Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tin Can Knits Barley Hat

In a completely unoriginal move for a sewing blogger...I knit something! I sew because I love having control of my wardrobe, so it naturally follows that knitting would interest me as well. My husband bought me a beginner book two Christmases ago (!) and this fall I finally finished my first item!

This is the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits. TCK has a great series of free patterns that are meant to teach and build upon one another. The first in the series is a scarf, which I started and never finished about a year ago. I felt ready to move on to the hat, though, and it was a great next step.

The real reason I was inspired to pick up the needles again is this yarn. It’s called Species, and it was released by my favorite company, Sloomb. They mainly produce cloth diapers and wool clothing, but over the summer they released yarn in some of their most popular clothing colorways. This color is called Carbon. It’s 100% Merino wool and crazy soft. It was a little splitty but I got used to it after a while of working with it (and I’m a noob so it could’ve just been me).

Not being primarily a knitter, it’s difficult for me to properly review this project! I do have Ravelry notes here. Unfortunately, as much as a I love this hat, it turned out way too big. I followed the size chart but I did not knit a test swatch (whoops) so it’s probably my fault. You can see that it ended up VERY slouchy, which is fine, except that it’s so loose it slides down my face. Whomp whomp. My husband tried it on and it wasn’t quite right for him either. I’m considering the unpardonable sin of purposefully machine washing and drying it in order to felt and shrink the wool. I do not recommend this process unless you’re really familiar with wool and know what you’re doing, since felting also reduces stretch. We’ll see...there’s nothing worse than working hard on something that doesn’t fit right.

I actually have another hat on the needles right now, with this same pattern, but it’s for one of my kids and it’s in a different yarn. I hope the sizing will be better. For now, I’m enjoying the learning process of knitting, and I really like having a portable project I can do on the go. My ultimate goal is to be able to knit sweaters and socks, the two things that are difficult to get right with sewing. Basically, I want to #makeallthethings.

Have you branched out to knitting?


  1. Apologies if I’m posting this comment twice, but my iPad chucked a hissy so I don’t know if my previous comment went anywhere. This hat is really cute and very neatly done for beginner work. Have you tried measuring your finished gauge on the plain portion of the hat? Then you can compare to the pattern gauge and get a better idea of where things might have gone wrong. I must confess to knitting, ripping and reknitting hats over again until I get the sizing right.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion, I will try that! I admit, I wasn’t quite sure how to knit a gauge swatch with circular needles, but I can certainly measure now.

  2. I am so impressed, never ever would have thought you were a beginner. It looks complicated!


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