I am pleased to be able to release my latest pattern, Morganite, a design that has been a long and meticulous time in the making. Named for a complex but robust gemstone, Morganite is the perfect hat project for combining a number of simple knitting […]
I’ve been knitting away at the test knitalong for my latest design and have happily drawn together the last few crown stitches, woven in the ends and added a pompom for my own project. A wonderful and lovely team are currently in the process of doing […]
Another project from A Year Of Techniques has freed itself from its needle-y bonds and plopped itself down into a bubbly bath. A relaxing end to an emotional knit that, at one point, I did not think would ever get finished. I am relieved to have cast off after a night of literal blood, sweat and tears.
You will observe Exhibit A, up top, the expertly bandaged middle finger of my left hand after I deftly sliced the top of my finger off in an attempt to make finishing the hat that bit more challenging. It turns out that my knitting style does not utilise this particular digit too frequently, however it provides the buffer and counterbalance to all the finely tuned action above it and, unfortunately, rests against the base of my thumb in exactly the place that my newly acquired injury lay.
Saturday afternoon had been going well. I’d been shopping and had purchased some exciting things for a new adventure: swimming costumes for myself and my little boy. The last time I went swimming I was about 11 years old, and my toddler had never been, so my husband Russell and I decided that we’d try something new on Sunday morning, and were full of preparations yesterday. And that’s what caused this whole sorry mess. Being a female of the species I felt the stupid societal pressure to ensure that every square inch was fuzz-free, lest strangers might point at me like I were an actual yeti descending down the ladder into the shallow end. About ¾ of the way into this de-fuzzing venture I had a sickening slip of the hand whilst rounding the angle of my knee and actually heard the… You know what? You honestly don’t need to know the details. The next sounds were a few faint whimpers and then my husband’s name called at 130 decibels, (which I’ve just Googled in order to find a jet plane take-off equivalent noise level). There was blood (a lot) there were tears (so many tears) there was probably sweat, but honestly the blood and tears were the overriding focus. After what seemed like hours of sitting in a rapidly cooling bath trying to stem the blood, Russell helped me out and bandaged me up.
A few hours later my finger was bruised and still very, very sore, but I was actually able to knit. I wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t unbearable, either. And I only went and knit the entire brim.
I decided to go with a stitch pattern slightly different from the pattern’s called-for Moss Stitch. So as to give a similar overall look I instead used the gently textural broken rib/garter pattern that I used in my Dextrous Mitts pattern, letting the slightly less distinct underside of the stitch come to the fore on the turned up brim.
The finished hat it still blocking, and I hope that it will fit. I think a couple of the finished examples I have seen have come up a little short for my preferred fit and brim-line, so I added twelve rows to the body pattern before changing the final four pattern rows to complete the pattern, and I think that extra bit of length will help the hat sit in a more comfortable shape on my giant head.
So, despite my damaged digit the hat is complete and after a few days rest it should be fighting fit to cast on for the next project. And, very importantly, our family day at the swimming baths was magical.
My knitting motivation has been a bit thin on the ground these past two weeks. Some warmer-than-usual June weather in the UK turned my greenhouse of a living room into a suburban sauna and brought my hat progress to a crashing halt. Though Talmadge is […]
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 […]
I have finished my first new project since I finally found time to get back into my usual creative flow of ideas and activities. This hat practically flew from the needles in a very few hours, its speed hastened by a mixture of the pure excitement to be knitting again. There was also a thrill of knitting with my own handspun yarn and the anticipation to see if my ideas for the hat would work out, all the while testing my imagined geometry to make sure it worked as an actual piece of shaped knitted fabric.
The knitting had started out as a simple stockinette, slightly slouchy hat, just about as simple a knit as it was possible to be, but I was nurturing an idea for the crown of the head that would allow me to play with the shaping and closure of the hat top. I was pretty certain that the planned geometry I had visualised would work as well in reality as it did in my head, but the proof is in the knitting, so it was only once I had made it through to the very final few rows that I felt certain that I had honoured my original conceived idea.
The details of the crown shaping aren’t very apparent in the images above as they’ll be kept under wraps until the pattern is ready for release, but the close-up detail pictures are perfect for showing the nuances of the handspun yarn I had used: the three plies of orange and russet hues shifting and twisting around each other to give a nice, rounded fingering weight yarn.
I’ve thought a good while about it, and I’m not sure I am going to block this hat. The stitches are pretty even, but what variation there is in the texture given by the handspun yarn I would like to preserve as much as I can, so I am considering leaving it unblocked (until, of course, it eventually needs an inevitable wash). It’ll be a while until the pattern is ready, but hopefully Mr Awesome will be able to put some of the practice with the camera that he amassed over the course of our honeymoon to good use by taking a few pictures of the hat being modelled.