Friday, June 29, 2012

A bit of a challenge

I don't often challenge myself with my knitting. As I knit mainly for pleasure, and don't find challenging myself particularly pleasurable, I tend to focus more on experimenting with colour and texture than on challenging or developing my technical knitting expertise. But I do like traditional colourwork - the motifs and patterns have a pleasing regularity and repetition and I like the subtle gradations of the colour combinations. So, knitting this small colourwork project - a hat - was a good balance of technical challenge and manageable outcome.

Summer hat 2

The pattern is Brooklyn Tweed's Seasons Hat in the summer colourway. The colours are not very summery by Australian standards; the blue is too grey and the browns too subtle to evoke the Australian landscape. But the colours are very pleasing, whatever the name of the combination. I bought a kit, containing the yarn and pattern to make this hat. The yarn is Loft, Jared Flood's (Brooklyn Tweed's) own yarn. It's a sticky fingerweight yarn that's perfect for colourwork and like its thicker yarn sibling, Shelter, the heathered blend of colours within the yarn is very pleasing. The only negative feature of the yarn is that it tends to break if treated too vigourously. I knitted the crown of the hat on double-pointed needles and had to be very careful that the little tug I give to avoid ladders when switching from one needle to another was not too harsh.

This is such a great pattern. As a self-taught and relatively novice colourwork knitter I found much of the advice within the pattern very useful. The information about background and dominant colours, and the advice about varying needle size between the patterned and plain sections of the hat were very useful. I will never be a skillful colourwork knitter as I simply cannot master ambidextrous knitting and have to put down and pick up the yarn each time I change colour. Very labour-intensive. But following this pattern produced a competent result.

This is the inside of my hat. I think I'm even prouder of the inside than the outside.

Summer hat inside

I wore my hat to work yesterday. Well, I actually wore it to and from work and was very pleased with it. I think it looks quite spiffy.

Summer hat 1

7 comments:

Lynne said...

What a lovely hat and you did a great job on the inside too.

Brendaknits said...

Good enough to be an inside out hat.
Thanks for the links to the pattern and yarn.

missfee said...

Wow Lyn it is just gorgeous and great colours - and your tension no matter how you did the strandwork is faultless

and i believe another cold snap on the way wil mean much more wear - if only it was colder for longer here.....

Tasmania looks so inviting for a knitter to reside if only we could transport everything here there!

travellersyarn said...

It looks fabulous - what wonderful tension.

DrK said...

it really is gorgeous! if i was going to 'challenge' myself knitter wise, then it would be with colour work too. you've given me much to think about.

Rose Red said...

Looks great Lyn. I knit colour work the same as you. And I know it is slower but I don't care (it's faster for me than trying to do it two handed!). And so neat on the inside!I think you'll be entering the fair isle section in the show next year!

catsmum said...

gorgeous - I've tended to stay away from colourwork since I had a surfeit in the 80s but you could [ almost tempt me back ]
T like that idea of vatying the needle size because it seems so obvious once you say it [ smacks forehead ]