It's still August and I refuse, simply refuse, to join the chorus of "Where did the summer go?" Summer's still here, and I intend to cling to it until I'm ankle-deep in snow. Here in Chicago, that won't be for at least another two weeks.
Making the most of summer does not, however, mean greeting winter unprepared. I'm tired of such hats as I've got, so I'm preparing three new ones. (Yes, three. Chalk it up to the typical male fear of commitment.)
Hat the First: Dubbelmossa
Last time I blogged about the Dubbelmossa Hat from Handknitting with Meg SwansenI was afraid the blue and oatmeal yarns were too similar to show off the pattern properly. Several inches later, I take it back.
The pattern doesn't jump out, no; but in this case I like that. There's a patina of age about it–as though it had been worn out in the sun and snow. It reminds me of a much-loved pair of jeans, or a fisherman's gansey that has actually been out to sea on the back of a fisherman.
That sounds like gushy yarn catalogue copy, doesn't it? I'll stop now, before I accidentally write something about the gentle, salty kiss of the Atlantic mist at dawn.
Hat the Second: Bavarian Twisted Stitch
We have a history, this hat and I. The pattern is another gem by Meg Swansen, distributed on a handout at Knitting Camp.
I fell in love with Bavarian twisted stitch two years ago on my first day of camp. As the name suggests, it has no plain knit stitches. The clever little designs are drawn by lines of twisted knitting (worked through the back loop) traveling across a purl ground. At times the stitches leap over and under one another like tiny cables. At a firm gauge in a tightly spun yarn, they stand out as through they'd been carved. Yum.
I decided I had to learn how to do it or I'd stop breathing. I cast on the hat five times and ripped back five times. The idiosyncratic charts and the fiddly little right and left twists were more than I could handle, surrounded as I was by a passel of rowdy knitters and a carnival of yarn.
Flash forward to this year. There was camp, there was the handout, and there was Tricky Tricot. The sonofabitch blithely cast on and worked the whole thing in a day, and that got my dander up. I decided that as soon as space opened up in my queue, this hat and I were going to have a re-match.
This time around, probably because I've got more experience and improved powers of concentration, Bavarian twisted stitch and I are playing a nice duet with only occasional discordant notes.
This yarn, Shepherd Classic Wool, isn't absolutely ideal for the technique–it has a bit more halo and a smidge less twist than I would like–but it'll be warm and it's working well enough to suit me.
Hat the Third: Handspun Plus Noro
I was rooting around in the stash cupboard and found something I'd forgotten: a small ball of handspun merino–the biggest batch of finished yarn I've produced to date. Rabbitch sent me the fiber a long time ago, and I've decided I am an ungrateful wretch for not at least attempting to turn her gift into something handsome. Or at least something other than a ball.
So I'm pairing it with the Noro Silk Garden, to make what I dearly hope will be a successful striped beanie. My homemade yarn looks like yarn. We'll see if it acts like yarn.