Old shawl, new hat

Ene scarf

Ene's scarf knit with 2-ply Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere, colour Deep Denim.

After the gloves I cast on for Ene’s scarf, a shawl I had knit three years ago and loved. I had forgotten the brutal cast-on, though, and being rusty I made a mistake and had to frog and start again. Funny thing is, the same happened with the first shawl, and at the time I was knitting lace like a possessed woman, so perhaps there is something about that cast-on that doesn’t agree with my brain. I had also forgotten how hard it is for me to knit with dark yarn and picked a beautiful blue that made things quite difficult. Still, the shawl came out well and now lives in northern California with Ben’s mom. At this point I started to reconnect — slowly — with some of my old knitting buddies and went back to Ravelry where I found many patterns by designers I didn’t know. See, I get distracted for a couple of years and when I look again the knitting blogosphere is a different place. Some of the old blogs have disappeared, some haven’t been updated in months. I am not quite sure why I am picking up this blog

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again and even less sure about why others would want to read it. For now I’ll set aside the introspection and document the knitting.

Out of so many new patterns I picked Caller Herrin, a beautiful hat inspired by the colors of Britain’s North-Sea coast. Not having any 2-ply Hebridean handy, I used some KnitPicks Palette. Not quite the same, but if you want to do something NOW, you don’t want to wait

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around for your yarn to arrive form the Isle of Lewis. My order shipped promptly on Jan 11, but no matter how much I stalk the mailman, there is still no sign of it and unfortunately no tracking number. In the meantime, Ben is wearing his hat knit with non-Scottish colors. I am not loving the Palette yarn, but I’ve been using it a lot for swatches and the hat is not bad. When my 2-ply Hebridean gets here (when, oh when?) I’ll probably do something different with it than I had originally in mind.

a hat for Ben

Caller Herrin for Ben

For the past few weeks I’ve been spending all my knitting time making swatches, trying out colors, stitches, and construction techniques. I have all these design ideas in my head and I am trying things out to convert them into 3D objects. My design background isn’t helping as much as I expected. My training was in graphic design and interactive media and I quickly specialized in web design, so everything I did was on the screen for the screen. Now I find that design elements work quite differently outside a digital environment. When I chose colors for a Fair Isle pattern thinking that they will work well together, I discover that there isn’t enough contrast between them when they are knit. My sense of color has to adjust to the new medium. Have I mentioned that I love swatching? I hear often of knitters that hate it and it’s the opposite for me. I have to watch myself or I could end up swatching forever and never casting on for a real project.