Back in August I purchased this lovely skein of Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback (their sport weight base) in one of my favorite all time colorways (and colorway names): Jazzercise Leggings.
This wasn’t just stash enhancement. I bought this yarn with a purpose — to make a super brightly colored hat for those really gray, dreary days we have here in Chicago as the seasons change. I was thinking of making a simple Sockhead Hat, casting on fewer stitches because this is sport weight yarn and that pattern calls for fingering weight yarn. But then I decided to look for a pattern that actually calls for sport weight yarn. Besides, I’ve already made two Sockhead Hats, and while they are easy and fun, I wanted to do something different. And I found one!
Pattern: Fractured Light (Hat) by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback in Jazzercize Leggings, 0.59 skein
Needles: US 4
Date started: September 1, 2014
Date completed: September 27, 2014
The Fractured Light pattern is a free pattern on Knitty.com. I saw some FOs on Ravelry made with highly variegated yarn, and it still looked great, so I thought I would give it a try. I love how it turned out. There isn’t any pooling until the very top (which isn’t visible in the photo) where the decreases start. I love how this turned out. I get compliments on it whenever I wear it. I love it!
I actually finished the hat on September 8, but as you can see above I didn’t really complete it until much later. The hat used almost 60% of the skein, so I still had a fair amount of yarn left. The Fractured Light pattern is really for two things: the hat plus a pair of fingerless mitts. Since I had so much yarn left, but not enough to make another hat, I decided to take a shot on the fingerless mitts. Thus, I waited until I knew for sure I was going to make and keep the fingerless mitts so I would know how many buttons I needed to purchase.
Pattern: Fractured Light (Mittens) by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback in Jazzercize Leggings, 0.41 skein
Needles: US 4
Date started: September 18, 2014
Date completed: September 27, 2014
When I finished the first mitt I weight the amount of yarn I had left to determine whether or not I had enough yarn to make both. Sure enough, the yarn I had left was the same weight as the first mitt.
The game of yarn chicken was on!!
As I was working on the second mitt I realized I made an error on the first mitt. Once all of the thumb gusset increases are completed, you are supposed to knit a few more rows before separating the thumb stitches from the hand stitches. I didn’t do those extra rows — not on purpose, but I guess I just didn’t read the pattern right. I debated whether I should rip back the first one to put those rows in, or make the second one like the first one. Given that I was already playing yarn chicken, I decided to make the second one like the first one.
I know that if I had followed the pattern correctly I would not have had enough yarn to make both mitts. Here is what I had left after making both mitts.
There was also a lot more pooling on the mitts than on the hat. I don’t mind pooling as it’s a way to tell something is handmade… to a point. I’ve seen pooling I haven’t been okay with before, but I like how these look. If I really didn’t like it I would have changed needle sizes to see if I could make it go away.
So, onto the buttons. I had a really hard time trying to figure out what kind of buttons to use. I didn’t think brightly colored buttons matching the yarn was the way to go. I thought it would cheapen the whole look somehow. I wanted the buttons to be noticeable (otherwise why have them?) but I didn’t want them to clash or look silly. When we were at the fabric store Tim found small silver buttons in the shape of skulls with rhinestone eyes that looked really cute with the yarn, but they didn’t have enough of them. I was about to go with some plainish black buttons that I wasn’t really happy with when I found these. They are transparent and very light purple, which is great because you can see the colors of the yarn through them, and they match because there is purple in the yarn. I thought there was a good balance there.
These were the last of the FOs I finished on that day (the Vertex Cardigan and Come Along Pond socks were the others… it was a prolific day). As of that day, with all these projects added together, I have knit a total of 8,070.2 yards since the beginning of the year. I received a new sock yarn shipment right before completing these projects, bringing the total amount of purchased/acquired yarn to 8,216 yards. Doing the math, I knit 98.2% of the total yards I have acquired so far this year. When I discovered that I was thrilled to be close to even, especially since I currently have three projects on the needles so I will be back in the black soon.