What a quick knit! I finished this in under a week and I’m ready to cast on one for me. Last January a friend mentioned she might like a Broncos hat. We looked at a couple different colorway combinations and then put the idea on hold since football season ended. After I finished my most recent shawl I needed a little “bite of chocolate” before switching back to my next large-ish project. A hat seemed perfect and so I ordered some yarn and figured out gauge. She also wanted a two-color pompom, which I did make. I had the project done and washed in a week and was able to give it to my friend in person (she lives in another state). I don’t have any pictures of her wearing the hat but she’s going to a Broncos game later this month and I hope she’ll take one then!
Moving on. My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – Botanic Hat (Ravelry pattern here) from Stephen West (website here). This is a beanie style hat worked in two colors by alternating row colors and slipping stitches. Two contrasting colors would work best. My only critique of the pattern is that, for the price of the pattern, there is only one size available. The designer states you can adjust sizing by using different weights of yarn but that’s pretty limiting. Pattern is $6.00 on Ravelry.
Yarn – I used Malabrigo Yarn Rios (Rav link) (Malabrigo website) in the colorways Glazed Carrot (orange) and Azul Profundo (navy). Rios is a worsted weight 100% superwash merino plied yarn that is kettle dyed. It’s wonderfully squishy and soft, maybe even moreso than the unplied Malabrigo Worsted.
Pattern Mods and Notes –
1. Circumference – the pattern indicates the hat will fit a 22 inch to 24 inch head. Even with the smaller needles I used, it’s a bit big on a 22 inch head. Not so big it’s unwearable but definitely loose.
2. I used 0.45 skeins (94.5 yards) of the orange and 0.30 skeins (63.0 yards) of the navy, which means I could get a second hat out of the two total skeins (one of each color) I bought.
3. Pattern calls for US 6 and US 7 needles. I could (kinda) get gauge with US 5 and US 6 but to get the hat smaller, and make the fabric look better, I used US 4 for the whole hat.
4. The pompom. I don’t particularly love pompoms. I don’t wear them and I was honestly surprised my friend wanted one. I made a couple test pompoms using the second smallest pompom maker out of my set of four. The pompom still seemed a bit lopsided, even after trimming. I finally quit trimming because I was worried there would be no pompom left.
5. I added some length. The pattern says to knit until you have 6 inches before starting the crown. I want hats to cover the ears so I went to 6.5 inches. Much better.
Bamboo blends. I keep trying to love them – I really do – but they don’t love me back. I stuck with it though and finished this braid.
The Process (Ravelry page)
- 50% merino wool, 25% bamboo, 25% silk combed commercial top
- Combed top from Fiber Fancy (it appears her Etsy store has been closed)
- 4.1 ounces unspun; 3.8 ounces spun
- 494 yards / 2080 yards per pound
- 19 wraps per inch (light fingering)
- Spun on my Hansen miniSpinner on the lace flyer, plied on the Woolee Winder
I tore the top into strips for predrafting, mostly because I prefer predrafting and wanted to make sure the bamboo and silk were opened up. Also, some of the bamboo and silk bits were short and didn’t draft out smoothly. I spun the singles together as a two ply.
What Will it Grow Up to Be
Hmm. I liked the fall colors initially but did not expect so much orange. I’d like to tone it down a bit but I’m not looking to overdye this one. Instead, I think I’m going to knit this yarn in stripes or block with an olive green yarn. I think that combination would make a nice fall shawl or cowl.
I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!
One of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle this year was (another) Card It Up kit from Hello Purl. It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (finn, romney, targhee, angelina, bamboo, faux cashmere, milk fiber, silk noil and silk thrums) in red, oranges and yellow.
I added to that some red merino, yellow merino, yellow faux cashmere and yellow silk. I also had some orange angora but totally forgot about it until it was too late.
Short story is I split the fibers up into three equal piles and carded each pile. Two passes through the drum carder (my friend’s Fancy Kitten) and painted the fiber directly onto the big drum. However, this required a blood sacrifice.
And now I’ll just leave you with a bunch of eye candy photos!
I talked a couple posts ago about playing on my friend Patty’s Fancy Kitty drum carder. The good news is by the time I got to the second sample it went better. I enjoy preparing fiber in general and playing just for the sake of playing is especially fun. As a recap, the drum carder is a Fancy Kitty with a fine or extra fine cloth, I think.
This sample came like the picture below. Four separate colors in four separate fibers. The blue is silk noil, the orange faux cashmere, the pink sparkle/angelina/firestar and the BFL purple. It’s from Spin Culture on Etsy. Here they are before their trip through the carder. I did pull and tease them apart a bit first.
I tried briefly to feed in the fibers normally but as expected the silk got stuck on the licker in (the little drum). Based on my experience with the prior locks (see part 1) I applied the fiber, silk noil and the other fibers, directly to the big drum. I also only applied it to half of the drum (width wise).
After removing the fiber from the drum, I ran it through one more time. The end result was a fluffy, textured batt. I was happy with how the colors and fibers blended in the end (the picture at the top).
Have you ever tried drum carding? What would you card if you had a carder?