Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Doing Things the Hard Way

Problem: cold ears when walking the dogs. Solution: knitted headband. Simple, right?

First, choose a pattern. None in the books I own. The ones I find online are too complicated (short rows, lace). Have to make up a pattern.

Since I want something simple, I decide on a simple stockinette headband with a lining. I don't know how to doubleknit, so I'll have to attach a lining. But how?

Elizabeth Zimmerman to the rescue. I use her instructions for creating a knitted hem, since that's essentially what a lining is.

So: measure head, establish gauge, subtract 2 inches for negative ease, cast on 60 stitches of the bulky yarn. Knit 18 rows. Bind off.

Following Zimmerman, knit into back loop of cast-on edge with my lining yarn, knit a round, decrease periodically to cut number of stitches by 10 percent, knit about half the lining and realize I don't know how to attach the lining to the top edge. Stop.

Turn headband over, knit a second "hem" the same way except attach it to the bound-off edge. Knit the other half of the lining.

Now, kitchener-stitch the two hems together in the middle. That's one heck of a long length to graft, and I don't think I'll ever forget how to do the kitchener stitch.

What works: the headband is stretchy and comfortable. The edges are reasonably neat.

What doesn't: The top and bottom edges aren't identical, probably because my long-tail cast-on doesn't exactly match the standard bind-off. (What does? The cable cast-on?)

There's also a messy little area joining the beginning and end of the kitchener graft, since I was working in a circle. I'm not sure how to do that.

Finally, I've never been happy with the way I join a piece of circular knitting, both at cast-on and bind-off. There's always a visible jog.

I might try it again, this time creating a completely separate lining and using crochet to attach it to the headband at the top and bottom edges.

Or maybe I'll use a provisional cast-on and, instead of binding off, just continue knitting the lining with a different color, then kitchener-stitch it to the live stitches.

Or learn how to double-knit.


Anonymous said...

Ouch! forget I ever suggested double-knit mittens!

Vicki Jean said...

This isn't a bad tutorial:
and knittygritty, if you can stand that show, has an episode on double knitting.