I have taken a pause from new design project, to put together a gift for a friend’s grand-child who is turning three soon, and taking this opportunity to augment my recent Patamanta pattern into a small collection. Not sure, probably will just add some thumbhole “sleeves” or long fingerless mitts & legwarmers, as well as more variations of the original chullo, with augmented charts and sizes. I managed to sample these mini sizes just by using the smallest of the sizes and odd bits of sock-weight yarn. Thus far at least I have the present ready on time, but as yet I still must knit some adult sized samples in heavier weight un-dyed alpaca, before it is complete. Who knows what else I will knit from it, because I am unable to stop as these little colorwork pieces are so fun to knit, and completely addictive!
Category Archives: Hats
Dear Nora and Fin-ster,
I want to tell you a little story about the Christmas hats I made for you. I wrote the pattern for this chullo in Spring of 2017 when your PopPop, Papa & Aunt Zan were in the Andes Mountains of Peru, walking the Camino Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I started when PopPop left, knitted a pile of them, wrote and submitted the pattern, and by the time he got back home a week later, I had finished everything! I named the design Camino Inca Chullo and there are many ways you can make them, but I knitted the improvisational variations for yours, making it up as I knitted along, from bits of yarn I had in a drawer, some that I overdyed with colors I thought you’d like. Nora, your Papa thought I ought to put kitty ears on yours, so I did, and positioned the ears where they worked best, as the top of the hat tends to slouch back. A soft slouchy chullo with cat ears sounds like a great hat I think , but the ears can be easily taken off if they’re not behaving. Fin-ster, I just want you to know that in the traditional dress of the Peruvians who live in the Andes Mountains, especially near Machu Picchu, only the men and boys wear these style hats, and usually have many very big fluffy tassels and pompoms, yours only has one rather small one by comparison, so wear it with pride Little Man! PopPop wanted me to make them for you, so I did, they are made of superwash wool, so they won’t shrink if you throw ’em in the washing machine, and also, the wool was grown from sheep in the Peruvian Mountains! I better get them in the mail now, I hope you like them, and Happy Christmas! Love, Nanna.
A little something that I call ” the felted toorie ”
or tourie (ˈtʊrɪ )
2. Also: toorie bonnet
C19: from Scot toor tower
Toorie is just a Scots name for the little ball that goes on top of many of their hats, often looking like little red cherries.
I just made a regular medium-sized pompom, entirely in Jamiesons Shetland Spindrift — color Sholmit. I snipped the fresh pom pom right off of the cardboard, then it went through a wild hot & soapy wash while being rolled in my hands, and ended up really bumpy , felted, and generally unappealing (you can see my tutorial if you want to see all the steps.)
Until you take scissors to it!
Trimmed to perfection , it is ready for this tam.
Two tams are waiting back stage …. nervous, nearly forgetting their lines.
Good morning ! My day was started early this morning finishing the last rounds of the tam, and doing all the finish work, and left with a minimal pile of trimmings for the birds’ nests , as I was able to carry the yarns upward as I went, making very little in the way of ends to weave in. Now the tam is blocking to dry, inside-out, with many pins to shape it into a slightly taut disc, which later will be turned outside-out and steamed ever so gently to set the fabric and soften the brim crease.
I have had so much enjoyment designing and knitting this tam that I’m thinking I need to allow myself another tam to design, you know, just binge with it for a while. Nevertheless I am almost done with it, and as it has been quite warm lately, I am hoping it will be dry and ready for a photo later today . . . and you know what that means?
In a blink this tam pattern will be ready to fly!
One and a half days…
Hey! Its a chullo!!!
A totally improvised piece, the way I’ve been making them for decades.
One and a half days before Christmas,
and I am now finished with all of my gift-making!
Now where’s the Irish Cream? I want to party!
Today I tripped over a jewel forgotten since the wildfire! Looking in my design computer files I discovered a partially written pattern, along with a few photos of a hat that I knit for my brothers birthday. The pattern was almost finished except for a few details which needed doing, and so I spent most of yesterday finishing the pattern. Wow, I am amazed. I did that?
It is an intensely colorful folksy chullo, and which I posted about way back here. It one of my best colorwork pieces in my opinion, inspired by South American motifs, in four shades of blue, from very dark to very light, complete with tassels & knitted braid! Intensely blue I tell you! But it could be any other color as well, in four shades.
I think I’ll knit up another one of these!
The design is completely my own colorwork motifs, and had originally some very poignant meaning, and a series all in queue as I recall that much, but of which now I can not remember (since the disruption of the wildfire), only that there were some discussions with a long time writing friend of mine from Argentina who lectures on varied subjects of philosophy from time to time at a Seminary in a small town called Azul.
