I'm working on the Brioche Helmet Hat from Interweave Knits Fall 2005 for Rose. It's such a sweet little hat, and once I finally got going on it, it seemed to fly along. Until last night, but more on that later.
It's knit with two strands of sport or DK weight yarn held together, and you change one of the strands to a different color after an inch or so to get the speckled effect. I wish my speckles were more random, but I think that lighter stripe happened because I was not sure I wanted to change from solid blue. So I threaded a lifeline in case I didn't like the color change and tried a few rows without cutting either strand of dark blue. Brioche stitch is not difficult, but, for me, it was nearly impossible (no, it was impossible) to get the doubled strands back on the needle after frogging a row or two on my first attempts at this hat. I didn't even want to face that fiasco again, so a lifeline was necessary. When I decided I liked the color change, I snipped the unused strand of dark blue and took out the lifeline. Apparently, something about having that other strand attached affected how I held the doubled strands and made the light blue stand out more. You can totally see where I made that change. I've decided I'm fine with it. It's a design element, yeah, that's the ticket.
So last night I made it to the decrease rounds. The pattern tells you to knit 3 together. The 3 stitches it's referring to are a stitch with a yarnover straddling it, a regular stitch, and another stitch with a yarnover straddling it. That's how brioche stitch works. There's a lot of slipped stitches with yarnovers over them, and it makes for a very cushy, thick fabric. Very nice for a warm hat. But the problem is, with these straddling stitches and the fact that the yarn is held doubled, for the k3tog, you have to actually get your needle through and knit 10 strands of yarn. Can you imaging knitting 10 together? It's terrible. It was killing my hands. I ended up having to use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through and replace it on the other needle.
Otherwise, I love this pattern and now that I've figured out the crochet hook trick, I'll be likely to make it again.
Here's another story. I ordered some mediumweight Socks That Rock to make something that I can't share quite yet. I wanted the Narikama colorway, but they sent me the Nyame colorway. It's absolutely gorgeous, but it's not what I wanted. I e-mailed them, and got a very quick response apologizing, letting me know that the Narikama was already in the mail, and telling me I could keep the Nyame! I am so amazed, and excited! Blue Moon Fiber Arts rocks!