Designer: Ele -Nutella Dreams Late Night Crafts
Materials: Knit Picks (a) Comfy Worsted; (b) Shine Worsted cotton blends
Amount: (2) 50g ball (a) October; (b) Caution
Needles: J 6mm (US10), E 3.5mm (US4), D 3.25mm (US3)
Cost: (a) $2.79/ball approx. $5.60; (b) $2.49/ball $5.50
Size: Adult size to fit 2 year old average head
Start Date: Nov. 15, 2009
Finish Date: Nov. 17, 2009
I saw this cute cap at a yarn store and immediately knew I wanted to make it for my little boy who could still use a couple more hats. Unfortunately, I was told it was crocheted which I don't know how to do. But I got the pattern and figured there was no reason I couldn't learn. After all, who hasn't made a long crochet chain when they were seven, right. So I did. I learned how to crochet -a little, just enough to make this cap.
The first attempts were pretty ugly as I didn't have a clue what I was doing. First, I thought it was supposed to be worked with a double strand of yarn. Finally, I decided that just didn't look right. I had to watch a couple of web videos to recall how to even make the slip stitch and then for the other couple of stitches used in the pattern. Despite that, I realized on the second cap that I didn't even start the first one off correctly as I couldn't conceptualize how making the stitches through the center hole was done. And, for some reason I had the hardest time ending up with the right amount of stitches after the initial increasing rows. Either, I just can't count or I kept inserting the crochet hook in the wrong place. That took a lot of unraveling and starting over.
Of course, after the first one was made, all these concepts seem to have no difficulty at all. It's just a matter of getting over that little learning curve or hump as it may be with me.
I tried to heed the pattern recommendation to just use the recommended 100% cotton yarn, but after visiting my local craft store and finding the right brand, I couldn't bring myself to choose from their expansive variety of three colors. They just didn't appeal to me at all. So, I took a chance and made yet another order from KnitPicks. I got both the (a) Comfy Worsted which is 75% pima cotton and 25% acrylic in "October", a burned umber and the (b) Shine Worsted which is 60% pima cotton and 40% modal in Caution, a mustardy yellow. I thought the Comfy might work better than the Shine but I like the rich yellow color better than the burnt umber which turns out to be a lot more brown than orange. (The colors in the photos are kind of all over the place. Caution is also more ocre than orange).
I made the burned umber one first. I could see the cap was turning out rather small, so I decided to continue the instructions with the adult size. I'm not sure if this was due mostly to the yarn substitution and less in part to my amateur crocheting or if I just crocheted too tightly. I tried to crochet a little more loosley with the yellow Shine yarn and the cap did come out slightly bigger but that has a different fiber content anyway so it doesn't say much.
I was fairly happy with both of them, but the Shine Worsted is rather shiny and I don't know how much I like that. It also split a lot when I was using the smallest 3.25mm hook. It has a heavier drape, it's more squishy, so it doesn't hold the shape quite as well. I thought that might be the case but I had to try. It's a little strange to see how hole-y the crochet technique is compared to knitting. But I do like the richness of the textured stitches. It kind of just reminds me of something yummy like carmel. (It could also be that I'm just pregnant and insane).
All in all, I'm pretty pleased that I've learned a new skill, not too painfully and I'll never need to buy a cute crocheted beanie at the mall again.