The second Christmas gift I knit was the Indian Summer hat by Kalurah, for my mother. It suits her, no?
This was more a spinning project than a knitting one, really. I specifically wanted to make Mom something with my handspun, so I sought out a pattern that would suit a, uh, somewhat rustic yarn.
The fibre was a braid of hand-painted Targhee from Koigu. Beautiful, intense, and unexpected colours, and quite pleasant to spin.
I was warned by others who had spun it that the Koigu fibre has been known to shed a lot of fine dust during spinning. To ward this off, I opened out the fibre and fluffed it up a bit to loosen things, then gave it two long baths in Soak wash and water. There was a significant amount of silt in the water the first time, but not much after the second bath, and I really didn’t notice any on my hands or lap while spinning.
This was my first time spinning Targhee — but, well, I’m still pretty much a newbie, so it’s my first time spinning most things.
I’m also still enough of a newbie that I’m endlessly entertained by photos of yarn-in-the-making, so please bear with me.
The hat itself is really, really simple. Ribbing knit flat, then joining in the round for the most basic of mesh patterns, and then solid stockinette for the crown decreases, before a wee bit of i-cord for the top.
Unfortunately, when I bought and downloaded the pattern, there were a number of errors, and I was pretty frustrated. I mean, I could see the hat in the pictures, and could basically unvent the pattern from there, but it wasn’t matching up with the instructions… However, it turned out that the design had been updated months before — just, somehow, the new PDF hadn’t been properly uploaded to Ravelry.
As soon as the designer realized what was going on, she uploaded the correct version, and all appears to be correct now. She was apologetic, and I can’t fault her customer service in the least.
Unfortunately for me — or fortunately, depending on how you look at it — the hat was actually such a quick knit that by the time the pattern issues had been resolved, I had already finished knitting it!
I have to say that the best thing about this hat is the button. It’s heavy, ceramic, and has a slightly pearlescent glaze to it, and I have loved it deeply and madly since I first bought it about 5 years ago. I bought it at a local indie craft fair, but I can’t remember who made it — I’d buy more if I ever saw them again.
I had bought the button to go on a felted bag (which was my first ever felted project, and my first project in the round, and which turned out so green and hairy and shapeless that my husband calls it ‘Oscar the Pouch’). Suffice to say that I could never bear to put this beautiful jewel of a button onto my godawful mess of a bag, so it has been waiting all these years to find a project that suited it. Finally, it has a home on this hat — I love the colours it brings out in the yarn! It doesn’t match, but it somehow goes perfectly.