The Yarnologue

On and Off the Needles: Indulgence Beanie

Just because a yarn is called “sock yarn” doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself to knitting socks with it.

Did you already know that or is it a light bulb statement?

So called sock yarn can be used to knit shawls, scarves, hats, gloves and mittens, and even sweaters.

The two things to remember about sock yarn is that it will usually be a fingering weight (so it will fit in your shoes nicely) and it usually has a touch of nylon included for durability. (Think of the friction of rubbing against the back of your heel as you walk.)

Not all sock yarns need to be knit on itty bitty needles at a fine gauge. Our Indulgence 6 Ply yarn, for instance, has a suggested gauge of 21 sts to 4″ (5.25 sts/1″) on needles ranging from a US 3 to US 6. It is a 75% Extrafine Merino Wool, 25% Polyamide blend.

That is considered more of a sport weight gauge and is much more reasonable for projects beyond socks.

Indulgence also comes in some awesome self-patterning colors.

Socks and photo by Wool Becomes Ewe.

Socks and photo by Wool Becomes Ewe.

These happy lime/blue/purple socks are being knit by Wool Becomes Ewe, a local yarn store in Virginia. (There is a sock pattern on the Indulgence ball band.)

That picture, combined with this one from Metaphor Yarns, a local yarn store in Massachusetts, reminded me that I was hording some Indulgence of my own.

Photo by Metaphor Yarns

Photo by Metaphor Yarns

Aren’t those colors luscious?

I’ve made myself socks using the color at the top right. And I used the color in the middle to make socks for my brother.

The one in the bottom right is the one that caught my eye this week.

Hello, handsome.

Hello, handsome.

I don’t know about you, but a lot of my younger relatives are suddenly having babies. There are three new babies in the past four months and another one due in April!

It occurred to me that since Indulgence is silky soft AND machine washable it would be great for baby garments.

I settled on the Amity Print Beanie pattern from Ella Rae, which is free on our website (look for the “download pattern” link under the big picture on the left), and got to knitting. I cast on Wednesday evening and finished it up Friday night.

No baby handy, so my hand had to model.

No baby handy, so my hand had to model.

How adorable is this hat?!

The colors came up so nicely and it’s such a clean, simple design that I want to make one for myself.

Considering it didn’t take much yarn at all, there is probably enough left in the ball for me to do that. Each ball is 426 yards, after all. In fact, based on past experience, and my little feet, I’m pretty sure there is enough yarn left for me to make myself a pair of socks, because I just love this color.

I like the gathered effect on the top.

I like the gathered effect on the top.

Now, I did make some modifications to the pattern.

First off, the pattern is written to be worked flat and seamed. I don’t have the patience for that so I just followed the stitch count, but worked it in the round. Of course, when you get to the crown shaping you have to change the purls to knits in that case.

Second, I dropped the top knot.

Third, and this is probably a big one, in the fine knitting tradition of “It will fit someone” I didn’t bother trying to get gauge. I used US6 needles and got 6 sts per inch, which is nowhere near the 4.5 sts/inch called for in the pattern. But, for a baby hat, I think it will be just fine.

When you are weaving in your ends remember that because of the rolled brim you should weave the cast on tail onto the “public” side of the work. If you weave it to the “private” side the end might show when the brim rolls up.

With so much yarn still available I’m debating making little socks to match.

Or maybe fingerless mitts for myself!

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