Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Off the Needles: Slable Hat in Smitten

A few months ago when I was visiting one of my LYSes (Firefly Fiber Arts), I couldn't resist picking up a skein of Smitten from Why Knot Fibers. The rich red of the Red Spire totally drew me in, and once I felt the lovely squish of Finn wool and Alpaca fibers, I knew it would be coming home with me!

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This skein of yarn has a pretty interesting story, too: the fibers were all raised, processed and dyed in Michigan. I'm guessing most of you are well-versed in the ways of alpaca fibers, but perhaps Finn fiber is new to you. Finnsheep (or Finn for short) are an ancient breed from Scandinavia, known for their soft & durable fleece that also feels a bit silky. These qualities really shine through in the yarn - Smitten is 70% Finn & 30% Alpaca - and since alpaca fiber is fairly similar, it's a great matchup overall.

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Why Knot take this yarn for a spin?
Sometimes, choosing a pattern for such a special skein of yarn can be tough. I struggled with indecision for a bit, but then a friend of mine was wearing a lovely red Slable Hat (pattern by Woolly Wormhead) when she stopped by my house one afternoon. Not only had that pattern been in my queue for a while, I'd already purchased it and holy cow it was perfect for this yarn! I'd been planning to use a different skein of yarn from my stash but never cast on because it just looked too fussy and complicated. My friend assured me that was not the case, and I'm glad I listened to her.

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The key for me was to place stitch markers in between each repeat of the pattern across the round - that way, if I got lost, I discovered it before getting to the end of the round and having to rip alllll the way back. The seed stitch was really easy to keep track of, so I was able to just follow the charted cable pattern (the seed stitch sections are only given in the written instructions, FYI). At first, I had a notion that I would add in a pattern repeat to make a slouchier version, but once I tried on the hat at the point where I would either start the crown decreases or continue on for another repeat, I decided that it was the perfect amount of slouch for me.

And let's take a moment to admire the stitch definition for both the textured panels and cables:

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I'm really pleased with how this hat turned out, it's going to be my new lightweight everyday hat to conceal bad hair days (shhh don't tell!) and keep me warm indoors. I'm excited to try more yarns from Why Knot Fibers, too - I've always admired their yarns since discovering them at YarnCon a few years ago, and it looks like they'll be there again this year. I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. I always use stitch markers to mark repeats, cuz I’m usually tired and often too lazy to fix mistakes. I’m an amateur!
    What is that glorious ball winder? Mine is garbage made by the devil!

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