We all know I love a mini Weasley Jumper so with two new arrivals joining Ravenclaw recently I was thrilled to have an excuse to crack the pattern out again.
Original post – Weasley Jumpers updated with revised hints/tips.
I’m still ploughing through trying to use up wool from my stash and racing to complete the mammoth (and hugely enjoyable) project that is the Hue Shit Afghan. An update is overdue and the Shetlander’s amazing posts have inspired me so here’s what I’ve been working on the last couple of months…
I am completely loving knitting this. It requires enough concentration that it’s fun to knit but is simple enough that you can happily watch TV, chat, knit on the tube. Pretty ideal. Although the first few squares look a bit nuts (really crazy colour combinations) when you can start to see the colour changes it’s super exciting and looks awesome. I’m on the final quarter now and can’t wait to sew it all together although, despite knitting each square onto the one previous, there are still quite a lot of ends to weave in….sigh.
November/December after a three month reprieve from knitting Christmas decorations I got back on it. I can’t help it, they are just so jolly! Also great way to use up scrag ends of yarns.
Now back to the Afghan…
We all have that special wool that you’ve bought, adored and just can’t commit to making into something. What if another pattern you love comes along later? What if you can never get that yarn again? Well, that special wool was made for this pattern.
The wool in question is Organic Shetland Aran by the wonderful Uradale Yarns. I have in fact managed to stash this yarn for so long that it looks like it’s now discontinued! I bought it here in Shetland at a wool week many moons ago and I’m fairly sure the colours are Tormentil (yellow) and Selfheal (pink) but I’ve made a marvellous job of losing the ball bands so I can’t be sure.
Over the years, I’ve knitted (and stashed!) a fair few of their yarns and I would really recommend them. As an islander, I’m always going to be a sucker for a Shetland yarn but this wool has great character, perfect for colour work, and both the natural and dyed shades are absolutely divine. Personally, I’m also really into the fact that it’s an organic wool and pretty reasonably priced for all that. Their website is also cracking so definitely check them out.
The specialness of the wool demanded a specialness of pattern but for literally years, nothing really caught my eye. Then I saw the Verso hat and I knew what I was meant to do with this yarn. The only issue was that the yarn I had was aran weight and the pattern called for double knitting. Hmm.
Never one to be deterred (or swatch!), I just decided that I would cast on the smallest size of the pattern and hoped that with my big head, it would work out at roughly the right size. I cannot for the life of me mind what size of needles I used for this but I think it could be 4mm or 4.5mm. It was knitted in its entirety using magic loop and I’m pretty happy with the hat, although I don’t think I got the top quite right. Luckily, a big pom pom covers up the slightly dodgy bit!
Would I recommend this cavalier approach to hat making? Yes and no. Yes, because I’ve got a hat I love in a yarn I love and to my mind, although the colour combination is super loud, it’s pretty darn great. No, because my sizing is a bit off due to the yarn weight swap and resulting row gauge change. I’ve basically knit a rather tall hat and that’s fine, because it’ll go slouchy with wear and washing, but it wasn’t entirely my intention.
This pattern isn’t just gorgeous in its design, it’s really well written and any difficulties I had were entirely due to the changes I made. You do need to be able to read a colour work chart but other than that, there’s nothing complicated and I’d say go for it!
Overall, the yarn. The pattern. This hat. Basically, it’s the stuff my more outrageous knitterly dreams are made of.
Pattern – Verso Hat by Bristol Ivy
Modifications – I used aran weight wool instead of the DK the pattern calls for. I knitted the smallest size but I’m definitely not experienced enough yet to give any advice about how to do a conversion between the two yarn weights! I hadn’t anticipated the change in row gauge and that has changed the shape of the hat (basically taller) so maybe keep that in consideration if you’re also thinking to try aran. Or just knit it in DK like a sensible person would.
Cast on – long tail cast on. As ever, this video from Wool and the Gang keeps me right.
