Saturday, January 10, 2015

Story of The Wanderer (my pattern)

So, after my Cloche pattern, I seemed to be on a bit of a streak.

I've seen it before. Sometimes Designers will create a totally new and wonderful idea and by the time they've worked it up and written the pattern, they will have a thought that becomes a variation of the first. It may happen several times before the Designer moves on to a new idea.

I don't consider myself a Designer. I like how Paula Emmons-Fuessle (Prairie Piper of the Knitting Pipeline Podcast) puts it, when she says she's not a designer either, but thought up a creative and interesting idea and wrote it down to share with others. Designers tend to create a new design every day, appear in all the magazines and every time they have a new idea it becomes the NEXT BIG THING.  Yeah, I think Paula and I are the same kind of people.

Now, back to the streak: After I created the Cloche, my dear sister-in-law who was fighting the fight against cancer, thought having a hat would be a good idea, but thought if it had a brim, that might work better for her. She lives in a rainy location, her thought was that a brim would keep the rain from splattering her glasses.

My earlier project, based on
Anne Modesitt's
pattern but with a few slight
I have wired a brim before. I knitted one of Anne Modesitt's patterns into a beautiful brimmed hat for my step-daughter's wedding a a couple of years ago (garden wedding, garden hat) and the yarn shop owner where I attended knit night ordered millinery wire and shared a bit of it with me. That little element was the trickiest part because she ordered it, then waited weeks (maybe just days, but hard to be patient when you're waiting for that crucial element) for it to arrive. Then to carefully crochet the wire in place...

When I thought about wiring the hat I'd just completed, it seemed like it would be very easy, as I had finished the hat with an i-chord ~ a built-in channel for a wire! However, I didn't have any millinery wire. What to do?

I had knit a Celtic braid once, and now considered that if I were a traveler, as I often dream, and could go to a country of wool, like say, Scotland, Ireland or the UK, perhaps, a hat with that braid might lead me to feel at home. Like the Cloche with a band that circles the head, I used the Celtic braid to circle the head this time. It's width would leave a need for a smaller crown and the brim could compliment it simply as well. A few more simple 'channels' for utility and decoration and my new 'idea' was complete.

And now, for a slight secret: I didn't have any of that brim wire that I had used before, also did not recall the name of the company it was ordered from, even though it was only the next state over. When I mentioned my dilemma to my husband, he went out to his handy-man supplies and came back with trimmer wire. That's right, the plastic cord used in weed-eaters. I threaded it through the brim channel (not i-chord this time) with a teeny bit of duct-tape to keep it's shape. NOTE: I tried a couple of things, like melting the two ends to each other, to no avail. The brim wire and the duct tape work remarkable well, and with the hat worked up in a heavy worsted or bulky weight yarn, is not at all visible through the stockinette no matter what color the cord or the knitted fabric. 

The hat is a couple of years old and this is still true, the brim wire has held it's shape and doesn't show through the knitting.

Small note: The written pattern doesn't give gauge but there is a spot in the instructions where the knitter is asked to stop and measure for gauge. The pattern also gives incorrect stitch count when picking up for brim. That is all the errata or other problems people seem to have had with creating it for themselves.

The Wanderer is available in my Ravelry store. Thank for reading my little story about it's creation. Happy Knitting!

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