The crazy cold weather lately persuaded me that I needed a new hat. I decided it should be as green as I could make it.
I absolutely love this hat!
Pattern: Butterfly Hat by Sofiya Cremin, free pattern posted at Alice in Dilbertland.
Size: adult 20-22″ circumference
Yarn: Debbie Mumm Traditions by JoAnn, 75% acrylic 23% wool 2% other, worsted weight, color 08 Pine Needle
Needles: Knit Picks 8″ nickel-plated DPNs, size 5 (3.75mm) and size 7 (4.50mm)
Started: February 14, 2008
Finished: February 20, 2008
As written, this pattern came out perfectly. The fit is cozy and snug to my ears, without being tight at all, so it won’t leave marks in my forehead or mess up my hair like a lot of my other hats do.
It actually stretches large enough to fit my boyfriend’s head, but I think if I were to knit him one I would add a sequence of butterflies to get a better length. He said how much he wanted one until I referred to them that way, then he recoiled in horror and asked if he could have beetles or scarabs instead. I suggested we call them Mothra, and he was happy. Such a boy.
I did the ribbing for it on Valentine’s Day (immediately after casting off my Hedera socks), but I actually knit it all in a few hours yesterday, as I started feeling progressively sicker. I should note, by way of excuse for my appearance, that I am home sick today after staying up most of the night with something gross (you don’t want to know). That I could still genuinely love knitting this hat while sick is a testament to what a fun, easy, and charming little project it is.
What really makes this hat for me is the butterflies. As I showed yesterday, this little butterfly stitch is made by a series of floats, which are then picked up and transformed into a charming detail.
As an added bonus, they kind of pull the fabric around them a little snugger like smocking, which makes cute puffs. When strategically placed at the edges of the DPNs where I usually get ladders, they remedy it beautifully.
The math in this pattern is intuitive and elegant, which of course I love. It has perfect symmetry all around, and it’s addictive knitting at its best. I got really lucky with the way the colors blended to the crown, and I love the star shape of the bright green decreases.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little bit about the yarn. The initial reviews I read about it were that it has gorgeous blending colors, but that knitters hated working with it. It got panned on Ravelry, and I noticed very few people were making projects with it. (I actually found this hat pattern because I saw the designer had made a hat in this yarn, and I loved it so much I just needed one of my own.)
It completely surpassed my expectations in terms of color. It is so rich, saturated, and vibrant that I am instantly happy just looking at it. The color transitions are nice and gradual, forming subtle bands.
Where I think people have a problem with this yarn is in its structure. It is essentially a tube of loosely spun wool (hence its crazy softness), wrapped around a black acrylic core (which gives it strength and integrity). The reviews I read complained of its tendency to spin and bunch up on itself, revealing the black core. I checked it out and resorted to my primary reaction to most things in life: “It is what it is.”
Recognizing that this was just its unique structure, I had to adjust my tension, hold it very gently, and work at a slightly looser gauge than I usually knit. This actually ended up being very good for my hands, as well as preserving the design elements of this hat.
I found that if I worked from the center of the ball and gently pulled about an arm’s length or two of yarn out at a time, very loosely, I could knit without straining the yarn. As soon as an obstacle got in the way or I started holding it too tightly, I saw the effect others got, but it was easy enough to redistribute the wool and keep happily knitting. Once knit, the stitches were firm and well-defined, yet wonderfully soft against the skin. I had no trouble with splitting or snagging.
I would definitely encourage others to try this yarn and enjoy its beauty without stressing about its handling properties. In the end, I think that its structure is what makes it such a pleasure to wear. I definitely would not wind it on a ball-winder or over-handle it, and sharply-pointed metal needles are definitely the way to go. The way it is packaged will tell you everything you need to know about how it wants to be handled.
It is possible that the care and gentleness I exhibited toward the yarn is part of why I feel such endearing tenderness toward this hat. I am almost certain I will knit this pattern again – I really can’t recommend it highly enough. I also like the yarn so much I’m going to make matching mitts with my second ball of it.
Previous Entries on this Project:
– You’re my butterfly, sugar, baby…