My love affair with Stone Wool Cormo continues. When I purchased Laine Magazine number three this hat design was a must make on my list.
As you may know by know I love a nice cabled hat design as seen here, here and here. 😀
This one is not only cabled but was designed using one of my favourite yarns namely Stone Wool Cormo. The Brackett hat contains a horse shoe cable, as the eye catcher and then has smaller cables and a lace section. Some people have used seed stitch in the lace section but I stuck to the pattern as is.
The design uses 2 skeins, so I started with a dark red colour as I only had one skein of Tobacco. I like the contrasting brim look, but were I to do this again, I think I would knit with one colour as far as possible and then use another at the top to give it a dip dye effect. I really like the idea of that.
I did use a half size smaller needle as I almost always have to size down and the hat still ended up quite large on my head. I may try to shrink it in the dryer, wish me luck!
The texture of the cables and lace is just lovely to knit and the suggested yarn has such lovely stitch definition that I highly recommend knitting this as suggested. You will love it.
I wasn’t meant to be buying yarn, but I just happened to be looking at the website of Loop of London this autumn and they had a yarn I did not know much about on sale.
It ticked a few boxes for me:
It is worsted weight
It is a yarn by a sheep breed I had not knit with before
It is sourced and spun in the same country – USA
Stone Wool Cormo comes in an array of different colours. They tend to offer 3 shades/hues of one colour which I thought was nice and clever. I bought a rough amount for a colour work sweater and was super happy when I saw the yarn in person.
From their ravelry listing:
We worked with our mill to create a special method of fiber preparation, one that marries woolen and worsted processes. The result is a unique yarn with woolen-spun’s airy loft and worsted’s strength. Springy, lofty, and with a substantial hand, Stone Wool Cormo offers crisp stitch definition and elegant texture in knitting.
And I couldn’t agree more. When I swatched for my colour work sweater I noticed straight away how bouncy the yarn is and how lovely my stitches looked.
Then after blocking a certain softness and almost velvet feel to the touch emerged.
This yarn does not transform like some do after blocking, but it was more enhanced as it gained some flexibility and drape and the softness I mention above.
My Galloway Coatigan was made using this yarn and is wearing nicely. I have worn it every evening around the house so far and it keeps me cosy and warm and isn’t itchy in the slightest.
I really want to try making something cabled liked mittens or a hat in it next to really take advantage of its lovely stitch definition.
In 2017 I wanted to try to knit some different garments such as socks and cardigans and I had my mind set on trying a few new techniques such as a tubular cast on (I love it) and possibly steeking.
Here enters the Galloway Cardigan release in the lead up to winter knitting by Brooklyn Tweed. I fell in love immediately and knew I had to have a version if not two. But the pattern was advanced and after buying and reading it I got a bit worried if I could actually accomplish this. My local yarn shop came to the rescue with their perfectly timed “Christmas Jumper Along”. You get to knit in a group with a teacher of a period of time and it’s a great safe environment to try new things.
I started the project with some Stone Wool Cormo that I got in a sale from Loop in London. The yardage should have been perfect and even though more sticky yarn is recommended for steeking, I learned that using a sewn reinforced steek you could technically steek most if not all yarns. So off I go.
Now as I mentioned above this pattern is classed as Advanced and it really was, in terms of how it was layed out. You need to read and re-read the pattern ahead of time, to make sure you do not miss any decreases or increases that are meant to happen at the same time as something else. I completely misread part of the body section and my rows did not match up. After doing the maths several times, I contacted the Brooklyn tweed team on Ravelry and they helped me discover my mistake. Now all it really did was make the body about 36 rows longer and being tall I wanted to add some lengths anyways and had done so unknowingly. Win!
However this win had an annoying side effect. I would run out of grey yarn before reaching the yoke and also would not have any yarn for the button band. I tried to buy some more but there was none left unless I ordered it from the US which for 1 skein did not seem worth it. So into the stash I went and found some Brooklyn tweed shelter in a marled grey called Narwhal. It actually went quite well with the cardigan and I love the outcome. It truly is mine now.
The scariest part for me was picking up the button band after steeking the cardigan. I had done neither technique before and did loads of research and found some great tips for steeking.
If you have lose ends then tape them to one side with normal cellophane before sewing your lines of stitching
Place a piece of cardboard or thin wood between your cardigan layers to avoid cutting the other side.
Use sharp small scissors
I am so glad I saw the tip about the lose ends. They so would have gotten in the way in my sewing machine when I reinforced the steek.
Steeking itself was actually fine and mesmerising. I want to do it again, as soon as I can. But picking up the stitches, was really difficult and I maybe should have waited for some help. I will definitely get some more advise on this topic. I think I need to improve how to read my knitting.
Here are my few modifications/ maker’s marks on this project:
I did not size down for the lice pattern but used a 5mm needle throughout the main body which added volume and more positive ease.
I made a slight colour-work error in the yoke.
Substituted background yarn near the yoke.
The button band was doubled in length and then folded to create a thicker edging more in line with the Stone Wool thickness.
I whip stitched the folded button band down to cover the steeked edge.
And because we all love lists, my thumbs up on this pattern:
Attention to detail – tubular cast on finishes the edges beautifully (there is a tubular cast off included but I did not try it).
The chart included a dominant colour guide.
Notes on different types of steeks are included. This was really helpful.
The unusual shape makes for a one of a kind item.
In terms of criticism, I only have a couple of things:
The layout of the pattern. It used way more pages than you needed to and it was hard to find your place sometimes.
I found the decreases that had to happen at the same time a bit overwhelming and I recommend spending the time to chart this out or make a list or whatever works for you.
And the other part that was new to me was that the section where the underarms join was bound off instead of kept live. I think next time I would keep those stitches live as I like doing the effect of grafting live stitched together mere.
Overall I am super happy with this project and my yarn choices worked well and were a dream to knit with.