Being new to knitting I feel clueless and overwhelmed when surrounded by yarn in a yarn store. When I was just starting back to knitting after learning in primary school I wanted to knit W a hat, and since green is his favourite colour, buying a green yarn was my only prerogative… So clueless! I really liked the Mirasol Hacho (100% merino) I found and it knitted up really nicely, and fit fine.
BUT, then it came to actual first use: W went to Paris and complained on the phone about the wind coming through the hat. No wonder! When he got home the hat had strettttttttched very badly! I thought the only thing for it was to line it with fleece. However, the earflaps threw me off pattern-wise, then I attached it by machine sewing (should have whip-stitched it by hand), and it turned out too tight (I thought the fleece would be stretchier so I overcompensated by not making it too huge for W’s huge head. Mistake!)
Now it is a hat that is good for getting wet in the snow…
In such circumstances, when one is faced with dire haircuts in winter and no hat to cover a scalping, one turns to a stalwart, cheap, tried and tested (used it for Itsaso’s jacket) yarn. Cascade 220 wool is very popular on Ravelry (knitting forum/database/heaven) and is available at my local yarn store (Sit ‘n’ Knit in Melrose). I brought W in to choose some yarn for another tried and tested pattern: BrooklynTweed’s Turn a Square hat. There have been many projects shared on Ravelry and my neighbour K had just shown me the lovely one she made for the Knit for Boston charity… The hat has been worn every day this winter since the scalping (was even worn for days in the office when W was too ashamed to bare his head!) and has kept W warm and toasty.
The lesson: I am so glad I discovered Ravelry. I love to use it to research yarns and patterns before I go to a yarn store now. Before I discovered it I felt clueless and lost, and I still forget EVERYthing I know when I’m faced with the wonderful selections in yarn stores, but if I do my homework and bring a list, I can accomplish my yarn choices with confidence!
As for these two yarns: both were chosen with a warm hat in mind, but only one delivered. Substituting yarn for projects just by weight does not always work out!