I therefore had named it at the time “Azul” .
The actual knitted Azul chullo has long disappeared into my brother’s possession, but as I had detailed photos I was able to assemble the pattern. Voila! (( There is-was a vest pattern in the works too, but that is another matter )). For now, there is Azul Chullo. And as it is presently the middle of winter in Argentina, I will make haste…
pattern is LIVE on Ravelry ~~~ HERE !
♣ ♣ ♣
Edit in: After discussing with Alejandro just now about what we may have been discussing at the time I designed this colorwork pattern, and as our topics of discussion often have reference to the Andes Mountains, and as I personally echo the sentiment of such a new title, this chullo will now be officially named “Montañas Azules”, meaning “Blue Mountains”, as are the Andes of Argentina!
Mountains & harsh elements seem to be the thread which is woven into most of my life it seems, so I hope to pick up that series of the design in the near future to work it through. Forthcoming, perhaps more Azules.
An old beloved brown thing…
My brother has for decades worn this authentic Peruvian hat, the Incan motifs have become signature shapes on his head, almost like fiberous tattoos…
I am not sure where he got this beloved brown thing, but it is a cherished possession of his, and he lent it to me over a year ago asking if I might repair the moth holes (again) and… “maybe ‘add some color’ to it?” he asked , “or maybe just knit it over?”.
Made of alpaca, and badly moth-eaten since being repaired long ago, it has become a part of his life, and all of our lives, for as we know him, we know this hat.
This favor asked of me to ‘fix it’ has apparently grown feet and evolved into a project of my trying not to entirely replicate the original, nay, but to design the Quintessential Brother Article, as he does actually wear these Peruvian style hats ( known in trend as a ‘chullo’) pretty much every day, tucking the ear flaps behind his ears. They are as he puts it, his ‘hair’.
Well folks, if you wonder where I am going with all of this back story, the thing is, I have been working on trying to emulate the original, and made a chullo for his birthday, with indeed more color, and a little bit accessorized with little tassels too.
Actually, I have made him so many of these, but still he is over the moon whenever I make him a new one.
So, my scheming to create an authentic replica had changed to become something I should really call a design inspiration, more of an impression of the original.
The design is in process, and a forthcoming pattern soon available!
The pattern release will be aimed symbolically around a big trip Jeff is taking in May with his son & daughter to Machu Picchu in Peru, and so I have a lot of work to do until then!
So here is the first in the series of prototypes ~~~ my brothers Birthday Chulo!
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios
Details: on Ravelry HERE.
A little something I’ve thrown together…
This colorful & folksy chullo I knit up in the last few days for my chullo-wearing brother, complete with chuflín and Latvian braid, and four hues of blue. I have decided I like it a lot and am considering writing a pattern for it. . .
Meanwhile, I’ve got my nieces all queued up for a photo shoot for Spring Tees tomorrow morning… I can’t wait! We’re having a bout of brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures after a ton of rain for weeks!
Now all my deadline knitting is finished, I am working on something really interesting, but I will not speak about it until it’s finished in it’s many variations. Its a big piece of work for me. Here’s to Vernal Knitting, chillin’ with cups of tea and coffee and enjoying myself , having reached my recent knitterly goals, and well… life is good.
I have knit another test tam of my Tartan & Tweed series, to get the numbers straight, the shape solid, and to see how well it scales into Shetland fingering weight. May I say most excellently! Tam pattern debut forthcoming, but I will not say much more, for next is the pattern writing (nerve wrecking & stressful) but as I was so excited to finish the design in Shetland Spindrift, I just had to show it off to feel a little nearer the end. Having a cup of tea and a relaxing feeling of accomplishment, and very pleased to see this tam in Jamiesons Spindrift !
A Frolick On The Knitting Trail
Hats on !
Before setting out into the woods on my Knitting Trail, Maya, Molly & Rosanna chose three hats each out of my chest of knitted pattern prototypes, plus other bits, then we set out with Emma leading & me in the back with the camera.
Maya is wearing Vineyard Rows Tam.
There was a few moments of a brilliant sunbeam, and Molly modeled wintery white with powder blues of
the Chalten Beret and Tartan & Tweed Mitts…
Rosanna in the recent infinity scarf I’ve been designing and making lots of lately…
… which will soon be available in pattern form.
Switching the hats out, all three having a laugh naming the fashion style of the occasion "bohemian raven goth".
Then we found a fabulously mossy tree log on a very steep slope . . .
and a Dicey Highland Hat
Rosanna in the Vineyard Rows Tam and Molly in the Vineyard Rows Toque .
