Thursday, September 24, 2009

knitting top down hats

have i mentioned that i love knitting?

once i start in, i cannot get enough of it. i thoroughly enjoy pert-near every little aspect of it. i even find enjoyment in ripping back because i learn something new with each experience which always comes in handy for the next project.

i're thinking "ripping back?" sounds crazy, but knitting things up right, that's simple. seeing & fixing mistakes, that's where the rubber meets the road.

so before i get way off track, i have to take a moment & explain my love for the top down hat.

there is just something completely fascinating & effective about this method. i know that experienced knitters talk it up about making almost any garment "top down" or in the case of socks "toe up" because that way, you can try on the garment as you go, easier to get a custom fit as you knit. and top down usually means "one piece" which is also very nice. top down is opposite to the normal method of knitting. normally you would start a hat at the brim, or socks at the leg opening, or sweaters at the bottom hem edge.

and i suppose that this is all a personal opinion as to which method is "better".

i find that making a hat top down is just very gratifying, although it stretches me - as far as my bind off skills go. i have finally gotten a comfortably loose cast on under my belt. now to master the art of a loose bind off.

i'm a tight knitter, so when i first started knitting i used to cast on or bind off with some sort of death grip. too tight around any opening is just bad. and with the top down hat, a tight bind off means 1) it's hard to comfortably get the hat over your head and 2) this uncomfortable pinch around your skull with a nice little indent to show for it on your forehead - not a good thing.

i am getting better at it & find it helpful to go up at least a needle size just for the bind off. kind of feels like cheating, but since many experienced & talented knitters go this route, i say why not?

so if you like knitting hats and you haven't tried the top down method, give it a try. i was first introduced to the method in a book called hip knit hats by cathy carron. this book rocks in many ways, and this is how most of the hats are started in the book. check it out, it will not disappoint. other good sources are blogs like pulsh where charisa gives great instructions & links for another blog called i'm knitting as fast as i can. these are very good sources, certainly one of these will be able to explain clearly so that you'll soon be on your way to trying out this method.

this little hat is #4 of the xmas 25 or so projects. finished it last week & have finished 3 more projects since, so that's a total of 7 projects down for christmas.

i am on fire.☺

so get out there & try the top down hat. let me know how you like it!


jodyfoznot said...

Great hat! I started knitting about 10 years ago. I saw an adorable sweater in a Martha Stewart Baby magazine, and I knitted one for Jamie's and my friend, Lessli and her new baby boy. She was killed in car accident a couple of years later. Then when I found out I was preggo with Gabe, I started one for him. Halfway through, I realized that I had been knitting backward for half the sweater. I couldn't fix it, and then never finished it. :o( But...I am inspired to take it up again. (I have to do something to make the approaching S. Texas winter feel like...winter. I need seasons!!!) What are some easy projects that I could start with? Do you have any favorite knitting websites that help guide you? Thanks for the advice!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Well, I think you know how I feel about knitting in general, much less "top down". :) I WISH I would be inspired to pick up the needles again, but I've been burned, baby!

That first photo of the yarn and needles is so beautiful - as is the finished product!

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