Friday, January 23, 2009

and THAT's how you line a hat!

I have successfully lined a hat!!

Ok, let's back up to the beginning of the story. It's late August 2007. I am just moving into this apartment in Northampton with my new flatmates, Noah and Muhammad. I am knitting my first Short Row Hat by Veronik Avery for my friend Kyra. Noah loves it, and he sees how little time it's taking me. He wants one.

Noah, sadly, is allergic to wool. And not just wool: it seems that any animal fiber gets him. After about a minute of touching it, he starts itching. We tried really nice stuff... merino, alpaca, angora... no dice. He says that it feels really nice before he starts to itch. With that, we set out on a quest to find a worsted-weight non-animal yarn that has a long color change, because without the long color change, the Short Row Hat doesn't do its magical thing. Sigh.

For any of you who might wonder what the results were of such a search... it just didn't happen. We didn't find any non-animal yarns with the requisite properties. I thought of a few things, like maybe holding some self-striping sock yarn double... but it just didn't really pan out the way we'd hoped. The saddest part was when we took a trip to WEBS and searched the place high and low for our magical yarn. Noah learned some things about yarn that day. He learned that the nicest, most beautiful yarns are made of wool and not cotton, and he fell in love with a beautiful swatch of what I'm convinced is Noro Kochoran (although he's sure it was some other Noro yarn.) He loved this swatch so much that we had to visit it one last time before we left the store. It was very touching.

That's when, in desperation, I suggested that I could make a hat with wool and line it with something else. That way, Noah would get the beauty and warmth of the wool and hopefully none of the itchiness! This coincided with a very empowering series of posts on the TechKnitting blog about lining a knit hat with fleece. It was a plan. We spent some time searching the internet for the beautiful yarn that the swatch was made out of, and we came up with... well, something pretty close at least. Over the summer of 2008, I knit the hat.

Noah wasn't living with me after that, so it took awhile for us to get on top of the whole liner part of the project. I intended to go to a place very near my apartment called Valley Fabrics, but when I finally made it there, they mostly had cloth for quilting, nothing stretchy that could go inside a hat. My friend Wendell, who was more versed in the ways of sewing than I, informed me that what I wanted was "jersey", the stuff that t-shirts are made of. So I kept that in mind.

This winter break, I acquired some jersey at Hancock fabric in my hometown. I got that double-sided jersey, which is I think teeny tiny 1x1 ribbing rather than normal t-shirt stuff, which is teeny tiny stockinette. That turned out to be a good choice, because the rest of this story would have been more difficult if the fabric had a tendency to curl. Today, the first day I saw Noah after break, I wrapped the jersey around his head and stapled it to indicate how big around his head was. Then I used the shape of the knitted hat as a guide while I pinned, sewed, and trimmed the fabric to make a little hat. Finally, I pinned the jersey to the hat as per TechKnitter's instructions and used the overcast stitch to secure it on there. And voila! Hat is done, and it only took me a year and a half!

This next picture is the inside-out view.

And that's all finished except for one more step: delivery! Yay!

In other news, the recent giveaway of all my old acrylic yarn has significantly changed my Sock Marathon 2009 plans. First of all, I didn't realize that the whole thing actually starts on February 1st and ends... August 1st I think. So the Jabberwocky socks, which I'm working on right now, don't count. Also, my calculated yardage (which I don't think I shared here on this blog anyway) is different. New numbers:

My starting yardage for the marathon will be about 2.5 miles, or 4468 yards. This includes Maple Creek Farm Bamboo from Rhinebeck, Silver Moon Farm Fingering from Rhinebeck (lots of yards, that is), Araucania Ranco Multy, BMFA Socks That Rock ravens, Dream in Color Smooshy, Malabrigo Sock, 2 pairs worth of Trekking XXL, and Lana Grossa Meilenweit. All amounts are a pair's worth, except for the Silver Moon Farm, and the Trekking. Things I am not counting: anything that is not sock yarn, anything that qualifies as scraps, and the BMFA STR in Jabberwocky. I plan to have the second Jabberwocky sock done by February 1. I'm almost done, it's totally reasonable. My resolution is still to have the same amount of sock stash or less by the time the end of this marathon rolls around.

In truth, I'm chomping at the bit. My plan is to cast on for Jeanie with the Silver Moon Farm stuff as soon as the clock strikes February.

P.S. I gave the Anemois to their owner today. Yay!


Blogger Mira said...

That's a really nice job lining that hat.

9:56 AM  
Blogger cme said...

Congrats on the hat!

Jeanie is fun. I should work on mine some more. I think I am going to string beads for the cables across the ends.

11:20 PM  
Blogger sanda said...

Me,too. Polyester fleece is now bothering me,too. I have a helmet made from recycled silk that itches and will use your idea to hand sew a lining. Had been wearing an acrylic knit hat under the helmet, but it started to itch,too.
My mother was a great knitter and very sad that I was allergic to wool on my scalp, ears, etc. as a child.
I have returned to being very skin sensitive in my senior years.

12:56 PM  

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