Two weeks ago Jennifer sent me a message asking me if I could make this hat for her son. She sent me a link to the main blog, not to a specific post, and when I visited the link, this was the picture I saw (the most recent post on the blog):
I have no problem knitting cables and patterns and even if I couldn’t figure out this exact pattern, I could come close. So I told her it would be no problem and asked what colors they would like and if she wanted them to be 100% wool because it’s usually too itchy for a hat for kids. Her response perplexed me a bit:
“Whatever you would do normally yarn wise. I just love the pattern and now that we are in Halloween that movie seems to be first choice. [My son’s] pumpkin is Jack Skellington design. Let me know if you need anything from me! I will totally pay you if you want. I mean it!”
What the what?!
What the heck did I miss???? How is that hat pictured above anything like Halloween or Jack Skellington or HUH?!?!? So, I went BACK to the blog and SCROLLED DOWN the page. Umm…yep:
You know how confident I am about cables and patterns and all that jazz? In my 8 years of knitting I have NEVER knit using different colors, apart from stripes which is super easy. Not to mention, this blog is simply showcasing the hats she is knitting, not giving a how-to tutorial. I am staring at a picture of a hat that I have to try to recreate knowing NOTHING about what I am doing.
I had already told Jennifer how it would totally be no problem and I’d get going right away. She was so excited about me knitting a cool hat for my awesome little nephew. Sigh. Guess it is time to start learning a bit about color work, AKA intarsia, huh? I needed to create the color pattern for the Jack Skellington head, and make a pattern just for the hat, and make them work together. Hrrrrmmmmm….
I will say in advance, that I made the hat itself way to big. I am having to add a liner to make it more size appropriate for the 9 year old who is receiving it. So this pattern is actually an adult sized Jack Skellinton hat.
I used this graph paper to draw out my color pattern. You want to keep in mind for knitting that the rows are more wide than they are tall. If you use regular graph paper it will skew the finished product. I did not make the head perfectly symmetrical because I wanted to make sure the skull had a little personality.
I learned that while knitting intarsia you have to have separate bobbles of color to carry up the work. At its worst, these are all the separate colors I was working around to create the skull’s face.
In all honesty, it was incredibly annoying and quite a learning experience. Those things are a pain in the butt to keep track of without getting them all tangled…ESPECIALLY while knitting in the round as I did for this hat. Here is how I learned to do intarsia in the round.
Despite the way this project started out, the high learning curve I had to climb to make it happen, and more, how can you really complain when you get an end product like this?
And that picture is before blocking the hat and putting the liner in it. I am SO PLEASED with the result and it was totally worth it. I have also conquered one of the few knitting feats I had left to try, so I am finally at the point where I really can knit just about anything.
Last but not least, I learned to make sure I knew what the heck I was agreeing to do.
Stay tuned for the blog post with the pattern.