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.