When the writing mojo pushed over the writer’s block, I also promised a photo of the most recent project. The hat that interrupted my zen knitting of the ‘What Would Miss Marple Knit?” shawl is for my running pal and ranch friend, Ann. She was given a lovely knitted hat with ear flaps a number of years ago and it has been worn to its end. Regardless of the 80+ degree (F) days around here, cold weather is coming sooner than later, so hat knitting began when I stumbled upon the perfect yarn at the recent Spin-In at WC Mercantile in Navasota. It is 100% Alpaca from the Bluebonnet Hills Alpaca Ranch, spun as Lopi, in natural colors.
A deliciously lofty, bulky yarn that practically jumped off the shelf at me.
I had intended to knit just a cream topper straight from a pattern that I found through searching in Ravelry. Note the word intend. Once I saw the dark grey (it was jumping, too) I bought two cream and one grey. Swatching determined a needle size 10 US and when I closely studied the pattern, I realized that it was top down with KFB (Knit front and back) increases. I tried a couple of rounds and was not pleased with the results. Just a personal quirk of mine, no reflection on the way the pattern is written. Some of us are top down, some are bottom up.
It rested a couple of days; then I just reversed the directions and started at the brim. During those two days, I also got the bright idea to add a little pattern just above the garter stitch brim and picked one I liked, then custom charted it to fit. I missed it just a few stitches, but I forgive myself. This is my first time to knit Fair Isle and chart my own, after all.
Pattern name: “Thorpe”,
Designer: Kirsten Kapur.
The pattern can be downloaded for free from Kirsten’s blog, Through the Loops.
Final notes regarding my version of ‘Thorpe’: a) the hat has not been blocked yet, I believe the slightly thick-thin yarn will even out with wet shaping, b) I did add one extra short row on the back and the ear flaps were knitted one up to the brim and the other knitted down from picked stitches, and c) I knit the medium for a 22″ head and my gauge was spot on, but the garter stitch does not “tighten up” like a rib pattern. I should have knit the small size. The solution: shrink it! Ann is a master felter, we will make it fit!