(Toque not yet written into a pattern, but soon!)
Then hilariously Molly began to slide off of the wet moss . . .
… and no end to my demands while taking still another photo as we tried to cover trail …
and so a twenty minute trail walk turned to fifty.
Another Dicey Highland Hat . . .
We really had a great time, and for me this was the absolute highlight of the whole holiday family get-together, though it lasted less than an hour. I couldn’t be happier with the many great shots (although fuzzy in low light of the forest) … of the Bohemian Raven Goths!
Unfortunately the winter forest light was so dim, and my photos came out rather grainy and fuzzy.
- Thank you Molly, Maya & Rosanna, for wonderful knitwear photoshoot on the knitting trail! xx
Knitting In Nature
It rained again, and the moss is glowing !
We’ve continued our walks nearly everyday this Autumn.
Out in the freshly rained-on moss, and romping around and smelling things.
( Emma tends to like to stick her whole head into tree caves…)
The really remarkable thing is, that while we were walking in the woods, I was knitting the very colors of the moss on oak bark, and it took me by surprise how much I reflect the colors of my surroundings.
Presently knitting the sweater for this hat , in the colorway ‘moss on oak’…
Knitting in nature is one of the things I love to do most of all.
Chaltén Beret : The Pattern
I talked at length in previous post the inspiration behind this design, which I’ve named Chaltén Beret. Now with my lovely nieces having modelled in an absolutely stellar photo shoot yesterday, against the stone walls of a gothic Catholic church in St. Helena, with an intriguing landscape of grasses…. I am finally ready to present to you the pattern ! You can find it on Yarnings HERE … or in Ravelry HERE. Either way, I hope that you knit it, and try out making the adorable chuflines (tassels) , because believe me, they are the most fun that I’ve had in a long time.
Eldest Niece is modelling the pattern prototype with dos chuflines, knit in Jamiesons Spindrift (details can be found for this project on Ravelry project here, and Youngest Niece is modelling (a slightly larger) pre-prototype version with un chuflín, knit in Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply yarn (details can be found on Ravelry project over here. Lastly, I have made a step-by-step photo tutorial on , found on my Tips From The Table on How to make a “chuflín” tassel. Now I will leave you with many more great moments from our photo shoot yesterday…
Now, if you haven’t yet read the PREVIOUS POST about the inspiration and name-sake of this design, then you really must, as it really is such a very spectacular & special place, you’ll want to knit the beret!
when you asked me what is the paradigmatic mountain of Patagonia, I did not hesitate in giving you the answer: Chaltén, the blue smoking mountain. In the last trench of the Andes range, Chaltén raises like a magnificent tower transmitting majesty and ferociousness. It is the main summit of a range that has the shape of a croissant opening onto the East.
The mountain, also called Fitz Roy in memory of the British sailor that explored the Patagonian coast with Darwin, is one of the most challenging peaks in the world, with vertical slippery slabs constantly hit by the icy winds of the South Pacific Ocean. These winds bring about the rare aeolic phenomenon that makes its top always appear as it was surrounded by clouds, which give the mountain the smoking volcano look its name is derived from.
In the rare occasions of good weather, its massive granite structure turns rose hue at sunrise. During the day, if it is not hidden behind the clouds, its image reflects on the Lagoon of the Three. By nightfall, the clouds usually thin out and wisp around its peak.
Mount Chaltén is certainly one of the most emblematic places of Patagonia, for its magesty and its wilderness.
* * *
Since before the recent June Solstice (that’s winter solstice in Argentina) I’ve been working on designing a beret that I now present, and that I’m naming ” Chaltén “. As my dear and wonderful Argentine friend, professor, and naturalist Alejandro has taught me so many things about Patagonia, from the spectacular Andes Mountains to the wildlife & botany of the place, to the history of the Welsh settlements in Chubut. ( I mustn’t forget that I’ve also learned much about the making & drinking of Yerbe Mate , having many different kinds in my cupboard, sent to me by Alejandro. ) It was in fact , a daunting etherial image of Chaltén which being etched in my mind from a dream, which was the force of curiosity to bring us to meet (on an internet pen-pal site, nearly four years ago, as I wanted to meet a Patagonian to write to).
Thank you Alejandro ~~ this Chaltén Beret is dedicated to our many letters over the years, our story we are writing, your kindness, and all that you have taught me ! And thank you , thank you for the letter about Chaltén which I so wanted to have in this debut post. xx Jen
* * *
Here is the pattern prototype, knit with Jamiesons Spindrift , and embellished with dos chuflines (two tassels) . . .
