Friday, November 22, 2013

Knitting the handspun hat

There is no getting around it: I have found my perfect dream hat.

And I'm giving it away to somebody else.

Urg, it is SUCH a wrench to do this.  But it matches the cowl I made for Heather and after all, it's not like I need another hat even if it is perfect.  Probably what's killing me is knowing that I can never make another exactly like it because it's made with yarn I spun myself  and I never manage the same weight for more than three yards at a time.

The hat is perfect partly because of the shaping, which I finally got to exactly what I like - snug around the outer edge, fuller around the head to trap more heat or tuck in some hair, and long enough not to pop up over a coat collar.  I've knit many hats that hit some of these points with precision, but never all of them at once.

This is me pretending I get to keep the hat

Mostly though it's the fabric.  This is made with Blue-Faced Leicester wool and I'm really starting to think it's my favourite of all fibers.  It's just got so much bounce! and it feels so lush in your hand, and there's even a bit of sheen in some of the hairs that makes the finished product look irresistible.  Plus: it's warm.

The day I bought this fiber, I also bought some Polwarth wool fiber dyed in a colour that's better on me - green.  Because I spun this fiber around the same time with the same settings on the wheel, it's a similar weight, and I love Polwarth too so in theory a hat out of this should be a good consolation prize.

But it does feel very, very different - even Pete, who for some reason doesn't engage in hours spent examining and admiring different fibers and colour combinations, could tell immediately there was no comparison at all.  Heather's hat is just better than mine could ever be.

And that's why I'm handing it over this weekend.  If I keep it in this house much longer there's an awfully good risk she won't get it at all!

Hope your weekend is wonderful and I'll see you again on Monday.


MarthaVA said...

BFL is absolutely, hands down, my favorite fiber to spin too! I also like the BFL/Silk blend. Both are so yummy, have a little sheen, and are SOFT - softer than anything else I've spun.

I think you should give more BFL a try, to make another hat like this one. You CAN do it! :-)

Spin on!

Mary Keenan said...

Oh Martha.. I think I'll have to take your advice on this ;^) I do have a good bit more BFL in the stash from Twisted Fiber Art, but I noticed there's more of this colourway at the Briar Rose site so...

Anthea said...

I really can identify with this...I spin my own yarn and can never be sure it will replicate, consequently, I keep most of what I make or it goes to my daughter or husband, where I still feel in touch with whatever it is.....

Mary Keenan said...

Anthea, I think it's admirable that you're willing to give it away at all ;^) I keep thinking about knitting cushion covers and little sweaters for my stuffed animals, so I can keep all my handspun and hug it at will!

jezz said...

It such a pretty hat! Love the variation in the colors.