Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fair Isle-ish

I have been doing some Fair Isle type knitting lately. It seems the economical thing to do. The mileage for using fingering weight yarn is so much more than worsted or bulky. Think about it. How many more yards per ounce is that? A lot. Avid sock knitters will tell you - for about $10 or $15 dollars, you can get enough reasonable quality fingering weight yarn to knit a pair of socks that will take you as much work and as long as a $40 minimum sweater. That's more bang for your buck. If you're into that sort of thing. I am. Witness below.
I firmly believe kids should tie on their hats.
I whipped out my Fair Isle book and started playing around with patterns to make hats. The above hat fits a 2 to 3 year old. It wasn't the size I was aiming for, but I'm taking that in stride since it turned out rather nice anyways, and yes, I did just think I'd simply start another one. There was plenty of left over yarn and, evidently, patience. Or stubbornness. I always get those confused.
View of the top. It was a simply solution that I soon expanded upon since it struck me as not being fiddly enough for my tastes. The tams in my reference book have stars, and it just so happened that I had recently scored an authentic Shetland tam at the thrift store for about $1 (it needed some mending, which will happen once I can match the yarn somewhat) that I could copy the idea of.
This beanie came out the size I intended at a CO of 180 sts. As you can see, I have a lot of fingering weight yarn in various colors. The funniest thing about most of the yarn I used is that I got it at thrift stores. Ever see those little cylinders of wool baby yarn that Grandma used? Well, I snatch it all up every chance I get. I have an overabundance of pink, and that's my least favorite color - I have been too insecure in my masculinity for many years to wear pink - but that just makes it a challenge, like neon orange yarn. (A subject I will be addressing soon!)
I'm rather happy with this star crown. I frankly had no idea this hat was so colorful when I was knitting it; it was just working on the principle of picking a dominant group of colors and then throwing in one or two contrasts, and having half of the total colors be dark and half light. That way I could alternate almost randomly between background and foreground colors and always have a contrast, in theory. (I was limited by the colors on hand.) It sounds peculiar when I explain it but that was the methodology behind the madness.
Here we have the mock-up of the Shetland tam I got for a steal at the thrift store. I decided to not be too proud to learn from example and did my best to replicate. The colors are very different, since the original is sort of an aqua and salmon affair, and I also had my gauge wildly off once I got above the head band. The Shetland yarn is really more of a sport weight than light fingering like I was using. The result was that while I did learn a lot about how it was constructed, it came out as a beanie rather than a tam in shape because it had no extra roominess. It was still a spiffy beanie, though.
Detail of side pattern

I was very pleased with this star crown.The light color is some of my abundant vintage pink yarn, which contrasts nicely against hot burgundy. I actually bought the hot burgundy yarn and for the life of me, I'm not sure why. I must have had a wild hair of an idea, or it appeared differently on my computer monitor. (That's how my avocado Retro Rib cardi was born.)
There's even more of this sort of thing, which I don't consider true Fair Isle since I'm not using the "right" yarn, but they're in my workbasket. It's kind of addictive, I think. I'm considering making gloves.

Most of these hats ended up being sold in my etsy shop, which means of course that you should go check it out or drop me a note if you want me to whip one up for you.

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