Oh no, another hat! But also a matching cowl.
I’ve had this lovely Artesano 100% Alpaca yarn for a few years just waiting for the right project to come along. Then I spotted the Structured Alpaca Cowl and knew this is it. The picture is from a funny angle and the cowl looks a bit like a dog’s jumper but trust me, it’s a cowl. It’s a very nice cowl.
I knitted the hat with the leftover yarn. It’s such a nice and soft yarn that I didn’t want to leave any left over. I don’t have a pattern for the hat – I just winged it. It’s a top-down hat, which is great when you want to use up all of the yarn. I like the way the pattern is formed on the hat. First it’s thin stripes on the crown and then they turn into thicker, irregular stripey shapes.
The hat and the cowl work nicely together. I like how half of the cowl is rib. It can be lifted up to cover the neck completely from evil cold winds in the winter. There is also a little flap on the front to keep the chest nice and warm.
Technically, this set is good enough to rob a bank! Not that I would, but, you know, in theory.
I finished another jumper. This has been on the needles for some time. Let me explain.
A little while ago I decided that this jumper has to get finished now. It’s been in my knitting basket for some time. 4 or 5 years, I thought. I looked at the printed pattern and the date on it was 22nd September 2007. Yes, 2007, that’s not a typo. I started this jumper over 11 years ago. This takes procrastination to a whole new level! [rolls eyes]
I said I would explain, but I don’t really have an explanation. I must have just put this to one side to knit something else first and it somehow snowballed. There was nothing wrong with the pattern, nothing wrong with the yarn, all that was wrong was me. Apparently.
The pattern is Viking Knots and the yarn is Drops Alpaca. I made the long sleeve version. I love that yarn and the fabric it produces. It’s very soft and it feels really substantial and yet the whole jumper weighs only 310g. When I was finishing the knitting, I was convinced it would not fit me. The fabric was so thin and the edges curled up so much that I thought it would fit a doll at best. When it was blocked and finished, the size is perfect! Everything about this jumper is perfect, except the knitting time.
The colour I used is petrol (mix 7240) and it’s fantastic. I’m toying with the idea of knitting another Viking Knots. I’m drooling over the different colours of Alpaca: dark olive, dark purple, light maroon, rust, golden rod…how could I decide? What if I took another 11 years to finish it?
Another day, another hat. And a matching cowl.
Let’s start with the yarn. It’s Artesano 100% alpaca. I bought it a few years ago in England while on holiday. The shop is called Three Bags Full, which tickled me, and it was at the time located in the amazing Piece Hall in Halifax. Stuff has happened since: Three Bags Full doesn’t have a brick and mortar shop anymore, only a website. The Piece Hall has been totally renovated since. It’s well worth a visit if you happen to be near Halifax.
Anyway, the yarn. I saw three balls of this super soft alpaca yarn in a sale bin and couldn’t put them down. There were only three balls of it left, all in different colours. Well, I bought them and since then, for a few years now, I’ve been taking them out of the yarn box every now and then to stroke them. They felt like three little kittens. I couldn’t decide what to knit with them but it came to a point that I felt it was time to use this lovely yarn. I started with a cowl. The idea of having these kittens wrapped round my neck seemed like a good one.
I was going to knit just a tube but decided to do something different after all. I found Seattle. I didn’t count or measure the stripes in any way; I just winged it. The cowl is quite sloppy and bigger in circumference than what I usually like my cowls to be, but it’s kind of nice. I’ll wear this when the temperature’s not yet minus millions. When it gets really cold, I like my cowl or scarf to be tightly round my neck.
Then the hat. I had some of the yarn left and it seemed obvious to knit a matching hat. There was a hat pattern with the Seattle cowl but I wanted to knit a hat top down so that I could use up all of the yarn. I knitted all of the purple yarn, then all of the blue yarn and finally changed to seed stitch and yellow yarn, and knitted till I had only enough yarn to cast off. The hat is very long and slouchy but I plan to wear it with the seed stitch part folded up. That way it’s also much warmer.
There we are then. 3 kittens turned into a cowl and a hat. I read somewhere that alpaca yarn is 8 times warmer than sheep’s wool. How do they measure that?