Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Cap of Old

Posted by mtmom on December 17, 2007

As each calendar-year draws to a close, I like to make a conscious effort to “tie up loose ends” and finish things that are hanging or incomplete.  For this year, 2007, I have resolved to bring my Knitting Notebook up to date.  I’m looking through my notes, closets, and blog posts to find finished objects that don’t have a page — with notes and a photo — in my Notebook.  When I find one, like I did today (see below), I plan to take photos and print them out, add explanatory notes, punch holes, and add the page to my binder.  If all goes well, perhaps I will also update the “Finished Objects” page in my blog sidebar.

Today, I found some graphs in my notebook from some time in 2005, and realized I had no photos of the cap that came from them.  Having recently (then) read both the books  Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans: Fishermen’s Sweaters from the British Isles by Gladys Thompson and Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown Reinsel, I learned that the classic British gansey-knitters came up with motifs by stylizing in purl stitches the images they saw in their daily lives.  Why couldn’t I?  So, I sat down with graph paper and pencil and began sketching charts.  What images formed important parts of Mt. Mom’s life?  Snow.  Mountain peaks (from our house, they look like an “M”).  Books.  Yarn/needles.  Trees.  Pinecones.  Some didn’t translate as well as others.  I picked a few and cast on and the adventure began!

I used a lovely shade (#15 — not a terribly evocative name, but ’twill serve) of medium blue, a bit lighter than is traditional for gansey sweaters, in Halcyon Yarn’s in-house worsted-spun worsted-weight yarn, Botanica.  The knitting went well, but I had a little trouble with the blocking.  When I stretched the wet wool hat over a suitably large plate — large enough to cause the top to lie flat — underneath the plate, the hat’s brim stretched out to horizontal.  Nothing I tried would entice the brim to remain narrow enough for forehead-hugging.  I eventually semi-felted the hat to bring the size of the whole thing down.  Then, I ran a length of yarn through the top edge of the brim and just cinched it in.  Ah, well.  It is serviceable.  And it still looks —  I think, and I hope you’ll agree — quite handsome. 

Flagstaff Jersey cap

Side view Detail of motifs

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One Response to “Cap of Old”

  1. Marsha said

    You are far more organized than I about keeping track of finished objects! I don’t even have a list of them, much less a detailed notebook with images (which is an excellent idea). That’s something to add to my list of resolutions for 2008, I suppose!

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