Wild Apple hat, a few thoughts

My Wild Apple hat is finished and wants me to move to a very cold climate so I can wear it. This is a seriously warm hat, folks, with all those rounds worked with up to four colors. I knew that using more than two colors per round would create a thicker fabric, but I was surprised by how much thicker and warmer the hat is because of that.

Wild Apple hat


If you’ve never knitted a Bohus item and are thinking about it, here are some thoughts.

The design
Not much to say about that other than it’s drop-dead gorgeous, but we knew that already, n’est-ce pas?

The yarn
The yarn is an integral part of what makes these Bohus kits as beautiful as they are. Having seen two versions of the Blue Shimmer hat, side by side, worked in different yarns, I definitely prefer the kits from Sweden. Their yarn (actually from Denmark, but dyed in Sweden by Solveig Gustafsson) is 50/50 merino/angora, dyed in colors that have been painstakingly reconstructed in collaboration with the original Bohus designers to match the items produced by Bohus Stickning between 1939 and 1969. The colors are vibrant, the yarn amazingly soft, and the small gauge makes the Bohus design sing. The yarn from Kimmet Croft, which was used to knit several items in the book Poems of Color, knits up at a larger gauge. While this may be a plus for many knitters, it does not bring out the best in Bohus design. Colors and fiber content are also slightly different and these seemingly small variations add up to a quite different overall effect in the knitted items.

For me it was an easy choice, but I recommend that you look at other knitters’ projects on Ravelry and decide for yourselves. I have to admit that the idea of knitting a whole sweater with all that stockinette stitch with 2 mm needles scares even me, and I love tiny needles.

My only complaints about this fabulous yarn are tangential:
— A few knots in some really tiny skeins.
— I wish the yardage had been a little more generous. There was enough yarn to knit the hat and I had a bit of leftover from all the colors, some more than others, but when I saw the tiny skeins I was so scared about running out of yarn before finishing the hat that I did not dare to swatch. Me not swatching… can you believe it? And yet that’s what I did and my hat is a bit bigger than I would have liked. In retrospect, I know that I could have made a swatch but what if I had chosen one of the colors that turned out to be almost precisely measured? I was so freaked out that I cut all my ends very short, to save yarn.

Leftover yarn

Some of the leftovers

The pattern
The first 4 cm in garter stitch with 2.00 needles were oh so hard to get through. Having had hardly any experience with garter stitch, I had no idea that it grows so slowly. But once I started the color pattern there was no stopping me, even though those rounds with 3-4 colors and both knit and purl stitches did slow me down considerably. Oh, and all those ends to weave in at the end… I guess that can’t be helped.

This is the color breakdown of the 76 rounds of the color pattern for those of you who like numbers:
— 8 rounds in 1 color
— 47 rounds in 2 colors
— 18 rounds in 3 colors
— 3 rounds in 4 colors

The chart is clear and supplemented by a table that lists the colors used every time there is a color change. That table was especially useful when colors very similar to each other were involved.

Some minor frustrations with the pattern:
— The written instructions mention that patterns don’t necessarily line up (no problem with that), but the chart is one continuous chart with no separation between the parts that line up and those that don’t. I found that confusing.
— My only real problem with the pattern are the decrease instructions. In addition to the increases not being included in the chart, the written directions were imprecise. Maybe I’ve gotten too used to US patterns, but to say *K5, k2tog* for a round that includes purl stitches gets me confused.

Wild Apple hat inside

Super toasty

In spite of the complexity of the pattern —or perhaps because of it? — it was a very enjoyable knit. I love the design and if I can bring myself to knit all that st. st. in one color and 2 mm needles, I may even attempt the sweater at some point, though I am more likely to get another small kit for my next Bohus. Oh, you thought because of my knit picking that this was the end of it? Nah, I know a good thing when I see one.

The chart for the Wild Apple sweater in Poems of Color shows 15 colors, while the hat kit from Solsilke has 14. I wonder if the difference is between sweater and hat or between book and kits. Anyone knows?

I couldn’t find a website for Kimmet Croft’s Fairy Hare. If you have a working URL, would you let me know?