Friday, April 15, 2005

The Story of a Fruit Hat

This is the story of how a project I intended to finish in a night became a five day nightmare...

My Aunt and Uncle had a baby three weeks early. Since I am one of eight granddaughters on this side (all of us are over 24 except for my Aunt & Uncle's 3 year old daughter) I anticipated that it would be a girl. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I am still a little bit sore about this whole "boy in the family" business.

Anyway, "he" was born almost two weeks ago. I started "his" baby blanket a couple of months ago as my train in and out of NYC project. Though I feel as though it's going quickly, there is still about 3/4 to go on the Baby Blanket Sampler from Vogue Knitting On the Go Baby Blankets II in lavendar acrylic. Since this is obviously going to be a christening present (I can finish it by May 22, no problem) I decided it would be nice to acknowledge "his" presence in the family by knitting him a cute hat.

I'd heard so much about Ann Norling's Baby Fruit Hat pattern that I thought it would be a cool thing to make for any baby, especially a wee little one. I couldn't find a cool fruit hat pattern online (the only one I found was sort of lame, with sewn on leaves), so I dropped $4 on the pattern at an LYS.

First of all, how hard is it to find sport weight yarn in hunter green at a craft store? Seriously. Hard. Then I cast on, only to find out the pattern calls for a 16" circular size 6 needle. The smaller size hat wouldn't work on this circular. I used the smallest cord for my Denise Circulars and it was so awkward to try to knit. I don't know what was up with that, but next time I do it I'm just going to start it on DPNs. (Up after the leaves you change to DPNs and I found it much easier.) So I forged on, making it the size larger, for 6-12 month olds, considering that babies get giant in a milisecond.

The pattern teaches you how to make a strawberry using fair isle (without explicitly telling you "use fair isle"--I tried intarsia and had to frog) or a raspberry using bobbles. The problem with that is that the pattern tells you to begin your color work on row 1. Hello? Part of the design of this is that the bottom edge rolls up in stockinette. And it looks crappy because the crappy edge rolls up. This I figured out around my 16th round, when frogging was not an option.

So I just decided to finish my hat and figure out what to do with the edge.

Here's the finished project, I intentionally made it a little less tall than the pattern called for because I knew I was going to edge it.

Haywood had a good time modeling it as a potential Fruit Yarmulke.

So I went to my new favorite edging book, Knitting on the Edge by the Official Favorite Knitwear Designer of the Totally Knitting Universe Nicky Epstein. I picked out this cute edge that had some lacework and did this cool zig zag edge that was very strawberryish. I did a few repeats of it and Haywood pointed out that it didn't really go with the stockinette stitch hat. After an hour of lace work. She was right so I picked something else out. Just a plain, garter stitch ruffle. Can't go wrong with that, right? I even threw in a stripe of green to blend everything together.

I finally finished knitting that border, and began sewing. I hate sewing, by the way. Knitting I love but sewing is boring, even when it involves improving my knitting.

Anyway, I sewed on half the ruffle and I looked up at Brian (this whole project went on for several days because of all this backsliding) and said "I think this ruffle is making this hat look less masculine."

Brian said "You made a beautiful hat... for a girl!"

It made me feel like this:

All of that work, all of that pain, all of those design alterations... As a peace offering to the first boy in the family I make a friggin' girls' hat.

I've now decided to do one hour booties. I just can't drag another one night project on for five days again...


elspeth said...

I think it's a lovely hat, Bevin...any baby boy child should be thrilled to wear it.

TitaniumRose said...

It's a darling little hat, and if the new baby boy doesn't like it, you can always let Macy keep it. Looks stunning on her. =)

katya said...

That hat is absolutely adorable. If I thought my nephew would wear a hat for more than thirty seconds, I'd make him one just like it! It's super cute and fruity!

yoko said...

Beautiful hat! I think it would look nice on a baby, whether it's a boy or a girl.

Quiconque said...

Bevin, it is so clear that you made that hat for Macy. Please stop lying to everyone about this boy child. There's no shame in being the kind of person who knits for her dog.