Beautiful Knitting

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

Posts Tagged ‘Botanica’

Caps of Old, #’s 2 and 3.

Posted by mtmom on December 22, 2007

Another cap or two from the archives, to add to my Notebook.  These, from sometime in 2006.

Originally inspired by Janet Russell’s “Lace Double Cap” in the 1987 book, Homespun Handknit:  Caps Socks Mitens & Gloves (Linda Ligon, ed.), I chose another lace pattern and left off the turn-up brim to produce this cap from 2 balls of Baby Alpaca Brush, back in Feb. and March of 2006 [when we had a LYS — sob!].  Lady Double Cap, 2006

I began at the top of the purple layer and increased down, unto an I-cord bind-off in cream.  Then I picked up stitches in the cord and knit another cap with a lace-pattern from there, decreasing for the second top.  layers spread out

I tried to decrease within the pattern.  top view

I was pleased.

After that, I designed a further variation, less ornate than the first and using Halcyon Yarn’s “Botanica” in two shades of orange.  This one I began at the lacy top with a 6-pointed star/flower with the points continuing down the sides in eyelet-bounded ribs.  top of orange hat

I worked a picot round of YO-k2tog, and then changed to the darker color.  light side out, side view

I made the darker cap all in plain stockinette and decreased for the top in a 6-pointed spiral to match the shaping of the lighter layer.  top of darker layer

I usually wear it with the dark layer showing on top and the lighter brim folded up.  author wearing orange cap  (photo by 4-yr-old dd!)

This is one of 2 of my own caps that I wear frequently.  The other is an EZ “Watchcap” in WoolEase Thick&Quick.  Then, there’s also the EZ Sheepsdown “Maltese Fisherman’s Cap” that’s really my husband’s. . . .   But any more writing about those hats will have to wait.  I’m tryng to keep my Notebook update to a manageable pace — one at a time.

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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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