Is that a swatch in Wool of the Andes Bulky Scuba? Why, yes, I believe it is! Any day you get yarn is a good day and 8 skeins of this stuff took up a nice-sized box. I love the color. Sometimes it’s very blue, sometimes it’s kind of green and it’s nicely muted. I spent much of the morning knitting a swatch, because I seem to have left my brain down by the mailbox. The first time through, I got perfect gauge. But then I realized that things didn’t quite look right… Duh, I had crossed the cables wrong, two sts over one instead of one st over two. So, rip out and try again. This time, I got something close, but not quite right. Too many stitches per inch. And here’s the funny part: I tried to fix this problem by swatching with smaller needles. What am I, an idiot?? Apparently yes, because I spent a good 15 minutes doing some very creative math and trying to figure out how I had gotten more stitches per inch than before. Sigh. Rip out, cast on again, do the cables right this time… No matter how I measure this last swatch, I keep coming up with different measurements. I’m serious, sometimes it’s 19 sts/4 in, sometimes it’s 17, and a few beautiful times, it’s the correct 18sts. Even when I measure it in the same darn place, I get different gauge! I’ve decided to just cast on and hope that it resolves itself into something resembling 18 sts/4 in. So, I’ll play it a bit fast and loose with the gauge. I might regret this decision, but it’s a vest. What’s the worst that happens, right? (I really hope the Gauge Demon didn’t hear that!)
After a marathon session of knitting on Saturday night, and I do mean marathon, I finished the Aran Tam. (It’s amazing what kind of motivation “Every row I have fewer stitches to knit!” is. I really barreled through this once I reached the cables. Although it still took me 3 or 4 hours to finish.)
I really like the diamond cables I substituted, but the rice stitch I used for the half-diamonds doesn’t really pop like I had hoped. I haven’t decided if I’m going to add a pom-pom on top, as is traditional. (I probably will.) The yarn on top there is the tail that has to be woven in.
Here’s another picture of the original to compare:
And here it is on my big head facing, of course, away from the light source. Really, I’m a special kind of stupid today.
I think I’m going to run a few strands of elastic through the ribbing at the bottom. I’m not sure if it’s the grip of the yarn on itself or the provisional cast on (probably not) or the fact that the brim was knit on size 3 (!!) needles, but it’s not very stretchy. But other than that, I’m quite pleased with my first tam! Thank you again for the yarn, Norman!