Friday, 8 April 2016

Knitsonik Icelandic hat

I have finished another hat!  This one has been in the making basket for a while now.  My sister had planned a holiday to Iceland, a place I am keen to visit too, but so far haven't been able to go.  I asked her to bring me back 4 balls of Icelandic wool in any colours she thinks go well together.  She chose these four as they were all represented in this amazing ice landscape.  And so I have surprised her by knitting up a warm, cosy and waterproof hat in this beautiful lettlopi yarn.
I have a book by Felicity Ford called Knitsonik, it helps you to develop your own colour work pattern using your own environment as inspiration to come up with colourwork ideas that would work in knit wear.  I went through about 5 sheets of graph paper and different designs to come up with my idea, and even now that it is finished, I am eager to try another version.  There are just no wrong answers when it comes to designing your own colourwork pattern!  I didn't know which one was my best one, and even now I am keen to give it another go!
I used the lines of the ice formation behind my sister in the above photograph as my inspiration.  All jagged and triangular lines.  Here is Mr Bingley keeping a close eye on it whilst it dries on a balloon.
I would definitely change a few things for my next incarnation, but this one will suffice for an Aussie winter.  Below are pictures showing the front, side and above:

I am very relieved and quite pleased that my crown design worked out as well as it did.   I am sure she will like this, especially as I STILL haven't finished the quilt I promised to finish 3 winters ago!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Crofthoose Hat

We love visiting the Scottish Islands and have taken MANY photos of the small cottages dotted amongst the beautiful landscapes.  When I saw this year's free pattern promoting Shetland Wool Week I just had to knit it up!

Ella Gordon is the designer of this free pattern available from the Shetland Wool Week website.
She has suggested four different yarn colourways, but so many people are coming up with their own!  It's such an inspiring hashtag to browse #crofthoosehat  I chose to stick with mostly natural yarn colours, but added red roofs to some for a pop of colour, and to remind me of our holidays.
The intricately patterned crown above.   And below it is inside-out to show my yarn floats.

I kept two rows of the more traditional coloured cottages, as I really like the natural brown colours, and also because we once stayed in a thatched cottage for two weeks on the Island of Benbecula.
And I added in a row of red-roofed cottages, as we have taken many photos of these whilst journeying through the Hebridean Islands of Scotland.

Overall, I feel this hat is too snug and too small for my head unfortunately.  My guage is really quite off too.  The pattern calls for a guage of 26 stitches per 10cm square, and mine was 30x36 stitches.  I think I knit this too tightly.  I will be knitting this again, but on bigger needles.  I do love it and really want to be able to wear the wee crofthooses to remind me of so many happy times.
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