Chaltén’s snowy white teeth seem to leap toward the sky, shrouded by mist and blueish atmosphere ~~ here is my knitted interpretation of Chaltén in a colorwork beret. Colorwork motifs inspired by “Guarda Pampa” patterns, symbols of Patagonia, profiles of peaks of the Andes Range and reflections of them in the mountain lakes. The Argentine gauchos (shepherds & cattlemen) adopted some elements of the Mapuche design and incorporated them in their Ponchos and other fabric pieces, reinforcing regional identities of the provincial groups of Gauchos, almost along the lines of Tartans in Scotland.
And a second, the first prototype, knit in Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply I had in my stash … embellished with a single chuflín (tassel)
Chaltén beret features a unique two-inch-wide shaped colorwork faced band, comprising of two mirrored shaped stockinette layers, a crown of concentric decreases and second colorwork motif just above the rim. Finished with Andean Folk style tassels known colloquially by Patagonians as chuflines ( much of yesterday was spent photographing for a tutorial on making these , which will debut with the pattern , a ‘chuflín-making’ tutorial on my Tips From The Table tutorial page.) And here is my own very sketchy hand-drawn schematic . Measurement A is diameter, measures 10-10.5 inches laying flat. B is depth, measures 8 – 8.5 inches when folded into quarters. C is circumference of band, measures 20 inches.
Chau ! In the near future I will be augmenting “Chaltén Beret” with a straight-sided ski hat version, the “Chaltén Skier” … it will be so re-loco … I am looking forward to designing it ! (( Note: All who purchase the pattern will recieve updates when the ski hat is augmented into the pattern. )) I have decided to make the debut of Chaltén Beret in two installments, this first being more informative and about the inspiration behind the design, and the second, featuring my nieces modelling (which I’m going to do this afternoon !) .. and also presenting the pattern. So watch this space, Chaltén Beret pattern arrives this week!
Edit in next day: Introducing the pattern & photo shoot presentation of this design, you must see ! 🙂
Read about Mount Chaltén in Wikipedia
Coming Next . . . Chuflín
Just Hanging Around Knitting . . .
I’m pleased with myself for I indeed got the Dicey Highland Bonnet pattern updated yesterday to include the Dicey Highland Beret, and now I am squeezing in a quickie before I have to wind myself up to the max for the big Autumn Sweater Thing that I do every Autumnal Equinox for my nieces.
Backstory. Last Friday was the Independence Day holiday here, and we went on over to my brother’s as there was quite the party happening in his little Appalachian-esque neighborhood. Well, there I am knitting, you know ‘on-the-go’ , with the knitting bag slung over my shoulder and knitting as I always do. My youngest niece, Miss Eleven-Years-Old knows how to knit, and is getting better, so I said “Lets get you some knitting ! ” … so we walked down to her house and raided her mom’s stash & needles, and found a darling knitting bag and we set her up to knit-on-the-go too. So there’s the two of us among the wild & crazy dancing & feasting folk outside, she and I knitting together near the whole time, while walking about here and there with knitting satchels slung over our shoulders, swaying to the music … knit-dancing ! … and thoroughly enjoying our peaceful & productive selves ( stopping only to munch cake and other wonderful things ) . She got nearly half of a garter-stitch cotton dish cloth finished, and I made great progress on my hat band. I knit until it was too dark to knit any longer, however, Miss Eleven carried on knitting into the darkness which totally killed me, her eyes like a hawk’s .
Backstory over. About the forthcoming big Autumn Thing, this year I’ve got some ideas, I may either come up with a whole new design from which I will write & submit a pattern, or, I’ll just add some sleeves to my Penny Candy Tee. ((By the way, many folk have been making them, and I’ve been so proud !)) Whichever way I go, I must say, I better get cracking because it’s already first week over in July, and at the speed the seasons are going, I best not dawdle.
But I have a bee in my bonnet for the moment, about a wide and shaped band for a hat, and playing with some Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply I’m on a roll. I’ve got most of my big chores out of the way for the week, so looking forward to just hanging around knitting !
Dicey Beret !
I have finally settled on a second shape for my Dicey pattern, the lesser voluminous beret.
A smart rascally sort of cap, with a perky attitude.
It is a lot less hat, both in diameter and height, than the original Dicey Highland Bonnet .
Done & dusted , and the Dicey Highland Bonnet pattern is now updated to include the Highland Beret.
Two shape options in one pattern, and two flourishes to choose from (the toorie or the i-cord loop)
Now available~~~ Dicey Bonnet & Beret !
