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Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The wonder of Woolies...




I start with an apology!  I cannot think what possessed me to take a photo of a cream hat against a cream background.  I can only blame light deprivation affecting my brain.  It is nearly midday here and we haven't yet achieved full daylight.  

My daughter asked for a bobble hat.  In fact, she has been asking for a bobble hat for 3 years so she must really want one.  She loves vintage clothes and I chose this hat for its retro look.  You can find the pattern here.  

I decided to put some effort into learning the long tail tubular cast on method that is recommended by the pattern's author.  It took me 4 attempts and a good hour to cast on 88 stitches.  The aim is to create a very stretchy cast on that is almost invisible.  I was in two minds about it at first because I am used to a solid cast on edge and I thought this looked messy.  But it works well when stretched to head size.  It doesn't grip the head too tightly and is soft and comfortable.  After casting on, the rest of the hat was a breeze to knit. You could use a different cast on method so long as it is not too tight.

My daughter requested cream or white which was lucky as I already had a 400g ball of cream Aran yarn. I know I didn't buy this yarn new so it must have come to me either as a donation or a bargain find.  The brand is Woolworths Aran With Wool. Some UK blog readers might remember the jingle "that's the wonder of Woolies" which sadly didn't do anything to stop the shop going bankrupt!  I think this yarn is at least 30 years old as there is no barcode on the label.  I am always happy to make something useful from unloved yarn.

The exact composition is 80% acrylic and 20% wool.  The quality is not brilliant as the wool does not seem to be woven evenly though the acrylic.  However, a light steaming with my iron soon improved things.  Importantly, it is a machine washable yarn.  My daughter will probably throw this hat into a washing machine regardless of instructions.

I am stupidly proud of the pom-pom.  I bought a special pom-pom making gadget and watched some online tutorials.  Pom-poms use up a lot of yarn and I didn't want to waste any.  Most of the tutorials said it was necessary to wrap the plastic arcs 3 or 4 times.  But one tutorial advised wrapping until the arcs were very full.  I followed that advice and ended up wrapping each arc 15 times.  Three or four wraps would only work on the tiniest of pom-pom gadgets.  (This will all be gobbledygook to anyone who hasn't used a pom-pom making gadget.)  I was chuffed when my very first attempt produced a lovely, dense pom-pom that needed almost no trimming.

This adult size hat, including pom-pom, weighs just under 100g.  That means I have plenty of yarn left to make a matching scarf.  Whether I have enough time left before it needs to be wrapped up for Christmas is questionable.  Whether the pom-pom will survive washing is also questionable, though I did tie it VERY securely.  But I am going to think positive thoughts.  My daughter will definitely like and wear this hat.


9 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

Lovely. Your long tail tubular looks different than my standard long tail. I'm off to look it up.

kristieinbc said...

I think the picture of the hat actually worked out quite well. Those pom-pom makers are brilliant. I ordered several different sized makers last year and was very impressed with how the pom-poms turned out. So much better than the ones I have made by wrapping yarn around my hand. Great vintage hat!

Una said...

Hello Joanne. Here is the online tutorial that I found the most helpful
http://ysolda.com/blog/2014/2/6/technique-thursday-long-tail-tubular-cast-on

Una said...

I think making pom-poms could become addictive. I have many scraps that are just the right size for the smaller ones.

Mereknits said...

I think the hat is prefect and she will be thrilled to have it, and I might add the pom pom is brilliant.
Hugs,
Meredith

Lucy Bowen said...

The hat looks fab. I was sceptical about the pom pom makers after years of using 2 pieces of cardboard!! Now I have all the sizes and love them. I agree, 4/5 wraps would never be enough!!

Amy at love made my home said...

It is great and a good use of that yarn! Gosh, something that doesn't have a bar code, you don't see much of that nowadays do you! Well done on the pom pom making, I made some recently and mine were very shaggy around the edges, I am hoping for a gadget for Christmas! xx

linda said...

It's a great hat Una your daughter is going to love it I use the pompom makers too and find them very effective in fact they can become downright addictive :) x

M.K. said...

So glad it's machine-washable. The pom-pom is very fine -- one must wrap and wrap until it is crammed full, before cutting and finishing it, to get a really fluffy pom-pom :) I'm very interested in that cast-on method you mentioned. I always use the long "tail" method, but wonder about our description of the nice, soft fit -- sounds good!