June’s pattern knitalong for A Year Of Techniques is Romi Hill’s Talmadge Cloche, which introduces the element of knitted on edgings as this month’s technique. A knitted on edging is a fantastic way of providing a decorative and/or functional edging to a piece of knitting by working the edging at 90° and joining it on to a row of live or picked-up stitches. Though I know I have worked knitted-on edges (and used an almost identical technique for pieces of modular knitting) before I can’t find any pictures of past projects that clearly show the work, so it will be a good chance to re-appreciate the work that a fantastic edging can do.
The Talmadge cloche is worked from the top down, beginning with last month’s technique, the pinhole (or circular) cast on, knitting’s version of crochet’s magic-circle. Of course, starting with the crown of the hat means that you are straight into the increases as soon as the first few stitches are cast on, so the number of stitches rapidly increases before you reach the body of the hat, and that is the point of the knitting that I am at now, with all increases complete and the remaining rounds all to be worked with a constant number of stitches. Let’s have a look at what that looks like:
Is that a hat or is it an eyepatch for a very fancy pirate? Now, I should add that I do not have small and dainty hands, so my giant paw perhaps accounts for a bit of the apparent sizing peculiarity, but to match my clobbering paws I also have a head the size of a St Bernard’s, so this little pentagon of stitches represents some nervousness of the usability of my current hat. However, my anxiety is appeased somewhat by the wisdom and experience of Jen, who, with the benefit of experience having now knit the hat, has assured knitters that though, yes, it looks laughably small at this juncture (and will do right up until the last moment), it will all work out right in the end and fit the average head quite comfortably. Whether it fits my head is yet to be seen, but at least I can console myself with the miniature barrel of brandy around my neck if it does not.