When Minxy wrote about her thoughts, discoveries and roadbumps on the way to a colourwork project, I commented that I found colourwork fascinating but overall too much of a hassle. Since then, colourwork has been stuck on my mind, which lead to a typical me thing: I filtered my Ravelry queue for colourwork projects. I’m not very consistent. However, I wasn’t going to attempt another project like Kate Davies’ sheep heid, because even using only four colours this hat was quite a piece of work. It had to be something simpler, something with thicker yarn. I settled on the Audrey B’s Bird’s Eye pattern. I do adore the colour scheme on the original, but I already have an awesome red hat (Ysolda Teague FTW!). I also own a lot of pink and purple sweaters and accessories, self-knitted and store-bought, but no pink or purple hat – which has made colour-coordinating hats this winter rather tiresome. How convenient that I had some pink leftover yarn from another project, then!
Sadly, the pattern, as pretty as it is, left something to desired. It is really simple, which means that handholding isn’t necessary, and 1,50€/2$ is a fair price, yes, but still … Firstly, I raised an eyebrow when I opened the pattern after purchase to see it only had a single page. It consisted of little boxes telling you yarn and needle requirements as well as gauge, then very short instructions in form of bullet points, a picture and a chart of the colourwork. Very … Spartan. See, I like giving my money to independent designers for their time and effort, they deserve it, but I prefer to see they have put in actual effort, y’know.
For all those who are similarily disappointed by the pattern, here a few suggestions:
a) use a set of double pointed needles instead of circulars. This pattern calls for casting on 96 stitches, which were evidently too few for my circulars, resulting in an evening of desperate wrestling with stitches. After switching to double-pointed needles, knitting was much more smooth.
b) make a longer rib at the beginning. As you can see in the pictures, the hat barely covers my ears (something that can’t be seen on the picture provided in the pattern, by the way). I like hats to cover my ears because then my ears aren’t cold, which is the reason I wear hats. Maybe 12 or even 18 rows of ribbing would do the trick.
c) block the SHIT out of this pattern. In fact, soak it in water instead of spraying water on it or using a wet towel, it will turn out much more even, make the CC pop in contrast to the MC, and if I’m not mistaken, the hat grows a tad bigger, too. It is a really small hat, so it benefits from getting bigger.
Also, I suppose I didn’t do the decrease right, because my crown looks a lot smaller than in the original pictures. Who knows, though. The chart basically stops right after the first few rows of the decrease and then you have to contend yourself with the last two bullet points.
I tested the hat today. With spring weather and sun it’s absolutely fine, but then again hats weren’t a necessary requirement for today’s temperatures. I don’t think I’ll wear this much in cold or windy weather, though, and yes, this makes me cranky because I want the accessories I knit to not only be decorative, but also functional. It still love the cute little birds, but overall this was a let-down.
Pattern: Bird’s Eye by Audrey B
Yarn: Soft-Merino by Wolle Rödel