Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lil' Cottontail - Just in time for Easter

I found this adorable little bunny hat pattern in Susan Anderson's Itty Bitty Hats book. (I love and highly recommend this book!) I thought it very sweet but not nearly fuzzy enough to do justice to a child's inner rabbit. So after a brief search at a local yarn sale, I found an relatively inexpensive, fluffy, white, baby boucle' yarn with which to experiment. The pattern was not written to work with a bulky yarn but after a gauge swatch and some math I had a workable modification.
I have never worked with boucle' yarn before and I do not hesitate to say that it is a pain with which to knit. It does not slide as nicely on the needles and keeping yarn tension is more difficult because it tends to bind up a bit as you knit. Mistakes are much tougher to see due to the fluffiness and, since I tend to check my work visually for mistakes as I go, I found this particularly aggravating. However, for all its frustrations, the fabric created from knitting with the boucle' has a very interesting and soft texture. The fluffiness factor is nearly rabbit perfect and it seems as though it will be warm and comfy next to the skin, which is important since this is a stocking cap after all.

I am a little disappointed that the boucle' yarn does not knit up with the same stretchiness that worsted weight or even baby yarns have so I do have plans to modify the pattern further (and perhaps beyond all recognition) to a use a different knit pattern, such as a 1X1 or perhaps even a 2X2 rib to try and increase the stretchiness. I will update this post later on once Cottontail version 2.0 is complete to let you know how things turned out. In the meantime, this little hat is quite a fun number and my kids (ages 2 and 4) just love it. Since they are the target demographic for this hat, that is all that is important.

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