Capping off the year

I’ve capped off the year….with a cap.  This morning I finished the Peerie Flooers hat, designed by the extremely talented Kate Davies.  This hat was a departure for me.  While I consider myself to be a pretty good knitter, there are many knitting skills which I have managed to neglect in my decades long knitting odyssey.  One of these is the ability to do stranded knitting, or Fair Isle, in which you make beautiful colour garments while knitting simultaneously with two strands of wool.  One strand is held in the left hand and knit in the continental style and the other is held in the right and knit in the English style.  This is my very first item knitted using this technique, and I admit to appalling speed and awkwardness.  But….I am definitely getting better at it!  Here is a photo of my hands while knitting the hat; notice the strand in each hand.

In an earlier post, I showed the half-finished Peerie Flooers hat modelled by my daughter Leah.   Unfortunately, the finished hat is too big for Leah, in fact, it is almost too big for me!  In retrospect, I should have left off the fourth row of flowers or, even better, have used a 3mm needle instead of a 3.25mm (my gauge was 8 st/inch instead of the called for 8.5).  In these photos I am wearing the hat with a hand knit sweater; this is the Leyfi sweater designed by Romi Hill, which I knit in the fall of 2010.  I have lost weight since knitting it and it is a bit big, but I love it and as you can see, it goes very well with the Peerie Flooers colours.

I finished knitting this morning and then had to weave in all the loose ends of yarn.  Emma took a photo of the hat inside out with all of the loose ends waving in the wind.  Doesn’t it look like a jelly fish?  Weaving in ends has to be done in good light and must be accompanied by good coffee.  It is a nice relaxing way to spend the last morning of the year.

And of course a nosy knitter always wants to see the reverse side of your stranded knitting.  The difficulty with this type of knitting is to keep your tension even while carrying the extra strand of wool across the back; too loose and the garment will look messy and the ends will catch, too tight and the fabric will buckle.  I am rather pleased with this first attempt.

Here is the crown of the hat, which shows off the lovely design.

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

9 thoughts on “Capping off the year

  1. Happy New Year! Your Peerie Flooers is just beautiful, and the accompanying photos divine. You wear it well. Your Romi Hill sweater complements it perfectly.

    You know how I do my stranded knitting? By picking up and putting down each colour separately. I’ve tried every permutation of holding the yarn thanks to YouTube, but nothing stuck. And you know what? I might not break any ground-speed records, but I still manage to get the job done.

    Again. A happy and healthy 2012.

    • Hi Ann, Thanks for the comments and good wishes. I must admit that is how I usually do any stranded knitting, but I get tired of always having my wool in knots. I’m always envious of those two handed knitters who follow a complicated colour pattern, two conversations, a television show in the background, and have their hands fly at the speed of light at the same time. But mostly I just knit because it makes me happy, and don’t believe in there being a wrong way and a right way. Happy New Year and Good Knitting, Kelly

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