Cables count as knitting magic in my mind.
The stitches twist and turn over themselves to create a visually stunning design. But as complicated as the the finished cables appear creating them is just a matter of knitting (or purling) the stitches out of order.
If you haven’t knit cables yet that statement might sound flippant, but trust me, once you try them I’m sure you’ll agree.
Since I’m predisposed to prefer cables anyway, you won’t be surprised that I fell in love with the Cable Brim Cap #25 (link for the Ravelry project page) in the Winter 2011/12 issue of Vogue Knitting.
The single cable band around the edge of the hat ensured there would be enough challenge to be interesting, but meant the crown would be quick knitting. I also found the short row shaping to create the little ear flap intriguing.
Over the weekend I cleared my needles and cast on using Juniper Moon Farm Chadwick in color #1-Indian Paintbrush. Chadwick is a worsted weight, 60% Merino Wool, 40% Baby Alpaca blend that comes in 202 yard balls. In addition to being both soft and warm I knew one ball would be plenty to make the hat.
Red yarn is notoriously hard to photograph, as you know if you have a blog or keep your projects and stash up to date on Ravelry. The Chadwick red is a nice, clear red with blue undertones. But don’t take my word for it, find a local yarn store near you that carries it and see it in person.
This pattern is marked for an experienced knitter and I would agree with that. It has a provisional cast on, cables, short row, and grafting. Just to name a few techniques. I was knitting while watching TV last night and crossed a cable in the ear flap incorrectly! At least I discovered it right away so it was easy to frog and fix.
I’m almost done with the cabled section. Hopefully in my next picture the project will actually resemble a hat!
This Cable Brim Cap is not my first Chadwick hat.
In the fall, before the cold weather arrived, I made the Skjalf Hood from Elsebeth Lavold’s Second Viking Knits Collection. I had seen it in person when the “Knitting Along the Viking Trail” museum exhibit was in Philadelphia over the summer and fell in love.
Since this book is from a few years ago the original yarn is now discontinued. However, it was an alpaca blend similar to Chadwick, which gave me confidence when substituting.
Skjalf was a quick knit. There are two cabled bands up the side of the hood, but most of it is worked in stockinette stitch, as you can see from the pictures. It’s worked flat, aside from the initial ribbing around the neck and the ribbing around the opening for your face. The top is closed using a three needle bind off.
One ball of Chadwick was enough yarn to complete the project. I had just 8 grams of yarn left over.
I think it’s rather cute and it’s very comfortable to wear, especially when I’m walking the dogs early on a cold winter’s morning since my ears and cheeks are protected.
But don’t limit yourself to single colored hats with cables. Chadwick works great for color work projects, too. When Susan Gibbs was selecting the colors she ensured they would all (or most) work well together for stripes and Fair Isle projects.
An example of this is the Sluggy Bonnet pattern from the Chadwick book. It uses three colors of Chadwick, which is actually enough to make two Sluggy Bonnets if you change the colors around.
The hard part is selecting just three of the 12 beautiful colors to make one!
When I finished the Skjalf hood I selected this lovely mint chocolate chip colorway to knit a Sluggy Bonnet of my own.
But Fair Isle isn’t my strong suit so I’m still working up the nerve to cast on. ha!
Which do you prefer cables or Fair Isle?
Chadwick and Willa Design Contest
Don’t forget about the design contest using Chadwick or Willa. Submit your unique design using one or two balls of either yarn (two colors max) for a chance to win up to $300 worth of Juniper Moon Farm Yarn.
You can read the details in this blog post.
Entries have to be postmarked on or before March 1, 2012, so hop to it!