Sunday, November 01, 2009

Miller's Hat Test Knitting

Miller's Hat in Shepherd's Shades "Rain"
When the opportunity to test knit the newest Through the Loops pattern presented itself a few weeks ago I absolutely jumped at the chance. My fantasy of what test knitting would be like involved knitters in Underwater Laboratories type settings, knitting away while wearing Clinque-counter lab coats checking off boxes on papers attached to clipboards.
Betty Crocker Forever
This vision quickly then gave way to another one, no doubt shaped by my childhood in the Twin Cities, where every Brownie troop visited the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens. It was one of my first visions of domesticity, and I was fascinated by the women in aprons testing cake batter in different themed kitchens: the Polynesian one was a personal favorite and in my mind it is where Pineapple Upside-Down cake was invented. At the end of the home ec type tour, we each received small Easy-Bake Oven® cake mixes (sadly I didn't have an actual Easy Bake Oven because, you know, OH MY GOD that light bulb was dangerous) and a giant plastic red spoon--I'm sure gay men everywhere have made that thing a major Ebay collectible, despite the unfortunate plastic aspect...
Miller's Hat in Shepherd's Shades "Rain"
You can see that the bar for test knitting was very, very high. And I was not disappointed! But not because the above-mentioned fantasies were fulfilled, but rather because the Miller's Hat is one kick ass mutha of a pattern. It has everything: totally rad herringbone stitch, cushy purls sts & best of all serpentine cables that rock so, so very hard.
Miller's Hat in Shepherd's Shades "Rain"
The Specs:
Pattern: Miller's Hat by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Brown Sheep Shepherd's Shades in #784 'Rain'
Needles: size 5 and size 7 addi turbos
Mods: I only did one cable repeat as I was making this for my daughter. I also somewhat foolishly used a yarn that just edges toward being a bulky, on size 7 needles, so the hat a. is not as slouchy as I would have wanted and b. hurt like hell to knit. My mistake! My next one will be in Malabrigo on a size 8 which I’m sure will be slouchy perfection.
Miller's Hat in Shepherd's Shades "Rain"
The herringbone stitch was a first for me and I must say that I am really pleased with how it turned out, although it did require that I put down the Twitter and the iPhone for 5 minutes and actually pay attention. And I'm so glad I did!
Miller's Hat in Shepherd's Shades "Rain"
Now that this hat interlude is over, I am free to devote my attention to Vestvember. Are you ready?


sophanne said...

Vestvember?? Does that mean I can call any sleeveless unfinished sweaters finished?

Beautiful work on the hat and I share the test knitting imagery and nothing you can say will lead me to believe otherwise.mardsp

LEO said...

Your miller's hat is great and your daughter looks absolutely adorable in it! As for vestvember, I am so psyched. :)

knithound brooklyn said...

Nice! Lucky you getting to test knit one of Kirsten's patterns. This one is really cute!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, what a lovely hat - the herringbone band is especially cool!

The Betty Crocker tour sounds lots of fun - I once got to go on a tour of the Ben & Jerry's factory, it's so much fun to see where all the magic happens :)

Kirsten said...

I'll never forget the Christmas morning that I found my Easy Bake Oven under the tree. Perfection. Sadly those soggy little cakes did not live up to expectation. Don't even get me started on my disappointment in the candy produced by my Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.

I always wear a lab coat when I design, and I expect the same of my test knitters.

Rachel said...

Nice hat! I love this new pattern from Kirsten...and since I'm on a hat kick this fall, it's perfect timing~

peaknits said...

This hat is so beautiful! I have the pattern and yarn ready to go for this hat - for me!

nicole said...

I was drooling over this hat pattern earlier today. It's fab.

And vestvember? Sign me up! I actually JUST finished a new vest TODAY! So I'd say I'm off to a good start for once. The only glitch? Taking decent photos of said vest. It is Guinness-dark by the time I get home from work.

So watchyou gonna knit?

Anonymous said...

ooh--that herringbone really is beautiful!

earthchick said...

This is so SO fab, H. Love the color you chose. And of course one in Malabrigo will rock hard too.

And hells yeah, I'm ready for Vestvember!

Brenda said...

The hat looks lovely and I enjoyed the walk down memory lane.

Alison said...

Very neat hat!
I didn't have an easy bake oven either...
Happy knitting-

Kim said...

Awesome Miller's hat! I bought the pattern last week seconds after I laid eyes on it.
I love the technicolor photos in those cookbooks.
I never had an E-Z bake oven but I did have the rubber bug kit (the bug mold was made of lead!).

kim said...

I heart this hat. Gorgeous job! The tween model rocks it in blue.

yahaira said...

ooo we should get lab coats for our next test knit!

your hat came out great, love that color! but ouch on the hands!

tiennie said...

Love it!! How great is it to test knit for K?!

Anonymous said...

Nice hat!

Hey, Betty Crocker's Cooky Book! We had that book when I was a kid, so when I had just had to get my own copy of the 1960s publication; it's a classic.

By the way, I've found my name, Lydia, on souvenir stuff once, but only: in the UK! I can relate to your previous post.

nova said...

You are freaking hilarious. The hat looks great, if you hadn't mentioned the yarn/needle/non-slouchiness issues, I would have never noticed. Also, in re: narcissism: I have never, in my life, been able to find anything with my name emblazoned on it. Ever. Sigh.

angelarae said...