Saturday, 4 February 2012

The third hat and Raymond Honeyman's Snowdrop Tapestry

The third hat took me three and a half weeks to finish - that is my normal knitting speed, so it was quite a feat to finish the first two in five days.  The pattern for my own hat came from the same issue of Vogue Knitting as the second hat, Fall 2009.  This time it was Cathy Carron's eyelet hat that caught my eye.  I wanted a slouchy hat with a brim that could be folded double for warmth and with an uncomplicated pattern.

I had already decided on the yarn, Zauberball 4 ply sock yarn in a dark red colour, but the yarn shop did not stock it, so I looked for something else.  I had read a lot about Madeleine Tosh sock yarn, so I chose a dark brown shade, William Morris.  It was expensive.

I omitted the eyelets because I did not want open holes in the hat.  I knew from experience with my previous knitted hat that my head is sensitive to cold winds.  (By the way, now I know that Debbie Bliss was involved in the book Wild Knitting.  I could not guess from her subsequent pattern.)  So it became an eyelet hat without eyelets.  I liked the ridge pattern, just right for a slouch hat.  The pattern was easy, but I had to resort to pen and paper to keep track of knit and purl rows.  I wanted a deeper crown so I added an extra repeat of the pattern.  The ribbing on the other hand I shortened keeping it long enough to be folded double.  I didn't sew it down as per the pattern because I prefer to adjust it according to the weather.

I like the hat.  From the side and the back the shape looks odd, a bit pointed, but from the front it is fine.  I have worn it daily since I finished it.  It stays put - a great advantage for a knitted hat - so I can push it up so that my fringe shows or pull it down.

I am not that taken by the Madeleine Tosh yarn.  Perhaps it works better for socks.  It is warm, and I like the texture.  The shade is my favourite brown, but the lighter sections look like my own failed attempts at dyeing yarn, a dirty grey.  I find it difficult to see that I would buy it again.

I used double pointed needles, and I was lucky to find a fifth needle from a second set to add to my set of 4 needles.  Most of my knitting needles are bought in charity shops and I buy second and third copies, because you never know when they will come in useful.  I find it impossible to divide my circular knitting onto 3 needles because it seems so contrary and unnatural.  It is impossible to fold your knitting in half when you put it away.  If you try to, you end up stretching one third of the knitting.

I will also show the tapestry cushion I finished.  I love stitching these.  It is working with wool and sewing.  The pattern is printed on the canvas, so you don't need to think about the design.  This is an Ehrman kit, bought from a charity shops as are all the others.  Again, I like the serendipity of not having to choose, and it is of course very cheap.  The designer is Raymond Honeyman and this is called Snowdrops.  It is one of my favourite designs, a stylised picture filling the whole of the cushion, in lovely muted colours.

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