knitting · Project Updates

Project Update: 20th Anniversary Fair Isle Hat

Hello everyone! Lots of exciting things to get to today. Before I get into my project update, I have a few other updates to share. Last night I had a very successful night of knitting and crocheting, having finished TWO Christmas gifts! Yahoo! I also recently added some finished projects and details to my profile on Ravelry. If you are interested in seeing what I’m up to over there, click here. (One of my project photos is now featured on the pattern page for Jenny Williams’ Fair Isle Earflap Hat!)

I have a project update for you all today. Last week, I came across this 20th Anniversary Fair Isle Hat kit at a local yarn store. This pattern was written and designed by the owner of the store, Joan, in honor of the 20th anniversary of her yarn store. Within the design of the hat are two “X” motifs to represent the roman numeral 20. The photo she has included in her pattern features the hat modeled by her daughter, Mariah. I love this colorful kep and the sentimental story behind the design.

The finished hat photo included in the pattern.

The kit was $34 and includes the printed pattern (and chart) and 8 shades of fingering weight Jamieson Spindrift yarn (763 Pacific, 1390 Highland Mist, 319 Artichoke, 1130 Lichen, 155 Bramble, 567 Damask, 1190 Burnt Umber, and 230 Yellow Ochre). The brim is knitted with size 1 needles and the rest of the hat is knitted on size 3 needles. I purchased both of these sizes in ChiaoGoo needles while at the shop. More on this later…

My purchase of the hat kit and two sets of fixed circular needles

This hat marks a few “firsts” for me as a knitter. This is the first project in which I have used Jamieson yarn, my first time using ChiaoGoo needles, my first time knitting anything with toothpicks–I mean size 1/2.25 mm needles, and my third fair isle/stranded knitting hat. (My first fair isle hat can be found here, and my second stranded knitting hat is a Christmas gift, so stay tuned for a post on that after the holidays!) Whew! I love pushing the boundaries of my skills and tools and trying new things. It’s what makes knitting so rewarding.

This is how I knit! Working with ChiaoGoo needles

As I have been knitting this hat with ChiaoGoo needles, I have noticed some elements of these stainless steel needles that I like. The cord connecting the tips is one of the most flexible, memory-free, and softened cords I have ever used. With other circular needles, I have found the cord will want to coil up and hold its curly shape, making it difficult whenever the cord is not completely covered with stitches. There are ways to soften the cord and make it relax, of course, but I was impressed by ChiaoGoo’s flexibility right out of the bag. They feel expensive, luxurious, well-made, and ready for any task. I was very impressed.

16″ Circular ChiaoGoo needles, size 1/2.25 mm

But if you know me, you know I just simply prefer wood needles to metal. I don’t like the coldness of metal needles, and the metal points really wear on my fingers more so than wood. Even with personal preference factored in, I would still recommend these needles. If you like metal needles and haven’t tried ChiaoGoo yet, I think you should try these out. Here are some places to buy ChiaoGoo online, if you are interested: Jimmy Bean’s Wool, Amazon, ChiaoGoo.

Jamieson’s of Shetland Wool is a very well-known and respected yarn in the (fair isle) knitting world, from what I’ve read. It holds up over decades of wear and use, has the most vibrant and vast shade range, and is relatively inexpensive. I am so excited to be working with this yarn. This project uses Jamieson Spindrift 100% hand washable wool, which is a fingering weight yarn.

The rich, vibrant hues of Jamieson Spindrift wool. Top row from left to right: 567 Damask, 155 Bramble, 230 Yellow Ochre, 319 Artichoke.
Bottom row from left to right: 763 Pacific, 1390 Highland Mist, 1190 Burnt Umber, 1130 Lichen.

I went over to Jamieson’s of Shetland’s website to read more about their story and history. Jamieson’s is a family-owned business that started in the early 1890s on the far west coast of the Shetland Isles. They use wool from the native Shetland sheep and have passed this tradition down through five generations of their family. If you are in the US/Canada and are interested in ordering some of their products, you can check out their website or visit the yarn store where I purchased my hat kit.

Current status of my hat!

I will be sure to share the finished result of my hat, likely next week! I am so excited to see this come together, and the charts for the crown look very fun. It’s nice to make a project for me in between all of my Christmas knitting!

Until we talk next, happy knitting 😀

4 thoughts on “Project Update: 20th Anniversary Fair Isle Hat

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