Frankly , I am so happyt to get this beret design outa my hair ,
and have you knitters out there knitting it ! 🙂
* * *
Details of this project can be found on Ravelry HERE.
I’ve been busy making some shaping improvements to my Dicey Highlands Bonnet design. Here knit with Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift 2ply wool yarn, with my new favorite diced band style using three colors. I think this particular one is more a man’s cap, and there is a particular Scottish fellow who may just have his name on it come Christmas. About the design elements. I’ve come to the opinion that it should be blocked flat , with the diced band brim eased into flatness as well , instead of blocking it with faced-band standing up . . .
The toorie is as before, one simply threads the ties of the toorie through the middle of the crown and ties it on . . .
strong & good mannered too . . .
I am smitten already with this handsome creature . . .
The confident, all-natural, pragmatic sort . . .
My Dicey pattern is already a year old, and now I am only just now studying it’s many facets while trying out all kinds of yarns and test-knitting, for I honestly feel that the design is so deserving of every attention. This pattern will be having extensive test-knit samples knit up by myself and some friends, and is undergoing an update soon.
I’m already casting on another , testing my new shaping ideas, in a lively ensemble of colors… so watch this space ! 🙂
* * *
Details on Ravelry HERE
Otro chulo (another chulo). Chulo de Primavera ! (Chulo of Spring). Here he is, just dry from a bath, so bashful in front of the camera. Ah ! Otro Chulo shows his nice color-work, what the heck , how nice, with his little legs sticking out right & left…
Otro Chulo sits up a little more confidently, and sees the world around…
Okay, now with legs outstretched, quite happy with himself, begins to hum a little tune
About now Otro Chulo is feeling a little sassy, really winds it up for the camera…
tied up & twisted !
But feeling already sleepy again , and dreaming of the day next week when he will stand proudly on my brother’s head ! A linen-cotton blend which is a perfect Faded Blues sort of theme for late Spring thru Summer ~~~ a hybrid style of Peruvian Chulo and sherpa hat ~~~ my brother’s favorite whacky thing to wear.
Anyway, my brother is getting quite the collection of chulo hats which I have made him (you can see some of them here ), but honestly I see no reason to stop, and I’m almost certain my brother would agree.
All This Talk About Toque
I have a thing about odd hats. Looks like Spanish Renaissance sets the trend for my next design, staid in its severity of black, greys, and off-white. A hat, straight up, with no brim ? They were popular from the 13th to the 16th century in Europe, especially in France. The fore-wearers of the modern knitted toque , or tuque, it’s all there ~~ proof such a thing was actually stylish! The Beanie is out folks. The Toque is IN.
Highland Hats !
Hats were the occasion this morning.
We opened the cedar trunk with knitted hats, scarves, gloves, and sweaters . . .
Niece Who Is Fourteen did a stellar job of giving new life to the rows of vines with deep red clusters of California Cabernet Sauvignon grapes . . .
Then, modelled by youngest niece ,
we have a new look for Dicey Highland Bonnet too , something about the charm of an Eleven Year Old . . .
You can find details about Dicey HERE , and Vineyard Rows HERE .
Seven days left to make things.
Leafy green is finished !
and also the sherpa hat ! ! !
A dandy one indeed. Wool shell & cotton ‘lined’. I will have to show you sometime how I accomplish this.
Until then I’ll keep you all guessing.
Okay , but that’s not the whole list. There is one more thing I must make, and I will not post until Christmas morning. In the mean time, I will show you the progress of my first lace project . . .
Yes , my first, oh the glorious fun I am having ! And it’s no surprise to me that lace work is so doable while walking the ridge! As this progresses, is blocked out, you will see the lace pattern so much better. Until then, oh the suspense is a little nice. Well, I appear to be ahead of the game and can relax and do some gift wrapping now ! I hope all of you Elves out there are blissfully making.
* All project details on Ravelry HERE .
Vineyard Rows Tam
Walking along the old mountain vineyards close by, I found inspiration for a design which I have named “Vineyard Rows”. A California Highlands Bonnet if there is to be one ! I chose four natural shades of Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift yarn, because I happen to love this black & white photo of the historic vineyard landscape I took a year ago. Near the highest vineyard knoll on the mountain perhaps, rows against an Autumn sky, leaves blowing off of the vines as a storm was brewing… it was a walk to remember ! So I came up with this . . .
Vines of grape leaves wind about the wheel, in borders and peeries, along with interruptions of bold checked dicing. To me this tam brings together California Wine Country with Scottish Highlands. Embroidered grape clusters adorn the rambling vines with French knots in wine tones, creating a spectacular and colorful needlework finish I think!
