Wednesday, 14 September 2011

FO: Icing Swirl Hat

The bumper crop of hats I have made are threatening to burst out of my winter woollies drawer. Some people in colder climates better have some birthdays coming up soon or this could get dire.

This one started out as a couple of wee braids of Capistrano Fiber Arts superfine merino.

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I'm not sure what the color was called. Sometimes they aren't labeled. I pulled the braids apart and meticulously separated the different colors into piles- brown, tan and red. I carded each color into a separate batt, and then alternated when I was spinning so the yarn would stripe up when plied.

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I spun it woolen and ended up with a worsted-weight 2 ply. I had about 280 yards total. After my last slightly bummer of a beret (now beanie) I decided to be brave and go for a slouchy big hat once again.

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The pattern is the Icing Swirl Hat from Whimsical Little Knits. It's fairly simple to make. You start with an I-cord and it grows from there. There are some short rows in the back to give it a slouch shape. I like having a hat where you can pile all your hair underneath and hide it there rather than try to neatly arrange it while trying to fight static. Just hide it. It's easier that way.

On hindsight, I probably could have been a bit more aggressive blocking this out to a baggier shape. I'm always a little careful when I block anything handspun- I consider it just a little more fragile than a commercial yarn and I usually slowly block it out in stages rather than have a cartoonish struggle involving pins and upturned mixing bowls and wet wool.

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A good blocking will also open up the lace a bit more, making the swirl more visible. I'm quite thrilled with the striping. It's also so soft, and really warm without being incredibly heavy. I love merino- I forget I love it as much as I do, and then I spend some touch time with it and it wiggles its way to the top of my love list again. The whole hat only used about 100 yards, so I have enough yardage leftover to, uh, make another hat I guess. Maybe I'll shake things up and make a cowl.

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