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beanie there

28 May

The knitted guernsey I showed you the other day is 30-odd years old. I started it while I was doing first-year night duty and must have come close to finishing it on third-year nights. Part of the reason it took so long was that I had several projects on the go (as you do; or at least, I generally do, because of portability considerations and urgency of request, et cetera) and because it was knitted with an 8-ply yarn (DK, I think, for those who use that system; and I have no idea what the North American equivalent would be) on very small needles: UK size 14/2 mm for the bands and UK size 12/2.75 mm for the body. The usual choices for such yarn would be UK size 10/3.25 mm and UK size 8/4 mm for bands and body respectively. To make a dense, nearly-windproof fabric, which is partly what a guernsey is all about,you need to work at a tighter/firmer tension. That would, I think, probably have been made using Patons Totem yarn. It was certainly pure wool.

Striped, of course.

Striped, of course.

This animadversion is simply a way of explaining why, when I made Dr B a beanie to wear during PBP (the 1200-Km ride that is the pinnacle of Audax cycling), I elected to knit it at a rather firmer tension than I would normally use for the 8-ply yarn I chose, although not quite such a firm one as I’d used for the guernsey. The theory was that he’d want something on his head when he was sleeping. There was never any intention that it would, for instance, go under his cycling helmet. But, having so little hair, he needed something soft to provide comfort and warmth during rest stops. I selected  Lincraft’s Zambezee, a Tencel yarn which is supposed to be good at wicking away moisture while retaining warmth (much as good cycling gear is intended to do). Dr B has quite a large head, so the beanie ended up being knitted on something like 156 stitches, if I remember rightly. In any case, it was around that number and it was certainly a big knit for a little garment. I probably used UK size 11/3 mm needles for the body of the beanie.

Now that PBP is but a distant memory, he uses the beanie for a nightcap to keep his head warm while he’s asleep. Mission accomplished, I think, don’t you?

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