Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back from the Dead

This project had been hibernating so long, I practially forgot it was still on the needles. But then we got some frigid weather (today, for instance, it's about 17 degrees F) and my Odessa has really been wearing out, so I decided it was time to finally finish the thing.

Pattern: Shedir by Jenna Wilson (special Breast Cancer Awareness Month edition of Knitty, 2004)
Yarn: Brooks Farm Four Play (50% wool, 50% silk), colorway PB7, less than one skein (approximately 50 g/1.75 oz left)
Needles: 16" US 3 (3.25) Inox circular and Clover bamboo dpns
Started/Completed: February 17, 2007/January 19, 2008
Mods: I omitted rows 45-52 of the chart (skipping to row 53) and substituted a slightly heavier yarn

This was my oldest UFO, probably ever. When I picked it up again this past week, I remembered why I'd put it down in the first place. There's a lot, and I mean a lot, of cabling in this pattern, particularly in the center section. Most of the cables are worked over only two stitches, so I worked most without a cable needle, but having to cable that often is rather hard on the hands. I'm pretty sure I only needed an actual cable needle was for one row that had three-stitch cables that involved working the second stitch on the cable needle before the first; I just couldn't figure out how do it without the extra tool in such a way that it would actually be faster.

I did use a heavier weight of yarn than called for in the pattern, and while this resulted in a cushy, warm hat, it did mess with my measurements. The pattern calls for one ball of Rowan Calmer, which is a DK-weight yarn. I substituted this dreamy worsted weight silk/wool blend that I picked up from the Brooks Farm booth at last year's Pittsburgh knitting festival. The hat fits just fine around my head, but as you can probably tell from the pictures, it's a tad bit long in spite of the fact that I cut out an entire repeat of the preliminary cables. For the time being, I've been wearing it with the brim flipped up -- not the most ideal, because it covers some of the cable work, but I've only really cared about the fact that it's keeping my head and ears warm the past couple of days.

I do love how the decreases are so subtly worked into the cabling that you can't even see them. Clearly, my hat could use a good blocking to get the top to lie more flat.

I may knit this pattern again one day, although next time I'll be sure to use a DK weight yarn.

For those of you who may be thinking about this pattern, I do want to let you know that I came across an error in the pattern. It's something you'll probably realize if you've done cabling before and are paying attention to what the symbols in the chart mean, but I thought I'd point it out nonetheless. The written directions tell you that at the end of certain rows (53, 55, 56, 60, and 70), you will be knitting up to the last stitch and then moving the marker that marks the beginning of the row before that stitch. This is because what was previously the last stitch of the round will be used in the cable that begins the following round. The mistake is that you also need to do this at the end of round 62 in order to work the "twist right" cable at the beginning of round 63. Like I said, you'll probably see this when you get there, but then again you might just be like me and stare at the knitting and the directions and think you're just an idiot because the stitches don't line up as they should until you realize you need to use the last stitch of the round.

Now that this is off the needles, there's only one more UFO tucked away, but I feel less guilty about letting that sit for a while longer. I've still got baby sweaters to knit -- you can expect a report of the next one very soon!


  1. If you actually went outside today to take a picture, I'm going to be mightily impressed, I refused to touch outside air today. I think the cabling is super-pretty!

  2. I'm likin' the hat! And MUCH better too long than too short on a hat! It's freakin' cold today. I had to go to the maul this morning and all I could think about was "I wouldn't want to be a fan at either NFL game today. WAY too cold!"

    Eight years in LA has made me a wuss. ::sigh::

  3. I completely agree with you on the cabling being a little rough on your hands. Although I love my finished Shedir, I'm not going to be casting on soon for my 2nd one. My hands would hate me!

    I LOVE that you used the Brooks Farm yarn for the hat. I've never seen it knit in a variegated yarn, but it looks fantastic. Then again, that yarn is so wonderful, you can't go wrong knitting anything with it.

    Stay Warm!!

  4. Cool hat! Cool temps, too. Brrr!!

  5. It's look fantastic! I really dig the subtle variegations and tones.

    Thanks for pointing out the error, too. This one's in the queue for my bro.

  6. Oh my gosh - I can't believe that you went outside today, either! Lovely hat, though!

  7. Looks great! I must admit that I was very happy to finish mine, it was somewhat of a pain. The Koolhaas was a much more pleasurable knit...

  8. blogless dee7:02 PM

    So nice SJ! I really like the way that came out.

  9. The hat is just gorgeous! And perfectly warm too. Thank you for the heads up on the error in the pattern too. Those cabling decreases really are subtle.