Monday 14 September 2015

KNIT: Fairisle Stripe

Hats are definitely my knitting comfort zone. I like the fact that they knit up super quickly, are pretty easy shaping wise, yet there's still enough details to keep me interested. They also require very little wool, so there's also that (however, if I saved up all the wool I used in hats, I think I'd easily have enough for a jumper!). One thing I keep challenging myself with (in both knitting and sewing) is to try new things however, so I find if I am knitting a hat, I do try to stretch myself in some form or another. In this case, it was knitting in the round (you can see this hat in progress on that post), and I have to say that I'm a definite convert. So, here's how this little hat went, and my final thoughts on knitting in the round!

The Pattern:

A problem I have is that when knitting I often lack the patience to follow a pattern. It's certainly not caused by a lack of beautiful, well written knitting patterns, but with my own impatience in having to remember where I am in a pattern and having to keep glancing from my knitting to my pattern constantly (and er.. whatever TV show I happen to be binge watching at the time!). The experimental nature of my knitting also means I never know if something is going to work out or not, but usually this just keeps me all the more interested! Although this pattern worked out quite well, I do want to start knitting from patterns more often again, as I find I learn more technique that way.

What I did was cast on 150 stitches onto a 3.75mm circular needle, and worked 2 inches of k2,p2 rib. I then worked the intarsia pattern in stripes (it feels a little dishonest calling this fairisle, as it features only two colours and is very basic in design!) - the square box design is from my Holy Bible of Knitting, The Knitting Book, however after this I found it easier to mock up my own designs on graph paper to fit in with my stitch count. I'm reasonably happy with the 'scrollwork' design, even if I intended for it to look completely different, I do like the end result, however I think the large section of 'argyle' type patterning needs reworking a little just to make it a little clearer in design. I really like how the stripes worked out though, so I think these will definitely feature in any future versions of this hat!

The Wool:

As this was a very experimental project, I didn't want to break into any of my more luxurious and pricey wools, so instead used remnants picked up from various charity shops over time. In all honesty I always feel bad buying wool new when there are so many unwanted remnants available so cheaply, not to mention that it feels like I'm doing a little bit for the environment.

I have identified the purple wool as being Rowan Felted Tweed in Bilberry, so it was quite a score even if there was very little of it left! Rowan are fast becoming my favourite yarn brand, and the Felted Tweed is very deserving of being part of the brand. It is beautifully soft without being scratchy or itchy in any way, and the flecks of contrasting colour that give it that tweedy look are scattered through delicately, and not too heavy handed. Whilst the fine nature of this wool meant that it took me a lot longer to knit this up than my standard chunky beanie, it was well worth the time because the end result is so soft and delicate.

The other wool is a non descript acrylic off-white colour, that I bought from a remnant bin because I thought the colour would work well with a more brighter colour. Although I love the colour combinations on this hat, working with both of these yarns has definitely cemented in my mind that when I'm working on a finalised project (not a practise) I want to use better quality wool. The difference between the two used on this hat is clear to see!

Final Thoughts

I love knitting in the round more than I ever thought I would, having always been a two-needles kind of girl. I halted this project before I got to the decreasing because for some reason decreasing on circular needles seemed a little intimidating, but all in all, it was absolutely fine. Even the slight mismatch in the pattern where each round started doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would, and because it's quite a busy design, it even takes me a while to find the mismatch! I have since found this tutorial to knit jogless in the round, so will definitely be trying it out sometime in the future, if only for the sake of curiosity! I also want to try a pattern where the intarsia is worked with the decrease to create a design on the crown of the hat, because I have no way of fathoming how that witchcraft is done!

So, all in all I love the end result of this project, and I can definitely see myself knitting in the round a lot more in the future.I'm also planning tweaking this hat for one that fits into my wardrobe a little easier.... I'm thinking a mix of navy blue and grey?

I'd love to hear any tips or pattern recommendations for knitting in the round, so send them my way!


  1. Looks good, great job! I wish I had this skill :-)

    1. Thank you! I find Youtube tutorials are a great place to start if you're looking to learn a bit of knitting :)