Monday, February 1, 2010

The WaoHana Project: Getting Started with O-Hana's Bobble Beret

[Hey, look, this is the one hundredth post on this blog! Yay!]

The women in this screengrab from a video are Wao Youka (blue sweater) and Hanafusa Mari (gray sweater). I've mentioned them several times in this blog, under the other Takarazuka Kagekidan posts.

The next series of crochet projects I'm doing has everything to do with these two ladies: namely, I am going to send my first fan gifts EVER to them. I have never done anything of this sort before. But I will take a leaf from their book and believe firmly that nothing is impossible - and so I shall make a few things to send to them in Japan.

I'm going to be making Wao-san a seven-foot-long scarf in blue, pink, and black, colors inspired by her favorite Disney character Stitch; Hanafusa-san will be getting at least one hat. Figuring I'd never made a hat before and that it might take me some time to do, I decided to start with this hat pattern: Bobble Beauty by Dot Matthews.

It's really taking me some time to make just this one hat and there have already been a few tear-out-and-start-over bits (something called "frogging" by knitters and crafters alike, since you have to grin and "rip it" *groan*). Yeah, I can't really be happy about that. How was I supposed to know that following the pattern exactly as written, but with a smaller hook than specified, would create a project sized for a kid? I couldn't even get the small version on over my own head. So, yeah, big mistake number one.

I decided to stick with the small hook because using the recommended size tore up my poor beautiful Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn. So in order to resolve the size issue, I added a few rounds to the original pattern. But then I over-increased so that the hat was way too large to be attractively slouchy - big mistake number two, which led to another round of frogging.

This will be the top portion of the hat when it's done. I love the floral motif that all the other rounds radiate from.

This is, I hope, the Goldilocks point of this hat. I think it's reached a good size by now, one that will fit its intended recipient and look cute while doing so. I'll continue working on it over this week.

Even as I continue to work on it, I've learned quite a few lessons from this first hat and hope to carry them with me as I continue my crochet adventures.

Wish me luck with this fan gifts project! I'm really excited and nervous to finish the items and then send them on to Japan. I hope I can get a good deal on shipping.... *crosses fingers*


Jonette said...

good luck with the hat, and good luck with the shipping. :) It's a shame the picture from the pattern's link went inactive, so we can't see what the finished product will look like.

Hmm, what size of hook was called for in the pattern? My size j (6.00mm) hook usually works ok with CottonEase. What did you use on your end?

PJ Punla said...

@ Jonette

I'm using the size H. The work is finer, but of course it means doing more rounds to have the right size, I guess.

The shipping's not really a problem; I got a baseline quote from FedEx for International Economy Shipping and it's less than PHP800.00. I really just want to get the hats done so I can start the scarf, which will take a while since I intend it to be seven feet long.