Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seasonally inappropriate

First, some plain knitting: my mother likes to wear a black angora beret in the winter, so I figured I'd make her a new one. I found some luscious angora/silk at Romni and made the plainest hat I could: start in the centre with a 3-stitch icord stem, then increase every other round at eight points until it is a bit bigger than head-sized, knit plain for a couple of inches, decrease sharply (I had increased to 160 stitches, and decreased to 100), knit some kind of hem. This one has a folded-over hem—I was worried that it wouldn't stay on anyone's head since the yarn has no stretch or memory, and you can always stick a piece of elastic in there. I seem to have picked the magic number of decreases and it stays put on my head, but when I send it off I will include a note about threading an elastic through the hem to tighten up the fit.

the plainest hat in the world

Fancier knitting: I wanted to make a different thing at the same time as the mystery thing, so I found some stash yarn and went to town with graph paper. (A skein and a bit of Misti Alpaca laceweight in a heathery yellow-green, and 3.5mm needles.) The idea was to make something that looked a bit like a sampler of a few garter-stitch-based patterns with plain returning rows, for maximum mindlessness. It turns out that when you flip a Madeira fern upside down it looks a bit like a flower! So when I got tired of that I made some bigger flowers, and then some flowers underneath half-hexagon roof shapes, and then knitted on an edging.

My love interest is excellent and I adore him, but his apartment (where I am staying) is lightless and full of books (like there are books on every surface). Moreover it is too hot for me to be interested in going outside, least of all clad in alpaca. So this is the best I can do to document this project:

all together now

I was worried it would end up looking kind of motley, because by the time I got to the edging I was aching to knit something more complicated with no resting rows and picked something more or less at random. It is 1/2 of the last edging pattern in Heirloom Knitting and I like it a lot. The tiny edging along the hypotenuse is a small variation on something I picked up somewhere else; I remember it being a 4-row repeat but I added in two rows to make the double yarnovers stand out a bit more. I think they look reinforced, like grommets.

little edging

The faggoting column down the centre is a kind of homage to this idea. It's flanked by plain yarnover increases, which makes it stand out a bit less, but it's the thought that counts.

It's not too big—the hypotenuse is maybe the same as my wingspan, so 5'5", and the spine is about half that. When I put it on and fold the top edging over like a collar, the bottom points of the big edging hit me at my waist. This is an excellent size for being mostly a scarf worn underneath a coat in winter!


missalicefaye said...

ooh, pretty! I really love the center column. And I bet that beret is awfully soft and nice. :)

MoniqueB. said...

The fagotting in the center makes it light and very pretty! Just a hint of faroer...

The beret is very well knitted, as you say: exactely right. Love the little tip on top!