We’re going off-piste today! Or maybe just a different piste somewhere on a different mountain? Maybe the same mountain but a different piste but still on piste, as it were…
ANYWAY, aside from embroidery, I also really enjoy a few other things. One of those things happens to be knitting (which I touched upon briefly in my first post of this year). I’m definitely a beginner, but I’ve been knitting on and off for about 2 and a bit years now, and I’ve started trying my hand at techniques I’ve never used before and I feel like I’m building up my skill set slowly but surely.
One project I really liked for the very reason that it helps beginners try out skills they may not have tried before is Fringe Association’s Fringe Hatalong Series. I’d been reading about it all year, but I never actually managed to get organised enough to be able to actually knit along at the same time everyone else was, but I really wanted to give a couple of hats a try, so during my little break this Christmas I decided to gather the materials and try out two out of the six hats: L’Arbre by Cirilia Rose, and 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes of The Seamen’s Church Institute.
The first hat I tried out was the second in the series, L’Arbre from the book Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads by Cirilia Rose. Arbre means ‘tree’ in French, and the name came from the beautiful pattern the stitch makes, which looks like trees. This immediately appealed to me because I happen to fricking love trees.
I was slightly intimidated with how complicated this stitch looked to a beginner like me, but in actual fact it was very simple and straightforward to do, even if you’d only ever done knits and purls before, and the fact that it repeats all the way up means you can quickly get the hang of it.
I added the modification of a large pom pom on the top, because also fricking love pom poms, and will add them happily to any hat (or garment?) that can accommodate them.
I ended up knitting this in an afternoon and haven’t really stopped wearing it since. I really love it.
The second hat I knit was the sixth and final hat in the series, 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes. The story behind this pattern and The Seamen’s Church Institute is super cool and interesting, so I encourage you to read all about it over on the Fringe blog.
A couple of things attracted me to this pattern: One, I love how cute earflaps look, but I’ve never actually knit a hat with them before, and I thought that this hat would look adorable on anyone (although considering it was designed for mariners, ‘adorable’ probably wasn’t the aim but in my opinion, a great side effect); and two, the construction is nothing like I’d ever seen before, and I thought it would be super fun and interesting to knit.
Despite the hat having the most complex design I’ve knit so far, it actually only took me a few hours in total, and taught me a bunch of skills I’d never learned before, including grafting sides together, making it an altogether fun project. It’s also SUPER WARM, due to the fact that the garter stitch ear flap brim is actually doubled over, so perfect for working outdoors!
Not that I do that very often.
I really love the design, but despite loving the reddy-orange colour I chose for the yarn in principle, I don’t think I like it on myself, so I may donate this one and knit myself another in a different colour (perhaps green or purple).
So those two hats are my last two FOs (finished objects) for a while, but I’ve cast on for a couple of new things:
After spending a long time swatching, I finally cast on for Quadrillion from the Autumn 2013 edition of Pom Pom Quarterly. This will be my first ever jumper and involves a pattern of 8 different cable repeats, so it’s going to take a while, but it’s been really fun to knit (so far…) so I’m excited.
I also patterned myself out some cute little socks with little maths symbols all over them (pluses, minuses, divide signs, etc), and they will also be a first for me so we’ll have to see how they go. In general though it will just be good to learn and understand how to construct socks when you hand knit them.
If you’d like to keep up with all the things I’m knitting/have knat, please check out my Ravelry here and add me as a friend if you have an account too!