Monday, August 10, 2015

Revisiting Familiar Patterns

On August 1st, I finished the Hiddleson doily named "Pretty Baby".  I'll put up a blog post about that once I've blocked and photographed it.  (Whenever that might be...)

Afterwards, I just grabbed one of the nearest UFOs-- the Old-Fashioned Granny Square Afghan.  I've been working on it ever since, one square at a time.  With the two pieces joined, it's getting to a decent size, but I think I'll set it aside again, for a while.  It's just too hot to have on my lap, and since it's a JAYGo project, the last round of every square means melting under heavy layers of acrylic.

Old-Fashioned Granny Square Afghan

Old-Fashioned Granny Square Afghan

(If I were particularly eager to have it finished soon, I'd try a tip I've seen online about putting the blanket on a table.  This keeps the bulk of the blanket off your lap, which helps keep you cool.  Of course, that's often not the most comfortable place to sit while you stitch, so it's a trade-off.)

Old-Fashioned Granny Square Afghan

I'm also running into a bit of rut, color-wise, since it's a scrap project, and I have a limited palette of scraps, at the moment.  If I set it aside a little longer, maybe another few new colors can be tossed into the mix.

Old-Fashioned Granny Square Afghan

Quibbles aside, I was loving making those granny squares.  There's something soothing about them.  They're a wonderful comfort project-- repetitive, but with plenty of room for playing around with color, if you're so inclined.  I find that I don't get bored making the same easy square over and over again, so long as I can make them in a variety of color combinations.  If I had to make a whole blanket's worth of granny squares in the same exact scheme, however... Not interested.

Old-Fashioned Granny Square Afghan

Old-Fashioned Granny Square Afghan

- - - - - - -

Back before I got started on working through the UFO backlog, I'd set out the materials and tools for my third Meret.  They've been waiting all this time, and now there's enough of a dent in the mountain of WIPs that I feel justified in starting something new, so Saturday afternoon, I cast on and started knitting.

The first time I made this pattern, it turned out far too small--  maybe even child-size-- though I'd cast on 80 stitches, which should've been "medium", according to the pattern-- and I'd added a repeat to increase the slouch.  (No, I didn't check my gauge.  But I... just don't swatch.  I don't think I ever have.  I probably need to start, though, for things like hats.)

...Anyway, I kept the hat.  I may have someone I can give it to, when the weather turns cooler.

Now that I knew the pattern, it was easy to try it again.  This time I made it "extra-large"-- that is, even larger than the "large" version in the pattern.  I cast on 96 stitches and worked three repeats (instead of the two called for in the "large" pattern instructions).  Well, at least that hat wasn't too small.  In fact, it was probably a bit too big (and this from a person with a fairly large head).  I'm not sure the intended recipient would want such a slouchy, loose hat, but I set it aside.  (I might end up keeping that one for myself.)

For this "third time's the charm" version, I'm working the pattern's version of "large".  The plan is to follow the pattern exactly, but if it looks small, I might add another repeat.  I cast on 88 stitches, according to pattern, and we'll see what happens.

The first two hats were knit from the same yarn-- Patons Classic Wool-- but for this one, I thought I'd try something different (mainly because I ran out of Classic Wool and would like to work from stash).  It's 100% wool reclaimed from a sweater and over-dyed for a kettle-dyed effect.  Greens and blue-greens.  I like the colors, but when I was casting on, it felt a little "dry".  Now that I'm in the body of the hat, it seems nicer, but when the hat's done, maybe I'll give it a conditioning treatment.

Here's the hat so far:

Meret (Yet Again)

I don't love the way my 1x1 ribbing came out.  It looks clunky, but maybe a little evening out during washing and blocking will help.  

Now I'm at the point that I have to decide if it needs another repeat for extra slouch.  I'm leaning toward no extra slouch, as it feels pretty big already.

This pattern works up quickly and is a fun knit. (Oh, and it's free!)  Highly recommended for an easy beret.