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Harper.



Not wanting to spread unnecessary negativity I'm first going to briefly write a happy-joy version about this hat, giving you the option of skipping all the annoyance and foul mood this pattern caused me later on in this text.

I really like how this hat (eventually) turned out. It is exactly what I was looking for: minimalistic, light-weight and impossibly soft (thanks to the Lamana Cusco which feels like hugging a kitten). It's certainly not thick enough to brave the winter chills, but I'm embracing the capsule wardrobe ideology and knitting for the season at hand, and the hat is perfect for this time of the year: when you can almost pretend it's summer in a sunny and windless spot, but around the corner the cold can still take you by surprise.

Before I started to focus more on my wardrobe and concentrating on knitting things that I really love to wear, all my hats were of bright colors so it's now nice to have a simple and neutral colored cap to go with everything. I also like how versatile it is: you can either wear it as an easy going slouch or a cute little beanie with the brim doubled up.

The use of two different yarns and twisted stitches make an interesting texture and I think the hat has the timelessness and classic features of something that could have been bought in a high end fashion store. Even with it's simplicity it surely doesn't look like a DIY project.  



Pattern:  Harper by Julie Hoover
Yarns: Lamana Cusco #00 natur wool white,
Novita Victoria (from my mum's stash)
Needles: 3.5mm

Stop reading now if you don't want to read me complaining.
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This is the first time I'm disappointed with a Brooklyn Tweed pattern.

First of all: I find the pricing of this hat a bit outrageous. I think all the BT patterns are slightly overpriced but usually gladly pay the few extra euros because the patterns are very well executed, the designs great and I usually learn some new piece of technique from them. But for a hat pattern costing over 8 euros I would have expected a little more than what is basically nothing else than twisted ribbing in two colors.

I wanted to knit something simple, with a great texture, and I thought I found the perfect pattern. I was really curious about the texture that was described as having "a woven effect". I think they have deliberately left out a close-up photo of the texture so that you wouldn't figure out how easy it actually is.


If you can summarize the whole pattern into just two-color striped hat in twisted ribbing with a tubular cast on and with the gauge and needle sizes listed on the pattern page, I don't think the effort of figuring out the number of stitches to cast on or how to decrease at the top is really worth 8 euros. I feel bad about spoiling that much of the pattern for you but to be honest, it's all said right there on the pattern page on Ravelry so the only things you really are paying for is the stitch count and crown shaping.

Even though the price vs. the technical merits of the pattern didn't quite add up in my opinion, all this could've been forgiven and forgotten had it not been for the fact that the pattern does not even work. I know I made a mistake not making a swatch but my knitting "hand writing" usually matches the BT gauge really closely. I should have made one though: that would have confirmed my doubts about the combination of fingering weight yarn, size 5.0mm needles and twisted stitches. As you might suspect the end result is like a net and however lightweight the cap is supposed to be I'm convinced that a hair net is not the intention.

Feeling stupid and like I'd missed a crucial piece of information I looked and looked, read and re-read for the hidden phrase "hold the yarn double" but it does not exist. According to the pattern you really are supposed to knit twisted ribbing with fingering weight yarn and size 5.0mm needles. I regret that I didn't take a photo of the net-like fabric before ripping it all apart.

My first attempt at knitting the hat was with sport-weight DROPS Baby Alpaca Silk with a similar color scheme as the hat I ended up knitting. When it didn't work I changed to DK weight yarn and started again from the beginning. I quickly noticed that even this wouldn't do the trick if I didn't also go down in needle sizes.


Third time around I couldn't bring myself to do the tubular cast on yet again so I skipped it and started with a long-tail CO, my trusted friend. I started with 3.5mm needles with the plan of changing to something bigger a little further along, but I thought the gauge was perfect with that needle size so I decided to stick with it until the end. If I'm to knit this again, I would start with 3.0mm needles to get a tighter brim and then change for the 3.5mms for the body.

In the end the hat works and I'm really happy about it. I'm just a bit sour after having to modify the pattern so heavily to get the end result I was looking for.
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The short version of my modifications for the pattern: 
  • long-tail CO instead of tubular CO
  • DK weight yarn instead of fingering weight
  • knitting the whole thing with 3.5mm needles, and not changing for anything bigger at any point
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P.S. P-tbl stitches are a pain in the a** to knit. They do get more meditative the further you knit, but never to a point where you could call them "a joy".



Comments

  1. Kiva, että lopputulos oli mieleinen. Heheh, osataanpa siinä ottaa hinta ihan perusmallista. Luulenpa, että jostakin löytyy jo ennestään ihan ilmainen ohje samanlaiseen pipoon.

    BT:n ohjeissa harrastetaan tätä tubular-luontia. Tarpeettomasti. Erityisen joustavaa reunaa ei tarvitse, ellei ole erikoisen kapea pääntie tai helmaresori, tai vastaava, jossa resori asettuu paljon kapeampaan kohtaan kuin se mitä siitä on ensin vietävä läpi, vrt. kaula - pää. Pipon alareuna harvemmin kinnaa (no ehkä joku iso kampaus voisi olla leveämpi kuin päänympärys, mutta silloin pipokin olisi ylhäältä leveämpi kuin alareunasta). Tavallinen, joustava luonti riittää, ja on makuasia, mikä tapa on mukavamman näköinen. Käyttäisin itsekin mieluummin ihan tavallista (long-tail) luomista.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joo olen huomannut tuon ihan saman tubular-luonnin liikakäytön. Joskus se antaa ihan kivan säväyksen resorin reunaan mutta yleensä se on mielestäni vain turhaa hifistelyä. Tässä tapauksessa tuntui pakolliselle lisälle jotta saataisiin jotain substanssia muuten liian yksinkertaiseen ohjeeseen.

      Delete
  2. I really appreciate you being so honest about the pattern- we need more people to say things like that! While I completely understand that we all want to be supportive, BT patterns are very expensive, and it's disappointing to pay so much for something really basic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't have complained had the pattern actually worked like it was supposed to. Being an experienced knitter I knew how to fix the mistakes, but if I had bought this when I was only starting out it would have made me really disappointed. There's nothing wrong with simple designs - not everything needs to be rocket science - but if the pattern is this basic I think it should also be written fool proof.

      Delete

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