January seemed to be the month of the hat! I ended up knitting three and casting on another, it wasn't planned but once I'd finished one, I was hooked.
The first hat was the Barley Hat by Hilary Grant from a book in my knitting library called Knitting From the North. This is a great book full of colourwork projects from accessories to garments, I plan on using more patterns that I already own either from my Ravelry library or books/magazines this year.
I used some Jamieson and Smith 2ply Jumper Weight in three colours that I have in my stash. If I'm honest, I should have chosen more contrasting colours, I really like the soft muted tones but if I knit it again I will go for brighter colour yarns.
As soon as the Barley Hat was off the needles, I cast on the Sparkling Cider Hat by Voolenvine, a design knit with a 4ply/fingering weight yarn, held double with mohair silk and beads.
I love how the beads look on this hat, I used a size 6 miyuki bead from The Bead Merchant. I enjoyed the process of adding the beads, I know people are put off with beading, thinking it's complicated but it's actually very simple. I use a 0.5mm crochet hook which I find the easiest way to add beads.
This is my most favourite hat that I've knit and would love to knit another one, maybe in burgundy. I like the fit on me and how it looks.
The third hat that I cast on in January is the Heart End Hat, a test knit for Ainsworth & Prin, also known as The Knitting Shed, who sell the most gorgeous yarn in a wonderful array of colours.
I used The Fibre Company Lore, in the Gentle colourway, it's a beautiful, 100% lambswool from the English Romney. It's a proper woolly yarn but softens up beautifully once blocked.
The Hearts End is a cabled design which is simple to knit and easy to follow from the well-written pattern but looks very intricate. I used the smaller needles, suggested in the pattern to make it slightly smaller. I thought it looked quite big as I was knitting it but it fits perfectly and is a very warm, cosy hat for these chilly, winter days. I still haven't attached the pompom yet, as I can't decide if I want one on this hat.
I have just cast on another hat which uses two strands of DK called the Skyhill Hat by Emily Foden. This is from the fabulous Knits about Winter book which I might do a separate blog post about this book. It has so many stunning designs, I want to knit everything in this book.
I used John Arbon Knit by Numbers in 79KBN held with two strands of Rowan Mohair Haze which is a 4ply yarn. I'm using yarn, leftover from other projects, I'm so pleased with how this is turning out. You might think it could be a pain holding three strands together but actually, I'm not finding it difficult at all. The only tip that I would give is making sure that you are knitting all three yarns, sometimes you might have a stray loop so you just need to be mindful of this.
Do you have a certain thing that you like to knit? I use to be a big sock knitter and I still always have a sock or two on the needles but don't get as many finished as I did. I love the instant gratification of hats.
The last thing before I sign off is the winner of The Handmade Sock Society 2 by Curious Handmade is..........
If you could let me know your Ravelry name, I will get Helen to send you the pattern collection.