Cast off – followed the instructions in the pattern for crown decreases and cast off
Colour dominance – I did a night class with Donna Smith last year and that really got me thinking about colour dominance. This tutorial from Ysolda Teague has a really good explanation and examples about how to work out which colours should be dominant. For this hat, I made the yellow the dominant colour which is probably the reverse of what it should be. I’m pretty happy with the effect though.
Needles – I can’t remember!
Wool – Organic Shetland Aran from Uradale Yarns in the colours Tormentil (yellow) and Selfheal (pink). I think the Aran has been discontinued but their other yarns are equally great.
I agree with The Shetlander, 2017 was a good year making wise (despite the last few months being a bit quiet on the blog…holiday crafting got a bit intense!) and I think focusing on the #makenine early in the year really helped me think about what I wanted to work on. Bonus, I actually stuck to it more than I thought I would!
A reminder: 2017s #makenine
Photo credits & patterns L-R from top left: 1. Love Knitting’s Obliquo, photo from their website; 2. Baby Weasley Jumper you can find the pattern here. 3. Christmas presents standing-in to represent the mystery make. 4. Tin Can Knit’s stunning Vivid Blanket, photo from their website; 5 & 6: Mini-Christmas stocking decorations, pattern at Little Cotton Rabbits 7: Shetland lace baby blanket, a very similar pattern available here; 8: I made this helmet cover pattern up and didn’t write it down. I shall work it out when I make the new one! 9: Stash busting monsters – filled with lavender so they also multitask to repel the dreaded moths!
So, 2019, what do you have in store for me? I hope it will look a little something like this…
Photo Credits and Patterns L-R from top left: 1. Bounce Blanket – Tin Can Knits; 2. Stockings – the Pottery Barn 3. Hue Shift Afghan – pattern from Knit Picks; 4. Weasley Jumpers – full blog on the pattern here; 5. Shetland Lace Blanket – pattern available here; 6. Polygon Blanket – Tin Can Knits; 7. Christmas baubles – pattern my own; 8. Harvest Cardigan – Tin Can Knits; 9. Christmas Stocking Decorations – pattern here.
If anyone needs me I’ll be hiberknitting.
2017 was on of my most productive making years and it was great always having something on the wires (needles in Shetland dialect). For me, there were two main things that kept my knitting year on track. The first was having this blog! While never super busy writing, I found that having the blog as a bit of a knitting diary helped keep me accountable to myself and cut down on those nights where I just faffed around.
The other tool I found really useful was the Make Nine challenge and taking the time to think about what I actually wanted to make, use and learn over the year. Looking back at the 2017 Make Nine challenge, I’ve finished three of the items, started a fourth and got the wool for a fifth. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s probably the most I’ve ever followed a plan!
2017 Make Nine Photo credits & patterns L-R from top left: 1. Ondawa by Michele Wang; 2. Bousta Beanie by Gudrun Johnston; 3. Socks! Line drawing my own; 4. Fly Away by Tin Can Knits; 5 I’m sure this is not a suitable baby toy but I do love this Flamingo by Susan B Anderson; 6. Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan by Purl Soho; 7. Hazel the Humpback Whale by Bec Brittain; 8. Rock Lobster Mittens by SpillyJane Knits; 9. Shallmillens Snood by Donna Smith. All photos are taken from the patterns’ Ravelry pages.
And so to the 2018 Make Nine plans. There are some that remain from last year, some newbies and some that are unlikely because let’s face it, how many jumpers can I realistically knit in a year? Time to find out!
2018 Make Nine Photo credits & patterns L-R from top left: 1. Ondawa by Michele Wang; 2. Shallmillens Snood by Donna Smith; 3. Toddler’s fair isle jumper. Terrible line drawing all my own; 4. Harvest Moon Blanket by Aimee Alexander; 5. Peace de resistance mittens by Bristol Ivy; 6. Open Waters shawl by Melanie Berg; 7. Fern and Feather by Jennifer Steingass; 8. Arrow Pom hat by Hilary Grant; 9. The Weekender by Andrea Mowry. All photos are taken from the patterns’ Ravelry pages.