stranded hat: Estonian braided cast on

I’m still so filled with impressions from the fair! I want to show you a thousand things but I don’t know where to start. Also want to knit knit knit with things instead of writing about it. How am I supposed to write about it sensibly? Hang on, I’ll just show you what I’m doing RIGHT NOW. That’s a good place as any to start.

JUST NOW the post arrived and it brought a needle size 2,25 mm that Trude is borrowing me when she read I was knitting multiple projects on just the one needle. Thank you Trude! You are very smart.

I am less smart so instead of spreading my existing projects over the two needles I now have I took the new needle and cast on a new project:

That’s a braided cast on that is. Vikkelbraid? Kihnu braid.

Let me tell things chronologically, in an attempt to sound logical.

Alexandra from Atelier Het Wolbeest was wearing a marvellous hat at the fair, in handspun pink and grey:
It’s dolls holding hands! The pattern is Dollheid by Kate Davies (A title that makes me giggle because the Dutch word “dolheid” means “madness”)

Alexandra’s hat had me in awe, with the contrast and the happy pink colour and the special ribbing at the edge. It’s currogated ribbing, where you alternate colours but also knit and purl stitches. (I think, I haven’t read thus far in my pattern yet)

The booth next to Wolop was manned by Lidaholm, a woman with a passion for Swedish yarns. She goes there every Summer and visits small farms and spinning factories and imports their yarns to the Netherlands to spread the joy.

Sweden has some special breeds, some of them particular for wool quality.

I had to pass these yarns multiple times per day. They caught my eye because they were ridiculously soft and spun just the way I like to spin my own yarn: soft, lofty but yet a well plied yarn that looks like a string of pearls.
I got talking to Lida and she told about this small independent Swedish yarn manufacturer who have everything under one roof. They spin their own lambs fleeces on machines that are tuned to handle them particularly softly. They sell yarns but also finished products and their own designs.
Lida has so much enthousiasme and such technical knowledge it was a delight to talk to her.

things came together and I wanted a stranded hat like Alexandra, knitted in these yarns that are so sympathetic.
A hat to celebrate our successful weekend at the fair, a souvenir.
I felt the urge to perform an act of pure joy and not be tight with spending money on myself and later on regret it because a chance was there and now lost.

SO I WENT BOLDLY and bought yarn for a hat I hadn’t planned.
I even went out of my comfort zone, colour wise:

Salmon pink? That makes me look green or grey. I must have lost it.
I’m lost in giggles, that’s true. All these ice-pastels are making me so happy! The dark grey will set them off nicely and together they’ll have the same values of contrast that I have in my own face, with my darkish eye brows and hair and light eyes and fair skin. In theory this hat should make me look good.

They were in the skies too, these ice pastel colours, when we were driving back south on Sunday morning, a clear winter morning with a crisp sun. A perfect compliment to the timing and the colours of this yarn purchase.

I spend Monday relaxing and admiring Alexandra’s hat online and looking at other stranded hats and deciding that whatever pattern I chose it should have a pompom because Wolop is wearing pompoms on all her hats.

I knew which patterns I wanted to combine. Plus pompom.
It’s going to be the base of Simply Harika by Renee Burton

Simply Hakira offers different edges. I’ll do the braided edge and currogated ribbing (which I’ve never done before).

On top will feature pattern As The Leaves Begin To Fall by Eliza Jarvi. Plus pompom.

Leaves in light colours, back ground in dark.

As the Leaves begin to Fall really needs a new name…. all day today the ear worm in my head has been alternating Jingle Bells with that song by Jermaine Jackson & Pia Zadora:

31 years after the release of this song is still too soon, apparently.
(you’re welcome. Sharing ear worms is my secret hobby.)

I was putting the laundry in the attic for drying and had to stop for a bit. It’s part of this therapy I’m doing to keep the nervous system out of Fight or Flight and thusly without the need to exasperate ME symptoms. Get bored? Feel symptoms rising? Stop what you’re doing and go do something fun. Endorphines, baby!
So I stopped midway and was just standing around for a bit thinking “now what?” (because I’m very new to this therapy).

And that’s the story.
So here I am, casting on with endorphine yarns for an endorphine hat in interesting, endorphine creating, techniques.

Starting with the Kihnu braided cast on.

Kihnu is an island in the Baltic Sea with a proclaimed cultural heritage and a matriarchal nature.
“The most visible emblems of Kihnu culture are the woollen handicrafts worn by the women. Using traditional looms and local wool, the women weave and knit mittens, stockings, skirts and blouses which often feature bright colours, vivid stripes and intricate embroidery. Many of the symbolic forms and colours are rooted in ancient legends. Unlike Kihnu men, the women wear their national costumes in everyday life.”
What? Splendid!

You know that’s us!
This is also the place where Pippi Longstocking’s mum must be from.

The Kihnu cast on has a braid on both the inside and the outside of the outer edge. That’s a bit different from the braided cast on I know from Latvian mitts.
Skeincharmer on Ravelry has this picture:

The braid looks the same on the inside too.

I learned Kihnu braided cast on from this video, as the patterns suggests.
The designer of the Simply Harika hat says it’s best to follow it up with a purl row as it has a tendency to curl a bit otherwise.

I’m doing size Adult Medium for Fingering Weight gauge. Even though I’m knitting with sport but I’m on a 2,25 mm needle instead of my fingering weight needle size (2 mm).

Now I’m going to knit some more. Cast on isn’t done yet.
I’ll tell you more about other things I brought home from the fair a next time. I’ve bought other wonderful things. And there were so many wonderful people! Both sellers and buyers. Such a wealth of knowledge too. How was I ever to gain some knowledge of these wonderful soft Swedish yarns? Or of a life that involves going to Scandinavia often?

Come to think of it, Östergötlands Ullspinneri that makes these wonderful yarns is right between Denmark and Stockholm. Not that far away really.
I was practically halfway there, when I was at Midwinterwol.

I felt courageous and cheerful driving cross country and being so comfortable doing it. Now that I’m back home I’ve started dreaming of going on holiday. I haven’t been on an adventure out of the country for years now. Stockholm seems doable. Especially when there’s gorgeous yarn along the way and lovely wool people.


That cast on video is not very efficient. Lots of extra movements. I’ve found this video and am doing the rest of the cast on this way. Without a crochet hook, I’m just using my needle. It’s easier to keep the tension even.

It’s a yarn over combined with a knit stitch. The knit stitch stays on the right hand needle, the yarn over happens on the left hand needle. The yarn over really is the casted on stitch, the knitting on the right hand needle is just “to keep me busy”. Or to anchor the yarn/new colour.

It all happens at the left hand needle, the one with the yarn overs. That’s where you twist the yarns around, keeping track which one goes over and which one goes under.


The last bit is done this way, the tension is more even and more tight than the bit on the right. I’ll be frogging it all and starting anew, keeping it all even.



2 thoughts on “stranded hat: Estonian braided cast on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s