reasoning towards a winterhat

I want a winter hat.
A warm winter hat with a double knitted layer around my ears. It has to be sophisticated, so I can wear in the city.

On Ravelry I’d made a “bundle”, which is a sort of collection of bookmarks, to narrow down my idea and to keep my focus on target:

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 13.14.38

There’s a preference for cloches. Light colours. No slouchy models. A lot of stranded knitting because I have that Holstgarn Noble burning in the stash:

But since I made that bundle the weather has grown colder and I find I’m wearing my thick aran hat every day so I don’t think a light fingering hat is going to cut it, even if it’s stranded and super soft.
Besides, I need to wash the yarn first, to get rid of the spinning oil and that’s just one hurdle too much in the daily things to do.

Aran hats are fine! You know I’ve been eyeing this one:

Neon Ski Bonnet by Lacey Volk,
It may be leaning towards the childish side of “sophisticated” but that’s ok. There are some two coloured versions in the projects page that show that “childish” can mean “well made” and that “sophisticated” doesn’t equal “stern”.

The other day I cast on for it but the strip that’s supposed to go over the ears turned out far too narrow. And there are a lot of cables in that strip which my shoulder doesn’t particular like.
So I threw a temper tantrum and cast it aside.

Today I decided to approach my new winter hat from the other side: start with the yarn.

At the moment I’m in the city and the yarn is in the cabin and I won’t get to see it until Christmas. (Some planning errors occurred.)
But last time I was there I threw some balls in a bag because of that yellow hat I planned, and here they are:


All aran weight. Lots of blues even though I don’t like to knit with blue and one of my two sophisticated warm hats is already in blue (not knitted by me).

The three balls at the top left are too harsh to wear against my skin. They are alright (two are Cascade) but not soft enough to wear all day. And that’s how I wear my warm hats, all day, inside the house too. (thyroids are darling)

The bottom half of the yarns are single plies. Very soft and luxurious, with silk. A pleasure to wear! Some great colours.

But single plies pill like a pharmacy.
Already I have often have to take scissors to my other sophisticated warm hat, the one I knit last year:

The Devonshire Cream Hat, in lovely Bowmont yarn. Plied yarn and it still pills a lot (because I wear it a lot and do not knit very tight).
No, I shouldn’t chose a single ply for my third hat.

This leaves … nothing on the table.

Luckily I brought two other yarn, which are both soft and multi-ply. They are way too dark for what I had in mind. But I’m going to use them:

The black is a Drops Big Merino. A superwash, which I usually avoid and also tends to pill more than non-superwash. But hey, it’s yarn, it’s plied, it’s soft.

The multicolour is Creatively Dyed Carnival with wool, cashmere and angora. Worsted weight. This is one of the first luxury yarns I gave myself as a gift. I have knitted numerous things from it but was never satisfied with it. So each time I frogged the item, washed the wool and looked for a better pattern.
(I do this with other yarns that are too good to be true too. Do you recognize this?)

It’s been a shawl, another shawl, a little vest, I did numerous studies with elongated stitches or lace stitches to tame the mottled effect a bit… I tried assigning certain skeins to certain garment pieces because the skeins vary a bit:

It’s even the yarn that performed centre stage back in 2011, when I needed some serious wool items to just make it through the day. I had done my first colour analysis and bright cool colours were supposed to make me look good.

This is taken on the day that I went out for a whole day to something fun, by myself, for the first time since I’d fallen ill in 2008.
It was to the first (and best) “Haak-en Breidagen”, a knitter’s fair:

I was very ill back then, I hadn’t figured out my ME nor my Addison’s disease properly.
But by then I had realized that funny dresses, rings, tiara’s and handmade items are just sensible contents of a survival kit. And I didn’t care who laughed at my outfit. (nobody did, actually.)

I think this was the year I pulled an April fools’ prank and had created a sock puppet account on Ravelry and told everybody that my name was “Marina Merino” or something like that. UPDATE: “Merina Hamel” was my name! Thank you Judith! “Hamel” = bellwether, the leading sheep of the flock. 

I wrote that I had a flock of black cashmere goats that produced heavenly wool and would people like to knit a sample? They only had to bleat to me, at the fair, which happened to be on April first, and I would give them a free sample of my “black gold”.

This is the black gold I gave people, “goat droppings”:

a Dutch specific little licorice called Kokindjes

The day was such a blast! We had so much fun at that fair! I even got a present from a dear friend: a third skein of Creatively Dyed Carnival! Such a lovely gift! Expensive too. That’s a good friend, someone who shares quality and urges you to use it for yourself.
(ooh, I now also remember my blood pressure dropped instantly from the surprise (no cortisol = no BP) and I had to lie down right then and there. People looked. I failed in thanking my friend properly. Failed to notice people bleating too. I was such a mess back then.)

The Creatively Dyed has all the good memories built in. It has been with me for a long time, so long in fact, that I’ve now completely gone off multicoloured yarns. Nowadays I want everything to be solid or semi-solid. Or, if must, self striping or a slow gradient.

But this is souvenir yarn. Memory yarn. Yarn to celebrate the fun times of the past with!
So it will be my winter hat. I will do it brioche, with the solid black. This enhances its colours.

The hat will be simple: knit a strip that goes around your head. Close it when it’s long enough and then pick up stitches and knit the dome.
If only I had my Brioche book here! It probably has a provisional cast on technique for two colours, if you want to kitchener a tube closed later on.
The book is at the cabin… I’ll have to fudge it.

When my hat is finished I may throw all caution in the wind and knit a fourth winter hat in soft, soft one ply yarns. In light colours. I so much want to be surrounded by light colours these days. Greys, whites, silver, linen, light greens.
It’s been like this from the start of Summer. Perhaps Spring even. And I’m not done, I want everything to be light:



3 thoughts on “reasoning towards a winterhat

  1. You look fabulous in both photos! Hats make me look 20 years older. At 65, that is not a good look. Maybe I should try a tiara……..

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