Monday, March 17, 2014

Ombre Knits Challenge (A very long post)

before-in off white

I was asked to make a slouchy hat and to make it 'go sideways' and then to dye it ombre...
Oh and cotton....
I said: 'Ok'. 
 I like a new (knitting) challenge & broadening my skills with new stitches and patterns....

When I described what I was going to (try to) be making to the lady at the knitting store, she asked me to bring in a photo when done. I took this as a compliment at first, but realized later, maybe this wasn't such an easy hat challenge to take on ; )
First we had the: not very usual sideways knit hat, decreasing garter stitches sideways, dyeing cotton acrylic blends etc etc.

I started by searching for a pattern.--but wasn't even sure how to word what I was looking for...
 Has anyone ever told you: 'google it'...but you don't know what to enter into the search bar?
As much as I knit, I tend to follow patterns, researching stitches and techniques I don't know how to do, as I come to them. Apparently forgetting them as I go, if it isn't something I do a lot of.

I went to ravelry and looked for 'sideways hats', 'garter stitch hats', 'flat knit hats', and  variations of all three. I found a few. None were exactly what I was looking for: free, slouchy, beyond easy, lol.
First off, my yarn was too thick to do a simple rectangle cinched at the top type version.
I knew I had to do decreases, and even though I've done short rows on socks, that term wasn't something that instantly popped into my mind, nor could I figure out how to do them on a 'sideways'/'flat knit' hat.
Eventually I found this pattern. It came the closest to my specifications.
I had to modify and redo it a bit (a lot actually) to make the gauge for the yarn and desired slouchiness work.

Then, came the wrap and turns. I wasn't thrilled with how they were turning out and spent another week looking up different types of 'wrap and turns' for garter stitch decreases finally finding a few, and ending up with something I really liked.

As I got to the end I wished I had done a 3 needle bind off-or started with a provisional cast on in the first place. But instead, I had 'non live' cast on stitches, and sat for days trying to figure out if I should bind the last row off or leave them live as well for grafting.

Trying to find garter stitch grafting methods for grafting in this direction -again a challenge when you are not sure what to call it, but I have since found out-- look for grafting techniques as if working a garter stitch shoulder seam. 
I wasn't 100% in love with how that turned out but it doesn't really show when worn so it's o.k.

Next up---dyeing it ombre.
More research and another long story short, we customized the dyes to make this. 
This time we knew to go to the rit dye website, and working with the colors we had on hand, came up with this one.They have a color formula guide which is neat~The hat was originally going to be coral but we had tangerine and fuchsia-and made do-It's such a pretty color. Don't you think?
So now I'm working on a new one-in a different gauge,and possibly my own version of this hat to be printed up  as a pattern soon....

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