Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October Class Swatching... The Baable Hat

I will be teaching a couple of classes at Gosh Yarn It! in Kingston, Pennsylvania this fall. The first will be this Saturday, October 22. (I know it is short notice, but there are still a couple of seats left.) The official title of this class is: "THE BAA-BLE HAT: Tips & Techniques for Stranded Knitting with Carolyn Kern".

The project for the class is the Baable Hat which was designed by Donna Smith for Shetland Wool Week 2015. It became the #1 queued pattern on Ravelry last year, with over 5600 projects posted. The pattern is written using an unusually tight gauge for a worsted/aran weight yarn, though; and many knitters ended up with hats that were larger than they expected.

The bad news is that I learned all of this after I agreed to make a GYI shop sample and teach a class. For my sample, I had to go down from the suggested US size 7 needle to a US size 3. The good news is that this gave me a brand new direction from which to teach a stranded colorwork class.

In the class we will be making a colorwork gauge swatch that simulates working in the round. We will review two-handed stranded colorwork technique, and I will demonstrate making a two color pompom with a Clover pompom maker. I plan to suggest a number of choices the students have to modify the pattern (such as those used by Susan B Anderson). There is no doubt that we will also talk about the newly released Baable cowl and mitten pattern by Donna Smith.

My sample colorwork swatch:

For this kind of a swatch (known as a speed swatch*) you knit all rows from right to left like you are working in the round. The yarn has to be carried behind the work for each row. This is what it looks like from the back.

*There is a reason for the name "speed swatch". Please join me in class this Saturday to learn more.

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