New knitting project: The Tin Can Knits Barley hat

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Wow – October – where did you go? I had quite a lot lined up for this month, but the delight of my sister booking a last-minute trip over here, the end of my brother’s trip and a few other random matters took precedence over my crafting life for a few weeks. And it was fun!

Not that I haven’t done any sewing at all. I finished off quite a few projects that, for one reason or another, I haven’t blogged yet, and also had the pleasure of meeting some lovely fellow Seattle sewists, thanks to a fabric swap organized by Meris from The Fabric Alchemist. It was great to chat apparel sewing with other devotees (who were way more experienced than I), so thank you Meris! I also procured a nice little bundle of fabric to ruminate over, although my aim of coming back with less than I left with was fulfilled. Yay for small victories!

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Anyway, I’ve been meaning to take up knitting again after my very first knitting project – the Noro striped scarf earlier this year – and now that the days are getting crisper, my mind turned to getting back to it. I came across The Simple Collection by Tin Can Knits a while ago and you may well be familiar with it. It’s a free collection of 8 patterns that take you through the steps of knitting your first scarf, hat, cowl, mittens, socks, sweater, etc. with attractive but simple patterns and lots and lots of tutorials. Brilliant!

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My little boy was sorely in need of a hat to keep his ears warm, plus – let’s face it – a child size anything is much better to practice on than a full-size something else. It’s quicker, uses less wool and is faster to fix when you make mistakes. A new hat it was! I’d been planning to use circular needles for this, but I couldn’t find my size 5mm needles anywhere. Since you had to change to double-pointed needles at some point anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and just do the whole hat on them.

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The pattern uses a worsted size yarn and size 5mm and 4mm DPNs. It starts off with an inch or so of ribbed knit and then a mixture of stockinette and garter stitch for a nice contrast on the hat body. I used a ball of olive merino wool I had lying around, ended up being about a yard short and so completed the top of the hat in a close, but no cigar, lighter green yarn. Argh. Which is partly why I added the big fat pom pom, but I do like a pom pom anyway. My husband likes it not so much, but I think it’s cute. I do need to secure it a bit more firmly, however, since it currently bobs about a bit, which is not a great look for the 2 year-old who’s trying to be taken seriously.

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I found the knit very quick (about two days work) and the DPNs surprisingly okay to get to grips with (literally). They definitely look worse than they are to work with. I will admit I cut corners a little: I didn’t swatch and I didn’t block. The latter I did intend to do, but had attached the pom pom before I remembered. I may go back and do it since some of the stitches could do with some straightening, but… I probably won’t (honesty is good). As for swatching, I took a bit of time getting used to the double-pointed needles and when I got the hang of it, just kept knitting. I did make a couple of errors and the tension consistency could always be better, but I’m happy with it for a first attempt, plus it fits!

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The pom pom I made the way I learnt as a 7 year old, with two cardboard discs and a bit of wrapping. Not sophisticated, but it works. Next I’m going to move onto either the mittens or socks from the Simple Collection, but I need some smaller DPNs first, so off to the shop it is. And of course, back to sewing!

2 thoughts on “New knitting project: The Tin Can Knits Barley hat

  1. Well, I love the pom pom so itโ€™s just as well you ran out of yarn at the last hurdle! Your son looks very pleased with himself wearing his new hat, and thatโ€™s all that matters.

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    1. Thank you! He didn’t rip it off his head once on the way to school this morning, so I call that a win. ๐Ÿ˜ I think the pom pom could have been fuller, but I’ll do that next time!

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