Subtitled "30 Patterns Inspired by Favorite Books," Literary Knits is just that: a collection of patterns inspired by novels, specifically the author's favorite literary characters. The patterns are grouped into four categories: women's accessories, women's shawls and garments, items for men, and items for children.This fall I finally knit one of the patterns from the book: Edmund Crown/Hat, which was inspired by the character of Edmund Pevensie of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series. When I visited one of Russell's sisters in May niece #2 requested leg warmers. I love nothing more than appreciative handknit recipient, but I knew that if I knit something for her I'd have to knit for her three siblings as well. The Edmund Crown/Hat is what I decided to knit for niece #3. I used purple as the base color since it is her favorite and I had some lovely leftover yarn in both purple and pink that I thought would suit.
Project: Ella Crown/Hat
Pattern: Edmund Crown/Hat
Yarn: South West Trading Company Optimum DK in Lilac and Rouge
(the eagle-eyed among you may recognize this yarn from the literary yarn bomb)
I love that this pattern is reversible so that one can wear it crown-side out or as a nondescript single-color toque. However, I'm really not crazy about how the pattern came out. Lohr includes two different sizes, but the youth/small adult size differs from the child size only in the instruction to use a larger needle size. I wanted to knit the larger size, but I suspect that I would have had much better luck if I'd made the effort to modify the pattern to add a repeat (and using a lighter yarn and/or smaller needles as necessary) rather than relying on larger needle to do the work.
The larger needle size left my knitting far more loose that I like and the colorwork section horribly irregular. When I soaked the completed hat so I could even out the colorwork during blocking it grew so large that I had to risk putting the hat in the dryer (against care instruction) to get it back to a size that might actually fit her head. The dryer worked fairly well to resize the hat, but I ended up having to soak and dry again because I failed to realize that I'd need to shape the hat to the best of my ability before (and during) drying so it didn't get locked into a misshapen mess.