28 December 2008

Preparing to Leave

I'm a little confused about the difference between fair isle, color work, and stranding. Are these all words for the same thing or are there subtle differences that define each practice?

Regardless, this is a photo (a bad photo, but a photo all the same) of my first fair isle/color work/stranding piece. This is the Leaping Stag hat from Nordic Heart Designs. I was looking for a hat for my stepdad and, being the hunter he is, thought this would be perfect. The hat was knit up in the course of about four weeks although I can honestly say I didn't spend a ton of time knitting at any one time. This is the piece I worked a row here and there as the end of the semester allowed. It could probably be finished in a fraction of the time if deliberate time were spent on it.

I loved the colors - it's knit up in Cascade 220 Superwash, colors straw and maroon - and matches a scarf his girlfriend brought back from Scotland for him this fall. I wish I had checked my gauge as I knit the piece - when I knit my swatch, it was perfect, but the hat itself is just a smidge too big. I used sevens but would probably change to a set of sixes the next time I make this pattern. Also: blocking this item was tricky... it's still not perfect, but it's something else to experiment with. Overall, a lovely pattern and a great first-time knit in this style.

Claire Boissevain-Crooke, the mind behind Nordic Heart Designs, has lots of lovely patterns for great hats. Unfortunately, her website isn't up yet but can be seen via Bloomington's Yarns Unlimited site here. I have a little crush on her Nordic Star pattern. I can definitely see one of those in my 2009.

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