DIY Cable Knit Hat + A Few Novice Tips on Knitting in the Round

If you look closely you'll see a whole myriad of mistakes I've made. Nevermind that. I actually firmly hold that I like the mistakes—they're personal and I think that's nice.

I saw this pattern (not the project shown) on Pinterest and I loved it. Trouble is, I have zero experience knitting in the Portuguese style. I'm a little rusty on knitting overall. On top of that I'm really not great at knitting in the round.

That didn't stop me from buying two pairs of circular needles, a whole heap of yarn, and breakfast and lunch with my old knitting friend. Whatever qualities I lack, I do indeed, persist. 

So, I got started right away on my new two-color hat and realized the yarn was to big and the pattern was a little too complicated for my experience and I'm not great at the knitting in the round thing. And, oh yeah, I'd never tried knitting the Portuguese way before—all while trying to hold a conversation and drink one coffee and one tea, because I'm painfully indecisive. I figured I could tackle one of these knitting related issues but definitely not all four. So having my heart set on a hat, I decided to first learn the technique with a pattern I thought I could manage. I chose this one. I didn't follow it exactly, you can probably tell, but I do love it and have been wearing it everywhere.

 

So since it's not my pattern to share, I'll share what I did different from the pattern and what new skills I learned. The original is like $3, you'll manage.

Here's the pattern I used:

Here's what I learned:

  • Knitting in the round isn't so bad. The first row is the worst part for me anyways. Make sure you knit the whole thing in a circle, this is most important on the first round.
  • Again on the first round, make sure none of your stitches are twisted because you wont be able to fix it later. Just keep all the stitches facing the same way. I keep all of mine facing inward. As in towards the inside of the circle.
  • In the beginning what I do is split the stitches about half way through and pull the slack of the plastic part through to meet up the two different ends. This can help you see the whole thing as you're just getting started. Plus you'll need to do this anyways to make sure both needles meet.
  • The Portuguese-style is very similar, if not the same as the process of flicking, which turns out to be great for lefties, good news for me. The Portuguese way purls the whole way through keeping the back, or the wrong side, of the project facing the knitter the whole time. It's not so bad once you're used to it, plus you don't have to drop the needles each time.
  • The yarn I used was Big Twist Yarns Chunky in the color Gingerbread.
  • To learn to cable-knit I watched this video. This one is a six stitch cable. It's not as difficult as it looks. I actually was using incense sticks to slide the yarn off to. I'd recommend getting a proper cabling needle.
  • I used the same circular needle in size six for the whole project. The original pattern calls for two different sizes. I didn't do that, but you can see in the original pattern how the size changes and creates a bulkier effect around the band.

The Artist's Way: Week 11

I've been thinking a lot about age. I do every year. So much importance is placed on birthdays, starting early in life. So much so, that I found myself adopting this mentality of you can't do this until this age. Then you have to stop doing things at a certain age. Every generation seems to have their unwritten rules based on ages, gender, and socioeconomic status, and the list goes on. (It goes on, and it gets worse and worse.)

My grandma is firm in her belief that all women over 25 should cut their hair above shoulder-length. While I laugh every time, this idea is based in logic for her—not fully aware that not all of us grew up on a farm in a German colony in Missouri in the early 20th century. So...

The flawed thinking of generations gone by is always obvious, but the ones firmly planted within us take some digging, inspecting, and sometimes, discomfort. This is kind of where I'm at. Some skills I didn't develop until my mid-twenties are very much alive and well for me. Same with some skills I learned in childhood, yet I keep waiting for the day that I'll be too old to do them.

Reading The Artist's Way is slowly teaching me that sometimes, life just is what it is. You don't have to justify your station or play your role. You can just live and love what you love. And while things change within you, I'd argue we are who we are, for life. At least those things that get us out of bed in the morning. Those tend to remain. Passions remain the same, is what I might be trying to say.

This reminds me that my pineapples have definitely, definitely been getting too much water. I've chilled out on them quite a bit but they look a lot healthier. But still it'll take time.

Anything worth developing fully will take a certain amount of time.

This week's chapter is about autonomy, which I am learning I have mixed feelings about. I'm definitely torn on the dependence/independence issue. I love the approval, but also know I shouldn't need it. I've also grown a little dependent on it. So on and so forth. Since the early days of this blog I've gotten to be in magazines, and digital publications and even worked for a few. It's amazing and I'm grateful, but it's always a temporary fix—needing that outside validation that is. Validation not to be confused with wanting to contribute and be part of a community. I'm proud to be part of the maker community, but a publication shouldn't have to have a certain readership to get my attention. 

"You are lost the instant you know what the result will be." Juan Gris

Why is this so true? Earlier in this book there was a quote about how all the work you put in adds up to something. Although, the payoff is hardly ever linear. I'm learning this more and more, and also learning to trust there is not just one way for things to work out, or to work well, or to make you happy.

Exhibit A, I was knitting today and thought it might be cute to start an Etsy store, and then quickly realized how much work that would be, and how I don't want to have to knit on cue, and how sometimes when I'm knitting I'm a little careless—which I don't think lends itself to professionalism. All of this to point out that my time invested in knitting wont necessarily lead to a career, but I'm pretty settled into the fact that it'll lead me into something. I don't really think any time or talent is ever fully wasted. Sometimes it's just a warm-up for other things.

I think that's what I've most learned from autonomy, just do it to do it. Not because someday you'll turn a profit off of it, or be well known, or have a studio named after you. Do it because you can. Do it because there's no age limit.