waves of color
I finally got around to washing and photographing the wavy hat, which I think I finished knitting about 2 weeks ago. It was just a fun little project with worsted leftovers, designed as I went along, with no attention paid to gauge. The yarn is Harrisville Highland (you might recognize the orange from my braid and bobbles hat), and the colorwork is based on a chart from Sensational Knitted Socks. (Pattern 2, on page 82, if you're really curious.) I cast on 96 stitches on size 6 16" circs, knit several plain rows for the roll brim, and then followed the chart until the hat was a good height. The chart is ridiculously easy, alternating 2 stitches of each color around and around. All that creates the wave effect is shifting the starting point on some of the rows. This, and many of the other basic colorwork charts in the book, would be a great starting point for anybody who has wanted to try stranded colorwork, and is looking for something easy as a first project.
The top of the hat took some tinkering:
I wanted to do my standard 8 decrease swirl, and played around with a bunch of options before settling on a way to work the colorwork with the decreases. You can probably tell that I abandoned the wave chart for the top, in favor of keeping the color shifts in one direction. I think it worked out fairly well.
The hat will join my very tiny pile of garments for the Dulaan project, which is why I was able to completely ignore gauge. This hat will fit someone, and getting any specific size didn't really matter. I have a couple of interesting ideas for more colorwork hats, using up some more of my leftover worsted weight yarn. For these, I'm probably going to use charts in Joyce Williams' spectacular book Latvian Dreams. I have an urge to gush over the book in this post, but it would be disorganized gushing. I have plans to do a proper review of the book at some point, so I'll try to refrain from too much gushing right now. Needless to say, the book is spectacular, as a pattern book, a reference book, and as a collection of charts. I'm frankly overwhelmed at the choices for colorwork charts, and must sit down and force myself to choose just one or two to play with, or else I'll never get anything done.
Remember when I said, at the beginning of the year, that it might be a while before I do colorwork again? I guess I was wrong. I'm really excited by my hat design ideas, and have decided that my next sweater will be colorwork, too. I was wearing Vertical Stripes the other day, and realized that I really wanted to knit another one. Not another of the same sweater, but another fingering weight fair isle sweater with all-over patterning. I want to knit the Autumn Color Cardigan, which graces the cover of Sweaters From Camp. That sweater is the reason I bought the book in the first place, and it's long overdue that I actually get around to knitting it. I have some yarn money squirreled away, from earnings from my Stitch 'n Bitch calendar pattern, and from some commissioned knitting projects I've recently completed. It should be just about enough to pay for this project, though I'll have to kick in some extra to cover the expense of shipping from the UK. I had been planning to knit Am Kamin this spring, but the pull of fair isle is too great. I'm very excited. It will be my first time knitting set-in sleeves knit in the round and saddle shoulders, as well as my first colorwork project in which both the background and foreground colors are constantly shifting. A challenge, a learning experience, and the most gorgeous sweater I may ever knit.