Thursday, January 20, 2011


So many people seem to be able to design their own patterns - not just start and see how it works out, as has usually been my way if I am not using a published pattern.   I do find it hard to visualise on graph paper, for example, but adapting a basic shape by using different combinations of colours must be within my capacity.

Above is my stock of J& S jumper weight, all of it dating from before 1990 or thereabouts.  I remember sitting on a train travelling to Cumbria and using the shade card to select a batch of colours for a new project.   I was hoping to replicate the brown Kaffe Fassett Jagged Tooth waistcoat which I had knit for my mother.

I sent off the order full of enthusiasm, but was amazed by what was sent.  One of the blue tweed yarns had solid flecks of colour rather than the blended mix I was hoping for.  Some of the muted browns were muddy, not just muted.  There was something lifeless about them which I had not noted as a feature of my previous purchases from J&S.  Of course, it was also still fantastically cheap, so I was not unduly concerned, but I did not send for any more and abandoned the project. 

In 2000 we visited Orkney and Shetland on our honeymoon.  We certainly realised why tightly knit woollies were popular - and this was August.  We had each taken a thin jumper and a thicker, walking jumper but, on the first morning, we put both on topped with anoraks before we went to explore Jarlshof.  I bought only a few ounces of laceweight from J&S.

However, now I look at this box of yarn and think that there must be the wherewithal for a hat in here.  Some of the muted browns are a blend of brown with blue or brown with green, so perhaps the lighter shade could be picked out?

So, definitely light and dark stripes, but perhaps a different peerie pattern?  or vertical stripes?  There is always the danger that the finished item will say "tea cosy", rather than "hat."  Add to that the fact that I only wear a hat for practical purposes, since I look ten years older without my hair showing.  I'm clearly not there yet on the design issue.

This is what I have actually been knitting: some more scratch mittens in subtly larger sizes.

And a pair of socks in Regia by Kaffe Fassett.  Very cheering on a dark day.


colleen said...

I'm always amazed at how colours work together and how sometimes they don't work when you expect them to. As for those muted and muddy tones, they are really rather gorgeous.

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

The scratch mittens are adorable. The sock yarn is beautiful (as I love almost all blues). If that is a sample of your hat pattern, go for it! It's great. You have something there about the tea cozy's. Some hats look like tea cozy's and some tea cozy's look like hats!

Anonymous said...

Your trial pattern looks good to me! I love woolly hats, but I can't wear them as they make me itch!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I love the mix of colours in your hat swatch . As for peerie design .... do you mean the swirly inside-a-marble pattern ? I love that too and I hope you show us the finished hat .

Janet said...

That Regia yarn is one of my favourites.