Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hemming the Pirates

First of all, the blocking made ALL the difference in this hat. The wool softened up, the colorwork evened out, the floats inside all stick down where they aren't twisted - magic. And it's plenty big on me, so I know it will fit the Marine!Goth just fine.

It's time to finish this off. I did some things different than the pattern says.

1) on the decrease round - I would suggest decreasing either 8 or 12 stitches, not 10. You want to divide the hat and lining into 4ths when you sew down the hem and so you need a lining number divisible by four.

2) I wouldn't recommend going down two full needle sizes. I didn't decrease the needle size at all. You want the lining to be just a touch smaller than the outside hat. The decrease round will take care of that

3) Do two rounds of the main color before sewing down the lining. This is purely aesthetic; it will match the purled turn that is two rounds (cast on and knit around) on the other edge of the lining.

4) Mark the start of round and quarters with disposible markers (string or soda straw). And instead of working the hem directly from the needle, transfer all the lining stitches to an extra long lifeline in a VERY smooth and tiny yarn with a stong color contrast. I used a cotton sock yarn. This lets you fold up the lining, pin it in place and make the sewing down a lot easier. You want everything to line up and be neatly held into place before you start sewing. Give yourself a longer end than you think you'll need to use for the sewing - it will take more than you think.

5) Use a sharp needle to sew down the lining. Unlike when you weave in ends, you are going to be piercing the floats on the inside of the hat. A sharp needle helps a lot. Be sure to catch each stitch, but not pierce the lifeline. I recommended a high contrast yarn so that if you DO catch it, you can safely (if carefully) cut the lifeline yarn out of the finished project. (Likewise, disposible, cut-able stitch markers for the quarter points for the same reason.)

6) Don't stitch too tightly. You are just barely catching the floats and you don't want the hem line to show too much on the outside - no puckers! And don't try to work inside the hat - turn it all inside out so you can see what the heck you are doing!


Zandra said...

Great job! Maybe I will have to do this one in green and black :)

Karla (ThreadBndr) said...

I was just thinking about that! GMTA! I envision an "alien head" hat in lime and black - very XFile-ish