Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Making Good Decisions

Last week, I wrote about a pair of mittens that I was finishing up. They’re done now!

A pair of colorful speckled hand knit mittens resting on a white background with the palm side showing.

Notice how the colors in the right-hand mitten pool more than in the left-hand mitten? It seems I was a little more tense while knitting that right-hand mitten. The fabric is just the slightest bit tighter on that mitten and it was enough to alter the color pattern. It’s a perfect example of the nature of handmade products! Those little variations prove that something was made by a person rather than by a machine.

The mittens used up almost a full skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in the colorway Electric Rainbow. I had purchased two skeins, so after I completed the mittens I had some decisions to make. Should I add the second skein to my stash? Maybe I should exchange it at the store for another colorway, or simply return it altogether and feel good about having the money back in my wallet? Or maybe I should get some solid-colored yarn and try that mitten pattern again as it was originally intended with stranded colorwork?

I had the yarn and receipt packed in my bag, ready to be returned or exchanged. However, before I had a chance to go back to the store, I decided that I liked the idea of making a hat to go with the mittens. I don’t wear hats very often, but I keep hearing that this is supposed to be a harsh winter. And those mittens aren’t going to coordinate with just any old hat.

Back view of girl wearing colorful slouchy hand knit Rikke hat with a bright blue background.

I spent a little time on Ravelry and found the free Rikke Hat pattern by Sarah Young, which has great reviews and looks very comfortable. It turned out to be a great choice. The pattern was simple and quick, and the hat is as comfortable and warm as it looks. I can’t decide whether I like this colorway better in stockinette stitch or garter stitch!

The cast-on for the hat is the German Twist method, which was new to me. It’s not too different from the standard long-tail cast-on, but it has more stretch. I think it’ll be my new go-to cast-on for a lot of projects. Here’s a Lucy Neatby video showing the German Twist cast-on:

In closing, I’ve been reading the book “Creativity, Inc.” by Ed Catmull this week. I’m about three-quarters through, and I’m really enjoying his take on managing creativity within a business environment. This line stood out to me today: “Craft is what we are expected to know; art is the unexpected use of our craft.”

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