Friday, February 27, 2009

I think it's time for Plan B


How does this happen? OK, I didn't knit a gauge swatch. But seriously (before the finger-shaking starts), who knits a flat gauge swatch for a colorwork hat knit in the round? Not I. I did, however, check my gauge in the ribbed section and as I started the colorwork. I think I must have loosened up. A lot (fear of tight floats?). There has been some discussion on other blogs lately of the ways in which gauge kicks the butts of knitters everywhere, so we'll just leave it at this: gauge will bite you when you least expect it.

Mom, if you're reading, there's about to be a spoiler sort of thing going on here, which means that you should stop reading right now. Seriously. Cease and desist. (The rest of you, please stay; I could use some opinions.)

Mom, you were warned.

So, I asked Older Daughter to model the hat for me so I could take some pictures. I compared those pictures to the pictures of the lovely young thing wearing the hat on the Solsilke site (scroll down, you'll see it). If you compare them, you'll see that the one on the Solsilke site looks like a tam. The one I knitted looks like The Blob That Ate New York.

It looks marginally better from behind (could I ask my mom to walk around backwards? Probably not).
But I kind of think that she could fit a whole armadillo in there along with her head. No?

So, opinions? Is it as bad as I think? (Why do we ask questions to which we know the answers?) If we all agree that it is, the course of action towards which I am leaning strongly is a mild hand felting (lots of control), just to sort of bind it all together and shrink it up a little bit. As an added benefit, this will make it even more wind-proof, which is good on the toasty-warm side of things. Believe it or not, it's only about an inch and a half bigger in diameter than the pattern calls for, but on a head, an inch and a half makes a difference.

Meanwhile, another tragedy hit last night, this time in my spinning world. I was spinning in the kitchen, talking to Rick while the girls did homework, and I dropped (as one will) my Golding drop spindle. On a carpet. Where it broke into little bitty pieces. Irreparably. And there's not much more to be said about that. (Although I could mention the symphony of apologies between me and Rick as we tried to find all the little bitty pieces: (me) "I'm so sorry. I can't believe I broke the absolutely gorgeous fiber tool you got for me." (him) "No, I'm so sorry. I feel like I bought you a cheap fiber tool that breaks at the drop of a hat." Or the drop of a spindle, as the case may be. (me) "But it's not a cheap fiber tool. I love this spindle." *wail*)

In good fiber news, the shawl continues apace. I am most of the way through the first chart, after which the rows will start decreasing, and therefore speeding up. Nothing picture-worthy yet (you know how blobby early lace looks), but the yarn I am using is the exact creamy shade of pale butter, and it's beautiful, and so very soft. I can't imagine not liking this shawl. Once I've got that to the speeding-up stage, I think I'm going to dive into socks for a while. With luck, that will happen tomorrow morning, while Rick and the girls are off at a trail maintenance work party and I have the house to myself for a few hours.


Willow said...

Ummm, I trying really really hard to think of something positive to say about the size of the tam. I guess the best I can come up with is, yes, the back view does look better than the front one. And at least you're in good (and famous) company.

Wool Enough said...

Okay, let's get this over with -- yes, the tam is way too big. On the bright side, felting could work really well. You might wind up happy that you knit it "too big".

I was shocked (and saddened) to read of your spindle tragedy. All my spindles have been dropped many times -- and on the concrete patio, too -- with no damage whatsoever. Although Goldings are, I think, somewhat more delicate than mere wood spindles, it's still surprising that a tumble onto carpet could cause so much harm.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I think I am leaning felt, but if and only if you can truly say in your heart that it is OK if it doesn't work. Worst case scenario, it is completely ruined and you have to order another from Sweden. And you have some lovely felted fabric from which to make something (like a bag, I suppose).

If you can be OK with that, then proceed with confidence and be ready to celebrate when it all works out brilliantly.

Stell said...

felting, mmm seems like the thing to try, cause with the angroa it ain't going to frog easily. You are right about the swatch crisis on a world blog scale ... personally I'm slightly worried about knitting mojo all over right now ... a bit to much for my comfort.
And I ache for your spindle tragedy ... and bet Rick does to, one of those things, but so pleased he was there - imagine trying to explain if he wasn't when it happened. Do Golding do a life time replacement promise ... at all, though it would never be the same?

EGunn said...

I think it's time for felting. You're right about the wind-proofing; it will be nice to have a thicker fabric.

I'm sorry to hear about the spindle! It's so hard to just let go of those things. Maybe they have a warrantee? It was carpet, after all...

Here's hoping that all the tragedies are over!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about the spindle and the hugeness of the tam :-( But the tam is beautiful, and hopefully felting will take care of your problem.
Wishing you a nice weekend!

Anne said...

wow, what a weekend you're already having. Here's hoping a few hours of peace and quiet does much to resolve it.

Marianne said...

I'm so sorry about your spindle!
What Ellen says... re: felting the tam, which btw is beyond beautiful.

Lynne said...

Sorry to read about your spindle and your tam. Felting seems the best option [especially if you have an inch and a half in the ribbing to play with] if one chooses not to think about the other!

Anonymous said...

I still vote for framing the hat as wall art. It's a viable solution. You can knit one that fits another time.

And having a spindle break stinks.

I hope your week gets better.

Alwen said...

Well, drat!

I would contact Golding, at least.

The last couple of days have been full of zaps of not-so-greatness (a migraine, a burn, a gift card that turned up $0, etc) so I'll just stand over here and try not to earth any of it onto you, okay?

Nana Sadie said...

Um. Yes. What they said. Felting - and if you lose control over it, it will make a lovely bag.

I, too, send condolences about the spindle. NOT what you wanted to go thru this weekend, I know.

Anonymous said...

My first reaction was to laugh out loud in knowing sympathy. My second was, felt it and it'll be perfect. My third is, get a round pillow form and fill in the opening of the hat. After all, it's a gorgeous piece of knitting.

I'm sorry about the spindle!

Anonymous said...

Oh no!

Oh no!

Thank goodness for the shawl.

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful city-eating blob. I like the pillow idea. That's an awful lot of hat... I have no idea what you ought to do. I would put it in the closet while I 'decided' what to do (forgot all about it).

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. Yeah, it's...big. I'd be nervous about felting it, but I think that could work out really nicely.

So sorry about the spindle! I'd be heartbroken.

Bea said...

I'm sorry about the spindle. Shouldn't these things be able to hold up to dropping given that they are DROP spindles? Surely they don't think you will always manage to keep it going?