Wednesday, February 5, 2014

K'done: Star Slouch Hat

May I present the first completed knitted thing of 2014.

Pattern: Star Slouch Hat, by Rena Varsakis
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK, in Wilted Rose
Needles: 5 mm / US 8

The Mister got The Last of Us as one of his Christmas gifts, and some quick Googling revealed that we could expect gameplay to run about 18 hours or so. Armed with that information, I pondered my options for a video game knit. A sweater in 18 hours did not seem doable, and I'm still fairly well stocked with socks, so those were out too. I suppose I could have made a pair of sister socks, but oh well. The time frame seemed well suited to a cowl, or maybe a hat.

Hmm, hats. I currently have three hats I actually like - though I haven't worn one of them in ages. But the gameplay follows a story, and I went into it expecting that I might need to offer some assistance in spotting things or figuring out how to navigate a path that isn't terribly obvious - meaning I shouldn't pick something with lots of lace or cable work that would keep my eyes glued on my hands. I started thinking stockinette in the round might be just about perfect, and a hat would be just about the perfect video game project.

And then I remembered this pattern, which I snagged in a promo the designer ran last year. And I remembered my Tosh DK mini stash. I rooted around, found the yarn, and cast on.

It was a pretty quick game, and a pretty quick knit too. There were some tense moments where I just couldn't knit, I had to watch the screen, but otherwise the two went together fairly well. I finished the hat about when the gameplay wrapped up - maybe I was a bit early? Or maybe I had to do the final couple of rounds after the game was done? I don't remember anymore - it was actually nearly a month ago. I just never got pictures till now.

It was a very straightforward knit. I think I knit the body of the hat a bit longer than the pattern calls for - I was just cranking away with the game and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I ought to measure, and I was an inch or maybe an inch and a half farther along than I was supposed to be, but I figured, hey, more slouch, and just rolled with it. Perhaps because I was somewhat distracted with the game, I didn't manage my DPNs very well, and had laddering off the needles. A wash and block neatened up most of it, though in that second picture up there you can see a teeny bit of laddering. (The odd thing is I didn't change the placement of the hat between the two shots - just the angle of the camera - and you don't see the ladder in the first shot.) Also, for a pattern titled Star Slouch Hat, I was expecting a more clearly defined star shape out of the decreases. It's not really a star - more of a point. That's okay, though - I must say I'm quite pleased with the result. The Mister referred to it as a Smurf hat, and I guess it sort of is a lot like Lazy Smurf's floppy Smurf hat. Only, you know, vividly pink.

The yarn was fabulous - but that's what I've come to expect from Madelinetosh yarns. When I first saw the colouring on this skein - it came in a mixed bag, so I didn't pick it out individually - I wasn't sure about it. I knew it would have to be knit up into something simple, with the variegation. Truthfully, as I was knitting it up, I went back and forth on whether I liked the result. Once it was done, though, my doubts all went away. I've been wearing it more than any of my others - in part because it's the most recent, but also because the bright pink makes me happy, and the greeny-brown bits also tone it down so I don't feel self-conscious about the eye-searingly pink head topper.

It's a good thing I have a decent collection of hats now, too - winter weather has returned with a bitter vengeance here. Merino wool is my friend.

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