And on *moi*… straight up !
I really went wild with the notion of the toorie and decided that a tam must have accessory options ! Why not an accessory for the accessory ~~ why not tie one on for the mood you’re in ? Basic black, wine red, & marled toories !!!
But before I embroidered the grape clusters into the vines,
I took the hat out into the woods…
Against the moss . . .
And lastly, against a blush of colorful Autumn leaves, showing how the tam’s outer most rim is traditionally useful in shading from the sun.
Well there you have it, my latest design of a tam named “Vineyard Rows”. I have created this tam for all the lovely walks I’ve enjoyed in the beautiful aesthetic of these old vines ~~ this tam is in tribute to them.
If you haven’t yet read a post I made about Knitting & Wine , it is the prelude to this design, as well as other posts and photographs of nearby vineyards, you may peruse in all vineyard posts .
And folks …
Vineyard Rows pattern may be found here .
((as well as details on Ravelry here ))
Been knitting in a heat wave for a couple of weeks, thirsting for that which best expresses my summer blues, and so I’ve produced the latest . . . I call it simply ” Azure “. It is a perky beret shape that is less voluminous than the recent one’s I’ve been knitting up, narrower and vaguely muffin-shaped as are some of the Old World Scottish bonnets I’ve seen. Uh huh… (more photos upcoming).
But what I love most about this beret is the color-work in the band while the crown is a single complimenting color, don’t you? I tell you, in this particular knitted beret, it is all about the subtle Fair Isle motif that one can barely see, from the two shades of blue, one angle the motifs pop out, another they disappear into each other. Can you see the design in there? I have more photos where it stands out better, in different light, but will save them for Azure’s pattern debut, second in the series, which will be happening very soon !
With Dicey and Azure, I have learned how to make a lined band, concentric decreases, experimented with several shapes of varying lengths, and practicing my ‘new stitch’ , while also focusing the design into the band alone, in a Guarda Pampa sort of affect. Oh, and I’ve also been toying with the adorable thing which is a toorie !
Azure & Dicey are knitted from Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply , a yarn with which I am totally smitten, but which substitutes excellently with renowned Shetland wool yarns of Jamieson & Smith, and Jamiesons of Shetland for those who prefer them. Coming up soon is the pattern for Azure, yeah sure, but maybe I’ll round-up the tam-o-shanter inspired series for an e-book sort of thing. Everybody is doing e-books, why not run with the herd ??? I’ll be hunkered down with the last one in the days ahead. More wool bonnets mean still more wool bonnet knitting in the heat of Northern California summer ! Have I gone insane?
Well, there you have it, the blue has taken hold of me. This is the fifth post in a row about blue …. and I have not even done this consciously ! Fortunately, as of this morning, there has been a significant drop on the thermometer, and I’m writing this while overlooking dense fog in the valley and 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Going to cast-on this very minute for another !
Dicey ~ The Pattern
” Dicey ” is a simple and fairly traditional Scottish style bonnet. It has a checked, or ‘diced’ band as it is called. It has come to me in a sort of time capsule of childhood memories of Peter Rabbit . . .
as well as my present-day intrigue of a name by “Tam O’ Shanter” . . .
The Scottish forename “Tam” (for Tom) followed by “mishanter” (misfortune, ill-luck, the devil) = Tam of shanter . Coincidental how the name for the style of Scottish bonnet which Tam wears is what we think today of the voluminous hat with a pom pom on top of it. Its evident that the hat called a ‘tam’ came from Robert Burns’ character.
Oh, and check out this old tobacco label ! The dicing on the band is rather vaguely penned . . .
Actually, as far back as 1500’s the bonnet was a popular thing to wear throughout Europe, and the diced or checked band is a motif I find very timeless and yet fashionably dynamic !
* * *
Dicey is knitted with Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply shown here in colors “Selkie, Red Deer, and Sun Dew” (with a few rounds of Jamieson’s Spindrift black).
A small semi-felted pom pom, or “toorie” which sits on top, makes Dicey just a little bit whimsical, with real ‘sassitude’ .
Dicey has a sort of horizontally ‘incorporated’ cord stitch ( i-cord) bordering the diced motif either side . . .
Dicey has a built in ‘cord’ stitch knitted right into the fold on the band, lined with more rounds of knitting, then the turned hem is knit into the fabric with no stitching afterward, very neat and tidy !
Dicey is very much the traditionally inspired bonnet I wanted it to be.
Dicey has been undergoing many designerly changes since its beginning in this post . I feel I’ve finally arrived with the right motifs, the right techniques, the right yarn, the right gauge, the right shape (with much feedback, knitting, and knitting over from Carol I thank you !). I am very pleased it is finished, and the pattern soon available !
