I have emerged from my sea of spinning wheels to make one last post for 2012. Personally, I will be rather glad to see 2012 belong to the ages as it was not the best year I’ve ever had. Yes, I did rescue a team of mules from slaughter and yes, I did rescue a horde of spinning wheels and circular sock knitting machines. But I also saw more doctors in this one year than I have for the past 30 besides spending 11 days with no power. I’m ready for 2013.
I did get quite a bit of knitting done, being without power for 11 days. Mostly Christmas gifts. However, one was a project that was a long time in coming and which only finished up a few days ago.
There is a marvelous Welsh designer named Sally Pointer who publishes under the “Wicked Woolens” banner. You can find her patterns on Ravelry. Her designs are based on nature and on history. I have a previous blog post on her “Russula” cap.
Another of her designs captured my imagination: the Forester cap. Forget that at the time I started it, I had little to no experience with lace knitting. Nor did I like to work with small, fiddly needles. Or be able to read a chart. However, Sally’s charts are very clear and very simple to follow, even for a novice. I got over the needle thing, although it did contribute to the 10 months or so it took to complete this. Cast on with a size 2 and switch over to a size 3? Really? I felt for a time like i was knitting with long toothpicks.
However, once I started this, I did several other small projects with tiny needles, so by the time I came back to this, the needles didn’t seem fiddly at all. I wish, however, I had knitted the ribbed edging a bit longer, but at the time, I’d had quite enough of no. 2 needles! Leaving the ribbing short allowed the tensioning of the cable to pull up and cause a slightly scalloped edge, which wasn’t a bad thing.
The yarn proved in the very end to be a bit disappointing. It is Filatura di Crosa’s Golden Line Alpaca which is 40% alpaca, 35% merino wool and 25% acrylic. I am not a big alpaca fan, but I loved the color of this for this project because it is not a solid green; it is shot through with tinges of gold and orange and looked, well, leafy. However, when I wet-finished the hat, any spring the yarn had went out of it and the resulting hat, while it has a lovely hand, is a bit limper than I would like. All-wool would have held up better.
All in all, this was a good learning experience for me and a positive project to end the year with.
Here is hat on my typical “modeling stand” stone:
Here it is with its natural comparison: do you see the evergreen tree in the design?
Front the top, looking down at where everything comes together;
And on my wooden hat form so you can see what it looks like filled out:
I was sorry to hear that you had a bad year. May the new one be what you dream it to be. I have missed you, and am glad you are back.
If you were Dutch and in your sixties or older, you would have used what you learned from your mother or at school, 4 needles at least 30 cm. long, maybe even 35 cm. (12 inches and upwards). There are these new knitters knitting with very short needles down to 4 inches/10 to 12 cm. Continental style (thread at the left) I found before WWII in Germany these longer needles were used as the normal size, besides cableneedles. Then the war years for Germany came and women were asked to knit socks for soldiers (wouldn’t you expect it, governments start wars and then the people have to provide socks, it is of all times). Women responded, even knitting in the Berlin trams. Then the bosses of those trams got complaints from other passengers: they were stabbed by the long needles of the sock knitters. So the needles used got to be shorter and shorter. I usually knit socks on 35 cm. needles. Those 5 extra cm. longer then real sockneedles are very welcome, because ah well, I have a well developed front, so to say, and I clench one needle between my arm and chest (not, as many younger knitters think, parked in my arm pit). Just use longer needles next time, picking or throwing, Continental or English style,it will make a whole lot of difference. WE7