Finished: A Monkey Bread for Mom

When I finished my Monkey Bread Hat back in 2012 (wow–was it that long ago!?), my mom almost immediately wanted one for herself. It took some time–first to find yarn she liked, then, shamefully for me to get started. And it was a chore to get past the start. I had trouble with the ribbed brim, and had to rip out and restart twice–first because it was just too tight all around, second because while the ribbing was fine, the cast one was still too tight. And this was not a nice yarn for ripping (or tinking, for that matter) back; the mohair just wants to stick together all the time. But finally I managed forward motion, even finishing before the worst of winter hit. My mom’s been wearing it ever since, but I did manage to snap a finished picture.

Monkey Bread Hat in red mink/mohair/cashmere
Pattern: Monkey Bread Hat by Anne Hanson
Yarn: The Cashmere Co-op Mink Haze, 80% Mink 15% Mohair 5% Cashmere, Colorway “Vampire” (1 skein, discontinued)
Needles: US 5 (3 75 mm)

Modifications: Ah yes. I nearly forgot–I finished this hat twice. The first time, I followed the pattern for the small size faithfully. No good – while the brim was perfect (after the third try), it was overall too short. I did a quick test row to determine how many rows I could add on with the yarn I had left and then ripped back to before the decreases. I didn’t have quite enough yarn for a full additional pattern repeat, as with the large size, so I had to take one row out of each section (in between the cables). I also didn’t want to rip more than I absolutely had to, so rather than going back to the first cable and flipping its direction so that I could just follow the charts for the rest, I had to mentally flip all the remaining charts after the first two cables. But I think it worked out perfectly fine. My mom’s very happy with her new hat, and I’m vowing to stay away from mohair for anything fitted!

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Finished: Les Abeilles

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a finished knit around here! Glancing back through past posts, I’ve really fallen behind where I used to be in knitting productivity. Thank goodness I started going to knit night; it’s been a great help in keeping me moving forward–even to finishing up those final little details like weaving in ends. The light is so good there that I don’t have the excuse of needing to wait for later (weekend daytime).
Of course, even with knit night, it’s been a looooong process to finish–finally–les Abeilles:

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I had it nearly finished over a year ago, but nearing the final stitches I realized that it was much smaller than the pattern states. Rip! The second time around, I actually checked my gauge (good), knit off-and-on, and was just about to break the yarn for the grafting of the last few stitches (at the center neck) when I realized the count was off. One too many stitches on one half of the shawl. The others at knit night tried to talk me into fudging the finish–especially as it took some time to find just where, exactly, the mistake had happened.

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Can you see it? It’s tricky. But there on the edge I had inadvertently added two rows to one repeat of the edging. Whoops!

At knit night I did fudge. Knit two together, make the count work…and didn’t break the yarn. Not just yet; switch to the other project.

I let it sit a few days and finally decided I couldn’t live with the mistake I knew about. Rip back again. At least this time, I only had to go partway. And once that decision was made, it was a quick ways to the end. I wove in the ends at knit night (Okay, I’m now saving weaving in of ends for knit night. The light’s just so bright.), and blocked the shawl the following weekend. (Turns out, the incentive of showing off a finished object at knit night gets me to block more quickly. Why didn’t I start going earlier?)

So despite all the drama, I’m very happy to have this little shawl finished. It’s still a bit smaller than the pattern size, but it was suggested that this was due to yarn variations–the pattern was knit in a slipperier yarn, which allowed the shawl to stretch more. But, I’m done, I’m happy, and now I have another little neck scarf for when the weather isn’t too cold.

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Pattern: les Abeilles by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Knitting Notions Classic Merino Bamboo, Colorway “Ironstone” (1 skein)
Needles: US 3 (3 25 mm)