You know what's nice about having a relatively small yarn stash and limited needles? It makes me stick to a plan! I last posted the knitting queue I intended to follow after my jaw surgery and I've been a good little knitter and have done exactly what I said I would.
I spent the first week and a half working on my Atlantic Cowl and finished it before moving on. (I haven't taken "proper" photos of it yet because my face is still swollen and I'm too self-conscious to put that out there but, you can see my notes and a folded photo on Ravelry.)
Next, I continued working on the beret I shared in my last WIP post. I finished it a few days ago and wore it during the my next venture out. Luckily, since it sits on the back of my head, photos weren't a problem :P
So, right, details:
This is my first Alana Dakos pattern and I have to say, I'm impressed. Mind you, I've really only worked with free patterns previously but, this one was so clear and easy to follow. Being a beginner, some of the stitches were new to me but, they were all well explained and it was so fun watching what they created. The ssk really tickled me, I'll admit. I'd done ktog before but, not ssk and didn't see the connection by just doing it. Then, I enjoyed watching the two stitches form opposite sides of the design as I went along. The design itself is so pretty, somewhat dainty and lacy without being too delicate. And since there are no cables, it makes a good and rewarding challenge for a newbie knitter (just watch those yarn overs - I dropped 4).
I did make one change to the original pattern, both to make it easier and for personal preference - I omitted the bobbles and simply replaced each of them with k1 which worked perfectly. I thought about replacing the bobble-looking i-cord at the end too but, decided it would look more finished than a hole at the top and it was a good opportunity to learn something new. Fortunately, it's an easy way to finish a hat and I do like it.
I should also note, the hat is unblocked in all of these photos. I didn't get a change to block it before Brandon saw it and he liked the texture of the natural finish. I may block it someday to show off the design a little better but, for now, I like it as is.
The yarn is a nice Egyptian cotton dk by Sublime Yarns, which I picked up during that store closing sale last month. It was a bit large for the pattern but, I was eagar to start the project (this was the only pattern I bought during that sale and it was all too tempting). I think the dk worked out fine enough because 1. it's a beret so perfect gauge isn't important and 2. I'm a tight knitter so that generally makes my gauge a bit small anyway (though I didn't swatch for this one). Ignoring gauge, I'd say the yarn was a nice choice for this pattern. It's so smooth and has such a lovely sheen which keeps it from looking "cheap" and shows off all of the stitches. It is a bit heavy but, I expect that's normal of choosing cotton over wool and it still wears very well.
Now, to continue my "good-knitter" streak, I'm working on Thicket, from Alana's new book Botanical Knits 2, just as I planned.
What are you working? Do you have a favorite knitting pattern designer? Do you always block your projects? (Should I?)
Happy stitching! x