Oooh boy. I have lots of catching up to do. This has been a winter of constantly being sick, or in the process of getting sick. Those who know me well know that I never, ever, ever get as much as a sniffle most winters and plow right through whatever bug is going around. Not so much this winter. So there is a nice dose of Schadenfreude for you.
Let me tell you about my co-workers for a second (you know I don't like to mix my work life in with anything else, but it's good back story). I work in a sales department, which attracts the kind of people that are competitive in everything that they do, including gift-giving. I use this to my advantage as much as possible, especially around the holidays. If they want to assign their love for me with a cash value, I'm okay with this. If they want to put a little more thought into to get in my good graces and get me a nice fat gift certificate to an upscale yarn boutique, I wouldn't say no. They also tend to stock my personal bar with top-shelf goodness that will keep me warm and happy year-round.
So off to Purl Soho I marched on a bitter cold January day, with my freshly printed gift certificate in hand. It's a beautiful store with equally "beautiful people" clientele, all of them ready to drop a small fortune on a sweater's worth of cashmere. You have a rather unsettled feeling in that shop that the sheep that produce the wool for their yarn somehow produce no poo at all, and are a magic breed of sheep that have the ability to fly at night when no one is watching. It's priced accordingly.
I picked up a sweater's worth of thyme-green Merino and some Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a new yarn that everyone has been buzzing about.
It's not particularly soft, but it's an interesting blend of Columbia and Tarhgee wools, which makes it very lofty and bouncy. It's rustically spun woolen-style, with lots of interesting neps spun in for texture and a heathered effect. Jared Flood has been blogging about the whole wool-into-yarn process on his blog recently. It's fascinating and I recommend checking it out.
I used some of the pretty brown color, Nest, to make a hat.
I choose the "Turn a Square" pattern, which, appropriately enough, is a Jared Flood pattern. I dug out a skein of Noro Silk Garden that was leftover from a coat I made a couple years ago to use as stripes. The results:
The stripes are very subtle. I love it. Best of all, this took me all of 3 days worth of commuting from start to finish.
He's already worn it a bunch, hence that slightly rumpled look. The requisite guy hat must be able to be crumpled down and shoved into a pocket, and it fits that need quite well. It's a good guy-beanie shape with the square top. It's cozy and warm and already looks like a favorite.
I did a jogless stripe technique to make the seam less visible. You can still see it though.
The best part is that this barely used half a skein of each, so there is definitely enough yarn leftover to make a second one. I did enjoy working with the Shelter. However, I found that when I tinked back to fix a mistake, the yarn would sometimes come unspun completely and break. It spit-splices really well, so it's not bad to fix. Just a bit troublesome that it does that.
The specs: I'm a super-loose knitter so I had to go down several needle sizes in order to get a hat that fit. I used US 3 needles for the ribbing and US 5 for the main part of the hat. I only used about 70 yards of the solid brown Shelter, and even less that with the Silk Garden, making this a great hat if you have scraps to use up. The pattern was well-written and simple.