Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Barter System, Knitting Style

Today's post is another blast from the past. The first summer I lived in Iowa, my friend Tom approached me with a proposal. He wanted a hand-knit hat and in exchange he'd give me an extra road bike he had. Sure! I said. I was confident I could make whatever hat he had in mind. He sent me a picture of what he'd like it to look like, and when I saw it I started to get a little worried. Here's the inspiration picture.

If I knit him that, then I would get this.

So, I ordered some yarn and tried to figure out how to make that beast. The yarn I used was Knit Picks Merino Style in the Coal and Vanilla colorways. My friend Colleen had made the We Call Them Pirates hat, and introduced me to the free pattern. I thought the skull and cross bones would be perfect. I did a little experimental swatch and figured out that rectangles 4 stitches wide by 5 rows tall looked pretty good. Here's what I ended up with.

What do you think? I also did a turned hem by casting on provisionally and then knitting in black for about 3 inches, then I started the checker pattern and worked for 3 more inches. When I do provisional cast-ons for hems, I keep the bottom stitches on a circular needle and then when my work is twice as long as I want the hem to be, I turn up the bottom and knit one stitch from the working needle and one stitch from the provisional needle together. This gives a pretty clean hem.

And finally, here's a picture of Tom in the finished hat. I think I did a pretty good job matching the inspiration hat! check out my Ravelry project page, Checkered Skull and Crossbones, for more information. And I love the bike!

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