Being on vacation allowed me to catch up on many things - one of which was photographing some of the projects that were able to sneak through the knitting gauntlet last year without ever being reported. Today's hat, for example was knit in December and given as a Christmas gift, but never caught on camera. Until now. (No one is safe!)
Pattern: Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur [Free PDF] (*Ravel it)
Materials: Beaverslide McTaggart Tweed "Mountain Mahogany" & "Autumn Dogwood"
Amount: Less than one skein and a few yards of CC for half-double-crochet trim
Needles: US 9/5.5mm KP Options
Started and Finished: December 2007
I guess technically this could be called a companion piece to the Adult Tomten, as it was made with yarn leftovers, incorporates a healthy dose of garter stitch, uses virtually the same trim idea, and incorporates a straight-forward cleverness that I like a lot in patterns. One of many really solid patterns in Kirsten's online oeuvre over at Through the Loops.
Thorpe is worked from the top down, starting with a circular cast-on and increasing regularly until the hat is the right size (the pattern offers three different sizes to choose from). Working hats from the top down, like working garments from the top down, has a lot of advantages built in, like being able to try-on as you go and tweak widths and lengths to be perfectly customized to the individual head size you're hoping to cover.
The other thing I love about the top-down option is that it makes subbing different gauges very easy and organic. For example, I knit a dk-version last winter out of handspun, working the pattern as written but continuing increases until the size was right. I only slightly tweaked the placement of the earflaps to correspond to the new gauge - but that's a simple adjustment.
The pattern is versatile too - male and female friends all want to wear it! I better get on making a couple more (did I mention the pattern also includes a colorwork version??)
As far as the yarn is concerned, I'm sure I've waxed poetic enough about this stuff in post upon post in the past. This particular version of the McTaggart Tweeds (the 2-ply yarns) are being phased out, unfortunately, but not to worry! A new, gorgeous version is being ushered in - the gauge is the same, and yes, those amazing color choices that make Leanne's yarn stand far above the rest are all still there (see the photo in my previous post).
And speaking of hats - there are more coming. I have a few new hat patterns that are just about ready to be released here, so stay tuned. More wool. More cables. More knitting fun. See you soon!