Every once in a while – typically in wintertime – I get the bug to try stranded knitting. For those of you who aren’t knitters, stranded knitting is a little bit like learning a Romance language when all you’ve had exposure to is a Germanic language. Instead of one piece of yarn, you hold two (or three, or four) – there’s a huge opportunity to get tongue tied and sound (or look) like a doof. I tried once, last winter, on the Corazon mittens from knitty, felted like I was a cat knitting with no thumbs and gave up. Then there was my “unconventional learning” period where I made a felted beer cozy (which Jason refuses to use, and has since been relegated to the trash can) So when I saw the Three Tams patterns in the new knitty, I figured I’d give one a try – stranded knitting and Noro? I can do that! If not, at least I’ll have another unattractive felted beer cozy.
The process was not as scary as I thought it would be based on previous experience. When you knit with two strands of yarn, the best thing to do is to put both strands on one finger – some places even have a little dongle that you put in your index finger to keep the yarn separated – I’d like one, but it isn’t necessary. The main annoying thing is that your yarn gets tangled like cat barf while you start out.
The biggest time sink was that once I started decreasing I had to move to double pointed needles. Double pointed needles + two or more strands of yarn = Black Hole. However, I did finish, and the best part was, I only had to weave in two sets of ends, and because of all the back stranded yarn (the yarn in the back as you carry the yarn you aren’t knitting to the point where you are knitting it – kind of like if you were dating two people at once on different days) lets you just stick your leftovers under the carried yarn and move on.
Overall, this is a B+. I like that it doesn’t really LOOK like a Tam (which is sort of like a wooly beret which makes me feel like a big doofus) but more like a hat. This is probably because I went down a few needles sizes (like 2) from the original pattern (without doing math) but in this case, it worked out. It’s also one of the only items in my wardrobe – inner or outwear – that happens to have white as a major color. But this does NOT mean I’m going to start making sweaters with reindeer on them for the holidays. Promise!