Pile of Denial (A Lesson in Yarn)

So, I've had a little yarn schooling this week.... it started with (a bit of) denial, a bunch of knitting, and finally a late night chat with a friend set me straight. Ready for a story?
I decided I wanted to knit a hat and headband to match the Hay Bale Mitts I designed for Craftsy's November Mystery KAL.  So, while I was traveling last weekend I got a skein of Manos Maxima for the hat and a skein of Fibre Company Terra for the headband... which had similar yards/weight and then I knit them. I knew the Terra was a little bit heavier, but the Manos is thick due to it's single ply and they seemed like a good match.
I LOVE the hat, but the headband wasn't quite right, the stitch was getting lost in the textural quality of the Terra so I solved the problem by going to Knitting Etc on Sunday to BUY MORE YARN.

I went with my girl, and she "ordered" a Hay Bale Hat for herself, so we got a skein of Dream in Color Classy. This is the yarn I used for Cruzado Cowl... love it!  It has the same yardage/weight as Maxima, so I assumed I was good to go.

Before I cast that on I knit ANOTHER headband in Swan's Island Merino (admittedly, this was more like 250 yards/100grams). I was in denial.... right? BUT, I'm obviously dense, and also really like to knit so instead of halting and looking at the fabric I kept knitting. Then without stopping to think, I wound up B's yarn, and cast on her hat. I need you to know that I did do a gauge swatch and it was pretty close... but look, it's loosely goosey and NOT at all squishy like the Maxima hat... I'm not happy with it at all!

How can this make sense? Two yarns with the same gauge, yardage and weight and they don't act the same in the design?  NOT FAIR! Last night at knit night Hickory helped me figure the dilemma out and saved me from more mistakes.

Here's the thing, the Manos Maxima is a single ply and that gives it loft that fills in the space between stitches beautifully and helps accentuate the Hay Bale stitch. The Classy and Swan's Island are 4-ply and more tightly spun and the stitch just doesn't show up.... AT.ALL! I don't typically choose single ply yarns as they don't wear as well as plied yarns, but in this case I'm breaking my own rule!

Here's an example of all 4 yarns and how they look in the stitch:
So, there are 3 solutions (all of which involve buying more yarn):
#1. Get another skein of Maxima for the headband!
#2. Get a skein of Knitted Witt Aran for Bella's hat (I want to see if an Aran weight that is smooth and plied, but knit to gauge will work... I haven't tried this combo yet.)
#3. And Hickory's idea (which is obviously brilliant):  Buy 4 more skeins of the Dream in Color Classy in Peacock Shadow and knit a sweater! Cause that yarn is nice and I already have one skein, right?
I took care of #1 and 2 last night...... I just have to knit another headband (cast on above), another hat, and do some photography and the Hay Bale Hat and Headband will be ready for your knitting pleasure! But at least you won't make the same yarn mistake(s) I did!


  1. Laura, do you know how many yards the hat took, with the Manos Maxima? I'm wondering whether or not i have enough left from my hay bale mitts. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Susan... I think the hat is around 160 (180) yards (less if you don't make a pom-pom), and the earband is around 50 or 60!

  2. Really interesting! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  3. so interesting!! i am the eternal student and love learning, especially anything about knitting.

  4. I think you need to still do the third option, after all you deserve it�� Thank you for the info and happy knitting.
    brhuth on Ravelry

  5. Clever title! We can always count on you to share the notable finds along life's journey .

  6. Please let me know if this pattern is ready to purchase. Thanks!

    1. Hi Pi!

      It is coming out Tuesday!!!!

      Thanks! Laura

    2. Thanks, Laura! I am going to place an order for the yarn first since i have finished the mitts in Crafsty, and looking forward to match this cute hat with them. Keep up the great work.