Yarn - Patons Classic Wool DK Superwash using pumpkin, mallard teal, apple green, aran and eggplant
Needles - 4mm and 4.5mm
Way back in January when I decided I was going to knit my way through all the patterns in The Next Steps Eight Fair Isle Knitting pattern book my initial excitement was because of the patterns themselves; but once I sat down and really read through the pattern book I discovered how wonderfully it was laid out. Not only do the patterns start out very simple and progress in difficulty as you follow the book you learn how to knit fair isle on circular needles, straight needles and double pointed needles. All my previous fair isle knitting had always been done in the round on a circular needle so this was an exciting chance to expand my knitting horizons and try something different.
You can see my first attempt at knitting fair isle on straight needles here.
One of the "rules" that I set for myself when knitting these projects was to knit using the method the pattern called for. In this case it was in the round with double pointed needles. As you can see in the picture below I cast on and started the pattern using the called for dpn's but that was about as far as I got.
Not long after this picture was taken I realized that this was also the first hat I had ever knit completely on dpn's and you know what.......I really was not having any fun knitting with the dpn's and I have no idea why. I love knitting socks on dpn's and I know that some hat Knitters (yes, Rose I am thinking of you!) only do hats on dpn's. But, for me, hat knitting and dpn's just didn't click. So, after thinking about it for a while I decided that I had given dpn's a try, had followed the instructions and had gotten the hang of how to carry the yarns where the old and new needles meet and that I wanted to enjoy knitting the rest of the hat. So I switched to a 16" circular needle and I was immediately a happy Knitter! My advice to you is to be open to trying a new technique but in the end choose what you enjoy the most.
Once I was happily knitting along on my circular needle the hat was finished in no time. The chart was easy to follow, most rows were easily memorized and the colours changed often enough that you didn't have to worry about carrying the non working yarn across your work. This really was a quick fun knit (once I got my needles sorted out!) and then it was time to deal with the unavoidable tail ends that result from multi colour knitting.
It looks like a lot of ends to deal with and it is but it really doesn't take that long to weave them all in
and the finished hat is well worth the time and effort.
If you have been reading this blog for anytime at all I am sure that it didn't take you long to figure out that I am the biggest Patons Classic Wool fan :) This hat was knit in the DK superwash version of Classic Wool and it was wonderful to knit with. If you haven't tried it yet and have been thinking about it the Patons website is offering free shipping on orders over $40 right now.....it is very tempting!!