Thursday, 26 July 2007

Crochet Hats

I have become obsessed by crochet hats ever since I took delivery of two books from Amazon. Get your crochet on - Hip Hats and Crochet Caps by Afya Ibomu and Vogue Knitting - Crocheted Hats a book with various designer caps.

I have made 4 hats from Afya's book and have improved with every hat I have done. The only trouble with modern crochet books is that they all come from the US (where are all the good British crochet designers?) and it is usually a lesson in math to find a suitable yarn and hook to get the appropriate tension. My first couple of hats were a bit dodgy technique and size wise as I had used up some oddments rather than invest in new yarn and make a mess of it. Afya has a very interesting technique of covering elastic which is really good as hats do tend to bag out a lot with wear and wash. Previously I had threaded elastic through with a needle and been disappointed with the results. I now feel more confident as to what I am aiming at and will buy some new (more exciting) yarn when I am next in town and use the hats I have already made for when I am walking the dog.

The Vogue book arrived yesterday and I can for see another foray into tension swatches and approximations of yarn thicknesses. I find the guide lines they give of yarn thicknesses in the books to be very iffy. One hat is supposed to use Rowan 4ply and yet the book gives it a US 4 thickness which in their view is Worsted, Afghan and Aran but as the hook for the hat is 2.50 I am rather thinking a UK 4ply is more suitable as the recommended hook size for US 4 yarn is 5.50 - 6.50 so working it on a 2.50 would be very stiff going indeed. I never thought crocheting hats would be such a lesson in maths!

I am now knitting the Elizabeth Zimmerman Surprise Baby Jacket. A very strange garment and again as it is my first attempt I am knitting it in an oddment of white double knitting but I have a feeling that it coming out far chunkier than it is supposed to. Again another US pattern with very vague guidelines as to thickness. I am sure someone out there could make a fortune making an accurate list of thicknesses of yarns with regard to US patterns as each pattern gives such widely differing opinions as to thickness and not one of them says it is equivalent roughly to a UK double knit, chunky, aran or 4ply. Come on you UK yarn manufacturers wake up to the fact that we knitters and crocheters use US knitting books and give us a clue which of your UK yarns we can use in substitution.

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