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October 03, 2009

How I almost knit myself a porcupine hat

With the weather becoming distinctly crisp and autumnal, I cannot help but think about hats, mittens, and other wooly goodies. The first warm accessory of the season was an easy one: I took the Rowan Silky Tweed that my husband picked out during our trip to San Francisco, and knit it up into a hat. A full post about that will follow (as soon the weather and my schedule cooperate). For the time being the only relevant detail is that his hat ate up a full skein of yarn, plus a few yards of the second skein. So, I had the majority of one skein of Silky Tweed left over (!).

Considering that my head is slightly smaller than his, and that I like my hats on the snugger side, plus I really love the color and feel of this yarn, there was only one thing to do with the leftovers: knit myself a hat!

I decided to experiment with my favorite stitch pattern from Reversible Knitting (my review here), cut cables.

Unfortunately, I did not realize that this stitch pattern has three-dimensional spikes!

Yikes! I looked at the hat this way and that, and decided that although incredibly cool to knit (this stitch pattern has the awesome "divide and combine," just like the Linked Rib scarf), this would not be a welcome addition to my head.

In fact, upon seeing the spikes, I thought this might be good for a baby blanket. Don't babies like to grab on to dimensional and textural elements? And of course the pattern is reversible, a great plus for a blanket. With so many of my friends expecting, I had to give it a try.

I grabbed some Lana Grossa Cool Wool 2000 from the stash, quickly drafted a way to incorporate the stitch pattern on a diagonal, and cast on.

Uhm, not so much. I think it still looks a little bizarre, no? It's going to be tricky to find exactly the right garment or accessory to incorporate this stitch pattern. But in general knitting this got me thinking that swatches using stitch patterns from this book would look fabulous cobbled together in a blanket: interesting and reversible! And if this spiky cut cables is one square among many others, its unique personality would be evident, yet tempered :).

Posted by Kathy on October 3, 2009 11:38 PM

Comments

The pattern would make a great looking bag. Cobbled together in a blanket would be fabulous!

Just don't leave it as it is: it resembles a very strange posing pouch!

Agree on the smaller element. Kids will still grab it, but it won't dominate the motifs.

I actually love it for the baby blanket, but maybe just not on the diagonal--it seems to make it pull a bit too much in an awkward direction. Otherwise, I think the little nubs would be awesome, and perhaps some of the odd pulling would be fixed with blocking. Great idea to use the motifs for a blanket!

I'm still intrigued by the idea of a porcupine hat. I'm a bit kooky that way :o)

Beautiful colors, too.

I love the way you play and *think* with your knitting. It's something that I need to do more as most my projects never quite come out how I imagined them.

A badass wrist cuff. In black. That'd do the pattern justice!

For what it's worth, I think it would make an awesome and unique hat. You should do it!

Kathy, I share your admiration for Lynne Barr's books but they're definitely for "process" people, aren't they? The scarves are so much fun to figure out and knit but the end result -- not so wearable though, except for Shag.

Thus said, I'll buy any book she writes. And it's great to see your experiments with her work!

Those poky bits would be great on a washcloth, good for getting into corners and such.

Great idea! My mom made two blankets with different pattern blocks in different colors. Nice and cozy!

I think your idea of a swatch baby blanket is a great one! I'd go with lots of colors (I have this idea that baby things should be bright, multi-colored objects). The blanket idea may be enough to get me to buy the book, since I none of the garments immediately appealed to me.

Lol! My daughter had a similar problem with a hat she just designed! Blocking it was a challenge to say the least. :D

Umm....no!! Perhaps I'm more of a traditionalist, but I don't like the stitch pattern at all it just looks odd.

ok just had to say that I'm in love with that freaking yarn! that color! that tweedy goodness! must have!!

I love the baby blankie! I think you just need to keep going. You may need to add faster sideways than planned, but I think it would be way cool. I really like the arabesques of the corner. A blue baby girl's blankie; I Really like that.

you make it all sound so easy. (yet i know it's not)

that blanket is going to be awesome!!

Definitely...odd. I can't really imagine a use for it off the top of my head. I'm sure there is one, somewhere, though.

Hmmm, different is not always better, but I do think I can picture a small child grabbing at (and probably biting at, sucking on, etc...) the 'thingies'... hmmm....

I like the cut cable - any thoughts on how you could make it wrap and repeat on a gauntlet? My son wants wrist warmers with a 'barbed wire' like pattern spiraling up them.

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