* * * * * *
Lupinus Albifrons. Known as just ‘ lupine ‘, it is one of the more populated native wildflowers of Northern California, and in April fills the mountain meadows, between grape vines in the rows, and trail-sides with deep blue & purple variegation. A small woody shrub when mature, however, where grass is mowed annually (as in the vineyard rows here on the mountain) and where seed is planted from the wind, you’ll see it popping up everywhere as young single stemmed flowers . . .
I luckily had just the perfect yarn handy when I became inspired from my walk of last week. I had a bunch of green which I over-dyed from grey wool which perfectly illustrates the ‘silvery’ grey-green leaves of the plant. The rich deep blue and purple played illusive games however with the camera, which wasn’t able to distinguish the two, and both came out as blue tones in most of the photos. But here it is , un chullo, for my brother’s birthday tomorrow!
I absolutely go wild photographing still-life knitteds ~~ its just one of the things I love doing, in every light possible , which enables me to make an assemblage of photos that catches different tones and characteristics of the yarns and knitted shapes . . .
The detail with which I experimented for the first time on this chullo hat, was to add a running crocheted chain just inside the typically chullo-esque double-crocheted edge, to neaten up the edge.
I love to make my chullo hats a bit of a hybrid with gnome hats by decreasing into a point, then finishing with a braid extending off of the top . . .
They blossom into a hat with a lot of character and playful whimsy . . .
The crocheted edges tame the curling tendency of the stockinette stitch. . .
Braid finishes being made on both ear flaps . . .
(the purple really pops in this photo below !)
Un chullo, inspired from the lupine flowers in the fields of Northern California. To be given to my brother tomorrow, and there could be nobody more appreciative than he, who wears them everyday , and who is also a botanical wizard !
NOTE : I have taken notes as I knit this one, so if anybody is interested, I could assemble a pattern of sorts from it.
Details on Ravelry HERE
Well, I’m off to walk the mountain with Emma, but I will leave you with a little slide show of the early morning walk of last weekend, from which this chullo’s lupine photos were taken . . .
Lupine of Northern California
The other day I took this photograph while knit-walking , the fields bursting with wildflowers, always the first being the blue-ish purple and green lupine.
So it inspired the colorway of this chullo hat (which I’m knitting for my brother’s birthday, as he is a chullo fiend) I am delighted how rich the tones are with my over-dyed green yarn from last autumn, and the blue & purple work together. . .
Happy Easter holiday everyone !
Stormy’s Little Sister
When my little niece saw what her big sister got from me for her birthday, which was a lovely cabled beanie all in grey, called Stormy . . . she asked for one too.
So I knit up Little Sister mostly while walking, (as I did Stormy), counting the stitches as I walked… just a simple K6,P2,K2,P2 rib , finished it last night and delivered today.
She’ll love its poofy superwash merino squishy-ness, and kid-like funkiness too.
Little Sister of Stormy,
in the same yarns I over-dyed for her Autumn Sweater . . .
(I was so done with that yarn, but I managed to Knit On with it ! )
Just a little gesture of love for my adorable 10-yr old niece who asked
” Will you pleeeease knit me a beanie too? “
How can I resist !
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(( project details on Ravelry here ))
Really Red Tam
I am very proud to finally show you the tam I made !!! It goes in a set with my Really Red Cardigan. I had knit the tam before the holiday gift-knitting crunch set in, then put it aside to be photographed after the new year. New year … check. Photographed…. check. I am over the moon about having this particular cardigan & tam ensemble finished because only a couple of months ago, after having hibernated well over a year, the cardigan was doomed to die a tragic death of getting unraveled out of existence! After much persuasion from a friend, I committed & cut the steek, finished the cardigan, then surprisingly soon after, decided to knit up this tam to go with it. Maybe it was meant to have waited until now, as the rains of the season has made the moss so verdant ~~~ and just look at how well the moss sings praise to the red wool !
There is a bit of a coincidence, that the red in the colorway is called “garnet heather”
. . .well, because garnet is my birth-stone .
. . . and today is my birthday !
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Details found on Ravelry here.
Weather Report : Stormy With Chance of Smiles
A week ago, I finished this cabled beanie I knit for my niece’s xmas-day birthday, named it “Stormy” and posted about it over on this post here .
During her birthday party (we celebrated the day after Christmas, her 13th ) my adorable and lovely niece for whom it was knitted, modelled it for the photo (which I took with her brand new i-phone). She just now emailed it to me and I wanted to post it immediately !
