There are ways to keep the edges of your knitting from rolling, but sometimes you just need to relax and go with it. And this is totally one of those times.
What do you guys think? Do you like rolled edges? Or do they bug you?
So instagram seems to be a place that starts all sorts of fun discussions. I posted a blocking picture of a cowl the other day, and that turned into a post about blocking cowls. Now the same thing has happened again with a picture of a hat. I mentioned how important I thought blocking was, yes even for hats, and some folks asked just how you block a hat, so I thought I’d share. But first, how about a little reminder of just why it matters.
Now I admit, I am lucky enough to have an assortment of vintage hat forms I use for blocking. What can I say, my job leads me to collect a whole array of odd things. But I totally understand that this may be a somewhat unrealistic purchase if you don’t spend an awful lot of time showing off hats. But I suspect you have something around the house you can use.
First choice is probably a mixing bowl. The blog archives offer photogenic proof of many mixing bowls used as blocking aids in my pre-hat form days. I also know I’ve used an ice bucket (we were in a hotel, my options were limited) and even a vase. Go raid your kitchen. You’ve probably got something that will work.
If you want something a bit more adjustable, you can also use a balloon. This is a good approach because you can blow it up to match the size of the head of the person who will wear the hat (do yourself a favor and measure, it’s surprisingly hard to eyeball that). If you’re going to go this route, look for the thickest balloons you can find (like the ones they sell as punch balloon toys). They’ll stand up to the wet hat just fine, and they’ll last for quite a while.
If you don’t mind something you need to store, you can also get styrofoam mannequin heads. They’re meant to hold wigs, but they make great hat blockers (and they’re shockingly cheap too, like five bucks). They do tend to run a little small (though I totally have a big head and so could be biased). So I’d recommend considering the guy version for blocking most hats and the girl version only for blocking kids’ or small adult’s hats.
And of course, if you find you just can’t live without one, you can totally track down vintage hat forms on either etsy or ebay. I use mine enough it’s totally worth it (and they look cute on the shelf when I’m not using them).
But regardless of how you do it (even if it’s just patting it out flat and letting it dry), please please please block your hats. All your lovely knitting will be shown off to much better effect if you do!
Oh, and because someone will ask, the top center hat is Pelagic. The blue ones are Carom. The others aren’t out yet, but the white ones should be out in November, the gray and pink one in December, and the gray and yellow one some time early next year. They’ll all be over here when they are (in case you’re coming to this later), and if you want me to let you know when they (and other patterns) come you, you can make that happen over here.
Yeah…so it is supposed to be a baby hat (that’s a lie, it’s sized to be a toddler/child hat, because I don’t like anyone enough to knit something they’ll grow out of in five minutes). But if it were a few inches bigger around and an inch or two taller? I’d totally rock that hat myself!
I suspect you might already know this, but I have a thing for sets. I can’t help it. As soon as I finish a piece I start wondering ‘and what would happen if I just wiggled this little bit over here?’ Then all of a sudden there’s another variation on the needles. That’s totally what happened with Carom, and I’m so happy to have the pattern back out!The first hat uses a bigger, lacier version of the stitch pattern. It’s lovely and swooshy and just a bit dramatic.
And the crown of each looks absolutely smashing (there’s really no excuse for boring crowns…life is too short for that). You’ve totally got time to whip one of these out before cool weather really sets in. I used Chubbie by Vice Yarns (one of my absolute favorite yarns, if your LYS doesn’t carry it do yourself a favor and ask them to start). I’ve got a skein to give away (mine is in a beautiful mix of autumn colors that will make the most fabulous fall hat you can imagine). If you’d like a chance to win, just leave a comment telling me how you feel about having a few variations of a project in a pattern. The more the merrier? Or does it make it too hard to decide where to start? There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know what you like!
And while I can’t quite manage to send yarn to everyone, I can give everyone a discount. You can use the code VARIATIONS to get a dollar the price between now and Friday. Just put Carom in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code VARIATIONS. You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.
Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, September 23, 2016 will be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way. Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner). If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.
Knitting is not generally an instant gratification sort of pursuit. I mean sure, there’s the thrill of casting on and the satisfaction of finishing a row or a pattern repeat. But to actually have a finished object, you’re generally going to have to put in the time.