Sunday, November 13, 2005

Just some tips (things it might have made sense to add to the pattern itself, but . . . )

  • For the beads, make sure the ones you pick have holes big enough to get your tiny crochet hook through AND pull that yarn back through the hole. My third hat, the holes were really too small--it worked, but it was frustrating every, single time.
  • I used the smallest, possible steel crochet hook, a Boye 14 for all but one of the beads I used. It was really too small for the yarn and sometimes pulled just a single ply through the hole, but worked pretty well once I got used to it. A 13 would have been easier, but didn't fit in most of the beads I picked.
  • Which brings me to this point--practice pulling the yarn through the bead before you actually need it for the hat. Just to get a feel for it before you're juggling stitches on your needles and trying to deal with the bead and crochet hook at the same time.
  • There's a tutorial for "string as you go" at Knitters Review. And a great one with pictures over at FluffyDeb's blog.
  • If you prefer not to use the crochet-hook method of getting your beads on the stitches, you can just string them on your yarn like a necklace and knit them into the stitches as you come to them. This method, though, sometimes lets the bead hide on the wrong side of the knitting, and I think does not work as well for this hat.
  • I used 6mm or 8mm beads for my hats--anything much larger is going to weight it down. For that matter, keep the weight of the beads in mind when you pick them out. Remember, you have to be able to wear the finished product on your head!
  • If you want to make the "branches" pointier or more shallow, you can make either more or fewer short-rows for each branch--the pattern's flexible.
  • I ordered my beads online at I admit it would have been more fun if there had been a local bead shop I could have gone to, but they have a great selection. (In my experience, their packages always need to be signed for, so I have them sent to my office, not my house.) Jewelry has a good selection, too.
  • In terms of time, each hat took me about a week--that's about 7 hours of knitting, and I'm not the speediest knitter around.
  • The first row of branches is by far the longest row in the entire hat. Trust me, it only feels endless, and you'll be amazed at how fast the hat goes after you get past the first two rows of branches.
  • Please, if you get stuck, feel free to ask me questions--that's part of why I started the knit-along.
  • I absolutely can't wait to see your finished hats!



Blogger Micky said...

Thanks for the tips. And for letting me in.

11:46 AM  

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