Cables ! ! !
Twisted while walking over hill and dale . .
and counted so I could watch my surroundings.
K (1,2,3,4,5,6), P (7,8), K (9,10), P (11,12) . . . repeat,
& twist cables every 13th row.
Knitted while walking in the last of the Autumnal color.
Environs greying more each day as the leaves fall to the ground and colors melt away.
Not the last, but another knitted gift for one soon to be Thirteen !!!
I have named it simply . . .
” Stormy “.
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Details of this project found on Ravelry here
Nora’s Christmas Chulo
One hat, knit for one twenty-month old Nora, for Christmas.
Knit totally improvised, over a couple of days, mostly during one Christmas party, and one long hike walking the hills.
Now finished, and will send off in the mail. I love it, and I think she will too. Made from one-hundred percent Peruvian alpaca yarn, who couldn’t?
Well anyway, this is the first of as many gifts as I can possibly knit up until Christmas, which will be all posted in succession. Starting another immediately… something stripey & pepperminty.
Details on Ravelry here .
A remote little monastary tucked beneath peaks of Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Thamserku, by the name of Tengboche.
And perhaps the most significant sherpa in history, Tenzing Norgay, the fellow who assisted Edmund Hillary on his ascent of Mount Everest. Tenzing Norgay was born and brought up in Tengboche.
Now, I will show you a design I have named “Tengboche”, inspired by the colors of the monastary and blues of high altitude sky. The hat with an attitude, as well as altitude. Versatile. Confident. An overstatement anywhere below treeline. My attempt to merge my love of knitting with my love of mountains, what emerges is a lined sherpa-worthy chullo-esque hat, designed for comfort above all. A favorite for those who’s skin is too sensitive to wool, it can be lined with cotton or silk layer (or some other soft barrier that is hardy for wear). Now the question might be stirring “What is going on here? “
Backstory : My brother, a mountaineer in his youth, he loves his sherpa~chullo hats ! Loves the wool and homey-spun ethnic ones, but he wants some kind of cotton liner for them, he says. He looks at me as a young child looks at the mother, and with a hopefull expression which seems to ask ” … there must be a magic trick for this????
I have taken it unto myself to be my brother’s Provider Of Knitted Hats, and to come up with a way to make them cottony on the inside and woolly on the outside. Sherpa Nouveau is my solution. And now, for a fun little frolick in the woods of my home…modelling a hat two sizes too big for me (I have a very small head, and my brother, for whom it was made, likewise) .
A hat with real personality , looking like a cross between a Tibeten headress and South American chullo . Soon I will assemble a pattern-instruction-tutorial sort of thing where I will show you how it is done. ( Sherpa Nouveau is the finished version of which got hang-dried in this post)
I have knit, ripped, knit again, washed and ( hang ) dried in the sun
( you know, the way Patagonians do it)
… Un Chulo.
Now knitting another, quite colorful one, which makes
( In fact , it has so much color that a little black and white feels soothing)
Plus the one I knit over here …
Mountains Of Alpaca
I am face-to-face with a mountain of natural colors , just off the line, washed & hung-dried skeins of handspun alpaca, spun up from raw loose alpaca locks I have acquired from three different friends of mine who raise alpacas . Three !
This Wind-Off launches the beginning of knitting for the second April Birthday Project , which is the Andean chullo / Himalayan sherpa hat, and for which last week I began spinning my alpaca stash . My brother loves these hats, has a bit of a collection , and for whom I intend to take the design for a twist of a sort, sherpa chullo and which I want to be a pleasant mix borrowing design from Andean, Himalayan, and Fair Isle , this project calls for alpaca, handspun, in order to give it the touch of stylish authenticity.
I thought alpaca would be the perfect fiber.
During the spinning of the alpaca, a couple things developed.
One, I really enjoy spinning alpaca, whether raw and weedy or in fine roving. I have in fact, dyed some and am going to spin up a couple of skeins for the mother of Nora , who has delightedly become a knitter !
Alright, item number two. An amazing thing happened, similarly to when I posted ” What do I have in common with these women? ” a short time ago, marvelling in the acquired skill of double tasking while knitting, well, I have found that I can double task while spinning too ! Even more difficult. The yarn turned out rather more “rustic” than if I were watching with hawk eyes, all the fibers going into the draft, but no, I wanted to read up on my new edition of Textisles and became adept fairly quickly at reading -while – spinning.
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Edit : Here is the almost-finished product, as I’m running out the door, photographed in bad lighting … was in a rush. I didn’t have a chance to edge it and put tassles on . 😦 I’ll have to add them later….