 After this hat I have the Totoro mitts next in my project queue and I can not wait to start them.