The test knit for my hat pattern, Blue Selbu, has finished and the final version is now available. You can download it (for free) either by clicking on the appropriate link in the menu above, or from Ravelry.
I updated the pattern from the test version to include photo tutorials on both stranded colourwork and the Latvian braid that forms the opening edge of the hat. This should make it achievable for anyone who already knows how to knit in the round and work simple decreases, as long as they’re up for developing their skills a little.
It’s been a fun process, learning how to write a pattern, getting it test-knitted by others and then making it available through Ravelry. I only designed this hat because I couldn’t find an existing pattern that was quite right for what I wanted. I expect that’s how most “proper designers” started out.
Doing this has re-motivated me to continue working on a design for a chunky, boxy, cabled cardigan for the winter. After much experimentation, I think I have decided on the two cabled panels I will use. I was originally going to put a Hollow Oak panel up the centre back and near to the opening edge of each front – that’s the one on the left in this swatch.
But instead I’ve opted for a more original cable, a variation on the one on the right in the photo above. Of course, it may not be totally original, knitters of different generations on opposite sides of the world are forever re-inventing the same stitches. The late, great, Elizabeth Zimmermann even had a word for it: unventing. But it feels original to me, and coupled with the second cable panel, the shape of the cardigan and its other design features, it will result in a totally unique garment.
Alternating slip-stitch socks
These socks have been on the go for an inordinately long time while I got sidetracked on an unseasonal hat. Actually, socks are pretty unseasonal too, now I come to think of it. But they are done and can be put away until the autumn chills are upon us – which is generally somewhere around 1st September in this part of the world.
On reflection, the slip-stitch pattern isn’t very practical for socks. I’ll have to wash them in a bag (in the machine – only madwomen wash socks by hand) to stop the long stitches from catching on hooks, buttons and zips. But they look more interesting than plain stocking stitch or ribbing.
With these socks done and the great hat design experiment over, I have few craft projects left on the go. Instead, I am spending spare moments decorating and cleaning carpets, because parts of the house were beginning to look decidedly shabby. We have guests arriving from New Zealand shortly, which provides an incentive to press on with it. I look forward to being able sit down of an evening with some knitting instead of never-ending washing down walls and filling the defects in our ancient plaster.