FO: Tantallon

Despite my plans to keep the number of WiPs small and finish my Tea Leaves Cardigan I couldn’t resist Tantallon. It’s another of Kate Davies’ Fair Isle hats and the pleasingly simple graphic peerie combination looked very appealing. Last year I ordered a pile of Alice Starmore’s Hebridean 2ply and had just the right colours for this pattern.

starmore1I swatched with the recommended colour selection but found the red a bit to loud for my taste. I used purple instead (Erica) and since I had ordered the wrong shade of green I substituted some leftover J&S 2 ply Jumper Weight.

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According to the pattern I should have cast on 125 stitches for the brim but I suspected this would turn out a bit too wide for my head I started out with only 110 stitches instead. To avoid doing any math to the pattern repeats I the increased 90 stitches up to the regular 200 needed for the full chart (all ravelled here).

Knitting this hat was a real pleasure and I managed to memorize the pattern fairly quickly. I learned something new as well: The pattern calls for a lining on the brim and I found a nifty provisional cast on on  YouTube (and directions on how to unravel it in the end :-)). I used some pink leftover merino lace-weight for the brim lining and this makes all the difference when its windy outside! My ears stay extra warm.

tantallon3Since I live on my own I had to ask my colleague to take a picture of me wearing the hat and he really got into it. He even climbed up onto the table in our office – must have been a sight for the people on the other side of the yard 🙂

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tantallon7We’ve had over two weeks of freezing temperatures here and so far Tantallon and the Sheep Heid got lots of wear.

I’m still knitting the Tea Leaves Cardigan – I’m on the second sleeve – but it is slow going and I find myself a bit unwilling to work on it…

Now, back to the spinning wheel – I’ve nearly finished clearing off some Polwarth abandoned there last October… I really need to make a dent in my fibre stash!

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FO: Sheep Heid

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Ravelry tells me I finished this hat in December 2011 but I haven’t found the time to post and sort the pictures until now.
I’ve become a bit of an addict to Kate Davies’ patterns and when she published her new hat design back in october I couldn’t resist. Also, the internet makes this kind of thing almost too easy and so I bought pattern and wool with only a few clicks. I’ve ordered wool from Jamieson’s & Smith before and I can very much recommend their shop and, above all, their wool. There’s nothing like real Shetland wool for stranded colour work (although some Aade Long, Isager and the Tweed yarns from Rowan work as well). The sheep heid is designed with a colour scheme that makes use of the natural colours Shetland wool comes in and calls for J & S Shetland Supreme Jumper weight yarn. It’s a bit thicker than their regular jumper weight and it feels more ‘sheepy’. It also still smelled like sheep when I pulled it out of its soak – lovely!

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I’m a slow knitter when it comes to colour work because I knit with one strand in each hand and throwing the yarn is still a bit awkward for me. While I was knitting this I couldn’t resist snapping pictures of the evolving sheep with my camera phone and sending them to various people.

009Since we haven’t had a real winter so far I didn’t have much opportunity to wear my hat but yesterday the temperatures finally dropped a bit. Et voilá: Sheep Heid (albeit a bit blurry) in action!

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After I finished this project in December I was almost sad I couldn’t continue knitting those adorable sheep – and I didn’t need a second identical hat. Fortunately, Kate Davies fixed this for me and published the rams and yowes blanket which makes use of those ewes and rams AND the same gorgeous yarn. I have ordered more Shetland Supreme from J & S to top up my leftovers…