Friday, July 29, 2005

If You Have Children, Hide Them Now

Since I'm supposed to be a photographer, when I post knitting shots I try my damnedest to make them good ones.

But life is not always pretty. If you're going to read this blog it means you shall take the rough with the smooth.

I finished Susan's hat. It began as a pillbox, as designed by St. Elizabeth Zimmermann for one of the "Wool Gathering" newsletters now happily reprinted in The Opinionated Knitter. However, a knitted pillbox has limited appeal in a cold, windy climate. Susan lives in Maine.

Meg Swansen must have thought likewise because the examples of the pillbox shown in the book have all been knitted with more depth so that they cover the ears. They do retain the flat top, which was the feature that drew me to the pattern in the first place.

But I kept knitting far longer than the venerable Mrs. Swansen, and wound up creating a toque. (Thanks to my dear friend John of Customworks, Inc. in Dallas, dressmaker/costumier extraordinaire, for confirming that this is, in fact, what I have made.)

The resulting garment was too large for Victoria to model, and looked ridiculous on Charlie Brown. I tried stuffing it with paper (too lumpy) and putting it on a coffee can (too skinny) and finally had to...well...I had to...

Aw hell, here it is. Sorry if you're reading this around mealtime.

Susan's Toque, Completed


I threw in the garter check on a whim while knitting at the Intonation Festival. I rather like it, and I've found a check pattern in Barbara Walker that I'm using for the matching scarf .

This was my first project with a knitted hem. I followed EZ's later refinement of knitting the hat from the bottom up, then picking up stitches and knitting the hem downwards, binding off live stitches directly from the needle. It looks very neat and is completely elastic, and I have one less process to be afraid of.

And I find I really do like the top. I think it's a nice change from the usual domed shaping.

Susan's Toque, Detail of Top

Susan, of course, is free to disagree with me. (If you don't like it, my dear, do pass it along to somebody who might.) But she has a model's long neck and a wonderful face for hats, and will be able to carry off a somewhat unusual design.

Oh, the particulars. This was made from Mission Falls merino on a 16" US4 circular and US4 dpns, which gave me EZ's recommended gauge. (Don't ask me. Go buy the book. It's fun, though probably not for the absolute beginner.)

38 comments:

TrickyTricot said...

Wow. Is that Guinan from Star Trek the Next Generation in the photo? :) I do like the top quite a bit...

You look particularly cute in this photo Franklin - something about your eyes says, "I have a secret - come closer, my pretty."

Felicia said...

The top sets the hat apart from all others. I am at work, green with envy. I love the hat. I forgive you for not making ol' Vicki wear it. Put her back in her bunny hat.

And, what IS your secret? Did you get a tattoo?

Rabbitch said...

I love the top of that hat! And the colo(u)r is fantastic.

Congrats!

Sister Sue said...

Wow! It's great! I can't wait to try it on! Sorry for the excess number of (!) but I don't know how else to express how impressed (and excited) I am! (Oops, there's another one! Ah!) Really, fabulous. Very tall. Is that how one should wear it? You are adorable. And I am madly in love with that color. I might just have to buy a new coat to go with it.

Franklin said...

Whew. I'm glad you like it, intended recipient. You certainly don't have to wear it stretched to full height, no. I discovered that if you smoosh it down it still looks fine.

And no, Felicia, no tattoo. I'm still dithering about that. I will probably never go further than henna, not at this rate...

sep said...

that adorable picture is going to be my desktop from now on! thanks a million, honey!

Lee Ann said...

I am so not hiding my kid. Get real. You're too cute. And my kid is going to want one, you realise. One of the hat. Maybe one of you, too, but that is a knitting feat I am most certain I cannot accomplish. There is only one Franklin, and he's not *that* unravelable...

Yes, that is indeed a toque, but with a fabulous top, unlike the dorky toques you see around here in the dead of winter. Susan is a lucky sister :-)

dragon knitter said...

love the hat. love the post. love tricky's comment. boy, is this a love fest or what? that is a gorgeous color. i'm sure sis will love it!

obscure said...

Love the way your yarn choice shows off the pattern--delicious color, too! And as for the model...

goblinbox said...

Love the hem!

JoVE said...

That is a mighty fine toque. Most don't have such elegant flat tops.

And those of us in cold climates don't always worry about how fashionable we look on the grounds that frostbitten ears are never fashionable.

Sahara said...

Fierce Toque, Franklin! And in deep red, no less. great use of the spiral decreases at the top. You did the patron saint of all knitters proud.

With that hat, Susan will light up Maine. And the best part is when she can tell people her BROTHER made it.

You GO, boy!

birdfarm said...

"I have a secret - come closer, my pretty" is exactly what Franklin used to say all the time in college. Really.

Ok, not really. But he did sing "I feel pretty" once. That I know of.

joyce said...

i plant to try this! i was searching for a real pic of the pill box hat and finally found one!
thx!

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Well, what can I say? I think you are dong an important work throughout the blog 'cos there are to many informations that have been working for us, and you know what, I would like to meet Mrs. Swansen, does she has a my-space profile?

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