Plus, another way to fluff up knitted tendrils.
I know—what?? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please bear with me for a minute.
First, the hat. This is one of Cat Bordhi’s designs, the Arctic Anemone Hat. It just looked SO fun to knit, I really wanted to make one. But I couldn’t see myself wearing it . . . I could see my mom wearing it, though. She loves all kinds of sea creatures, hedgehogs, and plants with unusual spiny pods—so it definitely fits her aesthetic. I had planned it as a surprise, but it ended up being so much better that I told her (when she was thinking about knitting one); I got to ask her what color she wanted, and get her to try it on as I went, and consult her about design details. We decided to make the tendrils a little shorter, more like hedgehog quills, which I think went well with the grey color.
This was such a win-win. The hat was every bit as fun to make as I thought it would be, from the moebius band (yes you can knit a moebius strip—from the inside out) to making the tendrils, it was a blast. And, my mom loves it! It looks so cute on her, too. Actually, it looked really cute on every single one of my relatives who tried it on. I knit this hat mainly on our Thanksgiving trip, so all my relations saw it in progress, and wanted to try it on when I finished. However, Mom hates having her picture taken almost as much as she likes unusual creatures, so I decided to photograph the hat in the natural environment.
The only reason I got it back for long enough to photograph it at all, is that Cat’s directions suggest you use a superwash wool (one that’s been treated so that it won’t felt) and fluff up the tendrils by running it through the dryer. I have a dryer, and mom doesn’t. This definitely worked.
But after fluffing, I began to wonder if there was another way to do it. I’m a fan of untreated wool, and I wondered if I could get some tendrils to fluff up by steaming them. After all, what’s happening in the dryer is: dampness, heat, and agitation. I tried it out on a sample, knit with organic, not-superwash wool yarn. This worked too!
It might not produce quite the fluffiness of the dryer method (keep in mind that the yarn I used was also not as thick), but it wonder if the tendrils would continue to fluff up a bit with washing and wear? I got the best results by using my iron—not touching the tendrils, but holding it above them and putting on lots of steam for a few seconds. Then I picked up the sample, and, holding it upside down, gently scrunched and shuffled the tendrils around. I decided on upside-down because the tendrils tended to wilt downwards with all the steam. It also seemed to help some that were reluctant to fluff up if I sprayed them with a little water from my plant/laundry mister, then steamed and scrunched.
At least with my sample, it would have required a nearly impossible amount of effort to felt anything using the steam, and gentle fluffing. However, wool + water (usually much more than this) + heat + agitation does = felt, so be advised. I would agitate the base of the hat as little as possible while it’s steamy, just concentrate on moving the tendrils around and scrunching them up.
One more note: in honor of knitting more lately, and knitting something that was so fun without even changing the pattern very much at all, I have finally decided to stop lurking Ravelry and using it only as the world’s absolute best pattern search (you can be shocked, I don’t blame you). I’ve gone back and posted some of my favorite knitted projects from the past few years, whatever I could think of that I still had and/or had pictures of, and there are a few more of those still to add. I even posted a few yarns from my stash that might find a better home. If you’re on Ravelry too, come and say hi, I’m FrenchToastTasha.
Even if not, happy making! I suggest making something that’s just plain fun to create, at least every once in a while.
I just joined your website. Can you send the newbie know it term the gray twisted headband hedgehog hat? My mother in law will help me she has been knitting for years.
Hi Janette, here’s some more info, I hope it helps! The pattern is here: http://catbordhi.com/patterns/anenome-hats-for-children-and-adults/ There is a video of Cat (the designer) making the tendrils here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqD6U8SEEbE Also, if you are on Ravelry there are lots of people who have also made this hat and you can see some of them here with comments etc: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/anemone-hats/people I hope you get to make one, they really are super fun to knit!