Category Archives: Wadders

Letting Go

The inlaws are visiting next weekend.

Actually, that opening sentence with a full paragraph of its own is more there for comedic effect than an indication of any actual trepidation. I like my inlaws a lot and am really looking forward to spending some time with them because we don’t get to see them nearly as much as we do my parents.

However the sleeping arrangements that their visit will necessitate do mean that Jonathan and I are spending this weekend having something of a blitz on the house, of the deep-clean and proper sort-out variety (rather than the “ah, that lot can go into a pile for now” variety that happens most of the rest of the time).

All of this is a rather convoluted way to say that I discovered my second knitting project ever, my Fae Folk Hat amongst the pile of textiles in our bedroom.

Now let me say first that I loved this pattern when I started it, and I still do. It’s a quirky hat, designed for all sizes from newborn to adult, and all of the finished projects that I’ve seen strike that wonderful balance between whimsicality and practicality. Below is Carina Spencer’s project photo for her adult version, and, well, how could you not fall in love?

Photo from Ravelry

The problem is that when I knitted it, it was my second ever knitted thing. I used Artesano Aran in two shades – Sunset and Maple – and calculated the lengths exactly so that I’d end up with a perfectly mathematical, visually random striping effect leading from a predominance of Maple at the bottom to Sunset at the top. I also decided that as cute as the pixie crown was, I was a grown woman and might possibly be better with a standard rounded top to my hat.

I hadn’t realised that yarn requirements are often overestimated, so the colours didn’t work out as intended. I was a bit of a twit newbie knitter and didn’t add evenly worked height into the hat where I’d taken out the decrease rows for the pixie crown. My ribbing sagged out (what can you say, it’s alpaca…) and I ended up with prominent gaps at the stitch markers.

It doesn’t even fit onto my head properly, so wouldn’t keep me very warm without constant tugging down over the ears. In the long term, I am very loathe to call this hat a success.

IMG_6537 (600 x 450) IMG_6539 (600 x 450) IMG_6540 (600 x 450)

I am placing these shots here for posterity, and I am going to be brave. I am going to place my second ever knitted FO into the rag bag for the charity shop*.

All of that said? I’d really like to knit the pattern again at some point, ‘cos it is friggin’ cute.


*Charity shops in the UK can get £5 per bag of textile waste that goes to recycling.



Warning: blurry and wonky self-taken shots coming up

You know when you really really want something to work? And you know it’s not going to, but you keep trying anyway?


So, I’ve been making BWOF 03-2012-121 out of a beautifully soft poly knit remnant that I got at Abakhans, not this time but the last. I knew there wasn’t much of it but I didn’t realise quite how little until I got it home – about 85cm. But seeing as I can get a long-sleeved torso-length t-shirt out of 1m (just), I figured I’d be all right with a cropped cardigan, omitting the ties and just doing two simple rectangular panels for the midriff section.

I did my normal FBA, added my normal half inch above the bust in length, made a size 40 rather than a 38 so I could wear it as a cardigan…

IMG_6422 (450 x 600)

Admittedly I’m wearing it there with my sports bra while my normal ones are in the wash but still…

IMG_6424 (450 x 600)

…just no.

If I were feeling really conscientious, I’d finish it off and then offer it to someone else. You’re not imagining it – the midriff pieces do still need attaching. My mother-in-law is 5’2″ – alternatively I have a 5’5″ and skinny friend who is always hinting that she’d like something.

I’d hesitate to blame the pattern. It’s not Burda’s fault and I would like to try it again because I think it’s got some really great bones. I will just remember to add in plenty of length next time and to start with a bigger piece of fabric.

Do you like the skirt, by the way? I LOVE it. It’s self-made, unblogged, and is Simplicity 2608, alas now OOP I believe. Best pattern ever.