a look at the finished product!
Hello everyone! I am so happy to be writing this post today. I really need this space for calm and color right now, given the tense four days of impending American election results. Things are looking up, though, and I have an exciting weekend ahead of me; my husband and I will be setting up the Christmas tree, participating in a 24-hour fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, and celebrating my grandfather’s birthday. So much to look forward to!
While I’ve spent the last few days anxiously watching the election coverage, I have been busy working on this fair isle hat, and I finally finished it! This is the “20th Anniversary Hat” kit from my local yarn store – designed by owner Joan Sheridan – that I started at the end of October. Last week, I posted a project update for my hat, so I wanted to share my final thoughts with you all today.
One thing I mentioned in my project update last week is that this was my first time using ChiaoGoo needles. As I have worked more with them, I had some additional observations. I absolutely love the “swish” sound of these metal needles – something I don’t get to experience with my wood needles. I also really appreciate the mixture of sticky Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift Wool and metal needles. This combination really worked well for me because it allowed for a quicker passing of stitches.
I was very excited to block this hat. I love the magical reveal of smooth, wool colorwork and I was excited to see how Jamieson’s Spindrift wool would perform. Sure enough, the colorwork really locked in after blocking this hat, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way these colors are showcased. I love the earthy jewel tones in this hat kit, and I will definitely be using these colorways again.
The crown of this hat gave me some trouble. (Or, maybe, I gave myself some trouble over the crown of this hat!) I’ll own up to it; I did not follow the chart exactly as it was written for the crown. Therefore, my the colorwork at the top of my hat looks less like a flower and more like a swirling hurricane. I actually really like how it turned out; if you know me, you’ll know I’m a major weather nerd. I think the colorwork that resulted in my hat looks fantastic, and I’m happy with it, which is what matters, right?
Pattern image for crown, left, and my finished crown, right.
To elaborate more on what went “wrong” with the crown, the difference comes in my interpretation of the decreases. There are six stripes of purple slipped stitch decreases that serve as the main shaping vehicle for this crown. I decided, as the headstrong, stubborn knitter I am, that a k2tog would make more sense than the “slip 2, knit 1, psso” the pattern calls for in the chart. Going back, I would take more time experimenting with the written instructions before making a quick decision. I knew that going off pattern would augment my hat, so I aimed to interpret and visualize the pattern as I knit to make sure the finished product would still turn out. I figured that, as long as my adjustments were even and consistent, the colorwork would look intentional. Sure enough, the crown colorwork is even and (mostly) consistent, so I’m happy.
I followed the pattern size medium for this hat. I anticipated this hat being a more snug fit, because of the nature of the brim and the intricate, small stitches I worked. The finished hat fits nicely on the top of my head, covering the majority of my ears. I like this fit, and it works for me. If I were to make this for someone else, however, I definitely would opt for pattern size large.
As for finishing, after I wove in the ends and blocked this hat, I also made a small tassel. I’m not sure which version I like better: tassel or no tassel? I braided three double-stranded colors (lichen, bramble, and pacific) and tied on a a handful of short strands in pacific to make a traditional trailing tassel.
To tassel or not to tassel?
Overall, I think this was a great hat to make. It was definitely a more advanced fair isle project for me, though I appreciated the challenge. I am very excited to try more fair isle hat kits from Joan in the future!
Until we talk next, happy fair isle knitting!