Am Byth MKAL is done! This is me wearing Size Three of the four. I love it and it feels nicely snug on my head without being tight – though you can see how the twisted ribbing is having to stretch! The cover picture of today’s post has two hats – there’s a dark orange one on the left hiding underneath the cream one. The orange hat is Size Four. I used the sewn cast-off I demonstrated in the video on my website for both of my hats – it has such a neat finish.
Blocking a tam style hat like this is no more complicated than giving it a soak in lukewarm water, rolling it in a towel to absorb the excess water and letting it dry flat – basically, giving it a handwash.
Some people have found the brim fit to be a little loose, which is a shame. I’m going to add a note to the full pattern to say that if you are in doubt about which size to choose to go down a size rather than up. Another option if most or all of the hat has already been knitted is to add more decreases just before the brim and/or to work the brim on 3mm needles.
Also this week, I cast off the Confluence Cowl and gave that a gentle soak. It is currently still a rectangle, but I’ve folded it (in the pic on the right) ready for the seam that will turn it into a cowl. The zig-zag lines shown in the pic on the left are inside the folding, but will become visible when the point folds down. You can also turn it inside out for a different look!
Mary W Martin Knits designed this pattern and it’s one of her fusion knitting technique pieces. It’s a way of knitting that I’d never encountered before and it’s absolutely ingenious! If you fancy a challenge, I highly recommend exploring her designs.
As part of my continuing preparations for Buxton Wool Gathering, I sourced some new stitch marker pots as the company I previously got them from no longer sold them. These ones don’t have screw lids, but I’ve found that twisting them helps to remove the lid without throwing the contents everywhere! I’ve waxed and buffed them and burnt designs into the lids. Being slightly larger and more expensive than the original pots I had, the price will need to be a little higher, but not much; these ones are £5 and £6 (the large ones at the back are £6).
I’ve also been printing lots of patterns and making sure I’ve got enough of the kits I want to take with me. Buxton is less than three weeks away now and I’m really looking forward to it!
This piece of knitting may not look especially exciting at the moment (but it will!) and I have been very pleased to be able to get back to it. Last week I mentioned I’ve had two submissions accepted and whilst I’m able to work on the patterns for those, the yarn is not yet here, so, with the socks, cowl and hats complete, I can return to Umbriel! I started this sweater at the Knit Tea Retreat in October, having bought the yarn last April at Yarn O’clock. I’m going to do as much of it as I can before the commission yarns arrive! The yarn is Cirro from The Fibre Co and it’s an alpaca and merino wool blend – and the finished sweater will look something like this (though I am making mine a bit shorter):
This photo is one of the ones from The Fibre Co’s website. Umbriel is designed by Sylvia Watts-Cherry and it’s available directly from them, either as a pattern or as a kit, and on Ravelry as well. I love the construction – in the round from the bottom up from the hem and then pick up stitches for the sleeves at the armhole, work short rows for the sleeve cap and then work in the round down for the rest of the sleeve. It’s very understated too, with small panels of lace at the neckline and on the sleeves.
Part Two of Branwen knit-along shawl was published in Issue 186 of The Knitter on Feb 16th. You can see the five sections quite clearly in this photo that was shared on The Knitter’s Instagram page, as each section changes colour. I’ve used two colours of West Yorkshire Spinners Fleece and alternated between them, which pulls the different sections together nicely into one coherent shawl design.
We spent some time in the garden this afternoon, planting out the contents of several pots that have been very patiently waiting for our attention. One of them had a self-seeded sycamore tree growing in it that had rooted through the bottom of the pot and into the gaps in the flagstones beneath! It is so nice to be out in the garden again and for it to be just warm enough not to need to be wrapped up in so many layers that we can’t move. The hellebores and snowdrops are looking super and the new primroses are settling in well too. Lots of daffodils are coming up in the lawn, both front and back and it’s starting to look truly springlike. I’m just hoping the possible return of the ‘Beast from the East’ that keeps being promised on various news platforms doesn’t suddenly arrive and freeze all these delicate blooms.
Anyway, that’s all from me today – I’m heading back to my design spreadsheets! Stay safe, get some sun on your skin if you can and do something that makes you happy this week. K x