Kelley is continuing to whip up hats for holiday gift giving! This week she shared the Sugarplum Hat by Knitterella, a colorwork hat that's great for using up odds and ends of worsted weight yarn. To finish off her hat, Kelley made her own pom pom with Knitter's Pride Pom Pom Makers and has some tips for using those!
Kelley used Bravo Alpaca Petites Yarn and Bravo Alpaca Yarn by Coeur d'Alene Yarns and some Hikoo Llamor. All three yarns are the same weight, giving you a variety of colors to pick from! The softness of the baby alpaca and baby llama lends itself to colorwork, and makes for the softest knit hat!
When carrying multiple strands of yarn for colorwork, Kelley carries the dominant color in one hand and the rest of the colors in the other. Depending on your own knitting tension, you'll want to experiment to see if your dominant color is popping – otherwise you might want to switch hands.
Kelley has several tips for working with a colorwork chart. First, have a unique stitch marker for the begging of round marker. Then use additional – and different – markers to mark each chart repeat. That way you don't have to rip back a lot when you notice a mistake! To make chart reading easier, use sticky notes to block off the portions of the chart you aren't working on. Labeling each color on the chart with the color you'll use for that section helps to avoid color mistakes! Lastly, do not mark off a row until you've completely finished it – otherwise a distraction could have you thinking you already finished a row you're still working on.
Kelley ended up using a provisional cast-on to make a double brim hat. She also added a brown diamond at the top of the hat, because she felt there was too much white at the top to be worn without a pom pom. This time she used US4 needles for the brim and made a size medium, which made an 8" brim after blocking. Next time Kelley will knit the brim using US3's and increase the stitches by 8 after finishing the brim. US7 needles worked best for the body of the hat, US8 made the colorwork look too sloppy.
Kelley used the Knitter's Pride Pom Pom Makers to make a few different pom poms for her finished hat. She started with the largest size, and tried to control the color pooling. The results were less than satisfactory, so she moved down a size and didn't bother to try and control the color wraps. She wrapped each half of the pom pom makers until the center of the "donut" was almost flat, alternating colors as she felt like it. This time, the pom poms came out much better – the perfect size, and the colors pooled much nicer!