Hats Galore!

Published August 27, 2014 by Jackie

Oh my goodness, looks like I’ve not posted in a while, so I need to yarn-bomb the place a bit!

Been on a hat-mission lately ~ there’ve been a few special colleagues leaving work of late, and I’ve been making hats for them. Firstly, Dan got himself a Stephen West Hat, Westward, and then Roger the woodsman, a special chunky Moorit hat from the Book of Wool. Tracey got a lovely silver silky merino garter stitch hat, pattern called Rikke, to which I added a precious baby-alpaca pompom from Toft (ethically sourced fur from baby alpacas, and the softest thing in the universe).

There’s another hat ready and waiting, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise ~ if you’re on Ravelry, you know where to look! Oh and another DK/worsted weight Rikke in the making for a colleague, this time from Rowan Lima, a strange chained alpaca yarn, lovely and squishy tho. (Jenners sale is a grand thing, don’t you know?)

Did I mention I’m off to Shetland in early October for Wool Week? There’s a hat needed for that too, Hazel Tindall’s special SHetland WOOl weeK hat, nicknamed Shwook! Her intention is that everyone coming makes one to wear… I started my third last night! I’m there for five days, and at the moment I am plotting colours for the fourth one… will I make one for each day?

Seriously, they are quick! Fair Isle is addictive, and you can’t leave it at one row, you have to complete the 3 rows that include the colour you just picked up. And then the next bit… and the next bit. There are only maybe 50 rows in a beanie hat before you start on a rapid decrease, so before you know it, the hat is done in a couple of days.

(Is it ethical of me to wear some of these hats just the once, and then give them away as Christmas gifts? Will anyone know? Ooops they will if they read this blog!)

First was meant to be exclusively in J&S 2-ply jumper weight. I bought five colours, but two didn’t work, so I dug into my fabulous bag of mini-balls (thanks Mica!) and replaced a dark charcoal with a lovely conker brown, and a beautiful opalescent shade with a single row of bright orange Rennies Shetland. The resulting hat is really bright and striking! It’s also closer to the original pattern charts than the other two. But that’s the beauty of Fair Isle, you can adapt as you go!

The second hat is heavy on the pinks and purples. A very bright Rowan Scottish Tweed ball caught my eye in my Shetland stash box, and I put that together with a wound-off cake of lavender from a cone of Shetland I found in a charity shop and passed on. (I think I might regret that now) Added an oddment of bright magenta that came from Cathy, cream from the magic mini-ball bag, and another, a surprising variegated Shetland yarn in pinks, magentas and dark purples, from Colorimetry, that was also in the mini-ball bag!

Surprisingly for a yarn that is oiled, and therefore quite ‘thin’, the hat is much bigger than the first one, so I think it may need tossed in the washing machine to shrink a bit, as well as strip the oil out. If it also felts a bit, never mind, I can stretch it into shape.

For my third, I’m going back to the original colours that I bought, and am using the lovely opalescent shade as a main colour, and working the motifs in the bright turquoise and grassy green, with the dark teal as a contrast to each. I shall decide on the centre-line when I get there! Oh and just for some interest, I worked a two-colour cable cast-on in turquoise and green!

And the fourth? That ball of charcoal needs used, and I think it would work well with dayglo pinks and oranges! We’ll see! I need to find my lost J&S stash first, I know there are lots of pinks in there.

(oh and I started another Vivid, for my great-niece Marnie, who is finally getting to stay overnight with her father! The wonderful thing about a special blanket is that it can stay on her bed in his home, and she won’t grow out of it either ~ back to the stash of Rowan Aran for that one, deep purple garter edges, and every other colour for the centres! I shall make it as big as I can!)

ps I shall endeavour to add hat photos to this post shortly!
pps here’s one of my Shwook hats ~ or is the plural ‘Shweek’?


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