Friday, July 18, 2008

Handspun, Handknit Bonanza, Part II: Plum Blossom

The parade of handspun, handknit hats continues, this time with a ribbed deal that I knit up from the Plum Blossom yarn I spun eons ago.

The fiber was originally 4.4 oz of Shetland wool, dyed in the "Plum Blossom" colorway from Pigeonroof Studios. Like the Burning Bush hat, I originally tried to make a Zeebee, which has turned into my default pattern for hats knit out of handspun, and I actually finished it. But . . . because I was still very much a newbie spinner at that time, my spinning was so abominably inconsistent that my gauge changed during the course of the knitting! The yarn was much thicker at the beginning than it was at the end. If you've ever knit a Zeebee, you'll know that a changing gauge spells disaster! There was a distinct dent in the hat's brim where I grafted the thicker-gauge yarn I knit at the beginning to the thinner-gauge yarn that I knit at the end.

I probably could have blocked the dent out, but I planned on giving the hat away as a gift, and I knew that the first time the recipient washed the hat, the dent would reappear and look bad. So I ripped the whole darn thing out, had a couple of fits and starts with various attempts at different brim-to-crown patterns, and finally decided on with this ribbed affair--my default pattern for brim-to-crown hats, courtesy of Fig and Plum.

In the end, it's certainly not an exciting hat, but I suppose simpler patterns are better with handspun so you can really show the yarn off. I think the hat does capture a nice tweedy, handmade sort of feel, and I do always like the way the ribs decrease into a star in Jessica's pattern. The hat is also nice and stretchy, and the fold-up brim will help keep the ears extra warm, which the recipient will definitely appreciate in the winter.

Pattern: Fig and Plum's Ribbed Hat
Needles: US6 circular and DPNs
Yarn: Handspun 2-ply, 4.4 oz. of "Plum Blossom" from Pigeonroof Studios
Recipient: A secret (just in case)!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


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