A love affair – Stone Wool Cormo

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:

  1. It is worsted weight
  2. It is a yarn by a sheep breed I had not knit with before
  3. 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.
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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.

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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.

Have you fallen in love with a yarn this year?

Guernsey Wrap

I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a little while, but I did not try it because it looked so complicated. It is of course the Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood. There are literally over 1000 versions of this on ravelry and I was so jealous of everyone being good enough to knit it.

Until I finally bit the bullet and bought the pattern and realised the most difficult thing is reading the charted pattern, but I loved charted patterns so win for me!

The main thing I found super confusing was that the wrong side of the chart was not charted so you would knit the opposite. So if it stated to knit a purl you had to knit a knit stitch so it is a purl on the right side. I am not sure if I am making much sense.

What I did to help this was simply colour in all knit stitches and this helped until I memorised the sections.

Now here is my version of the wrap.

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What I did not realise is that the wrap is simply a combination of left and right stitches, or knits and purls. I tend to say left and right as that is what I grew up with in Germany.

And as the sections repeat it was actually great commute knitting, until it got so big I kept accidentally draping my knitting over other people. Oops.

I did mess this up a little bit by missing a complete section out but because I improvised the middle section I am only missing 50 odd rows.

So things I did differently to the pattern were:

  1. Yarn – I held Brooklyntweed shelter yarn double. I wanted something thick and squishy. In hindsight it may be too thick as it doesn’t drape as much as I’d like but I loved this experiment.
  2. I repeated the pattern A section twice, Then omitted the next 50 rows (by accident, but I actually would not have had enough yarn, so it was kinda a good thing).
  3. The middle section I added a section from the pattern A and then reversed pattern B. I also knitted this in a different colour yarn and love the effect.

So the wrap is missing a few rows but after blocking it did turn into a super long wrap. I am slightly sad it took me this long to knit this but it really is so simple, but looks so impressive!

Question: Have you ever been put off by a complicated looking project only to start it and realise it was simple?

 

Seathwaite

I promise there will be more variety than just knitting posts about hat patterns.

This hat however is my absolute favourite that I have knitted this year. It is Seathwaite and I discovered it during the fringe association hat alongs. These are super fun and you can join in now if you need some hat knitting inspiration, want to try some new skills, or need some ideas for cool presents.

Seathwaite, like the other hat along patterns, is free. The pattern uses a provisional cast on, using the crochet method and then creates a folded brim. This has been my hat knitting discovery of 2016, because a folded brim fits my small head so much better than a normal long tail cast on. I also love the squishyness it creates. If you have never done a folded brim before or provisional cast on using the crochet method, the pattern is great as it has links to helpful  tutorials.

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When I knitted this hat I had not made a hat with cables before. I loved the process. It can be daunting but cable knitting is extremely simple. At least the few cables I have knitted so far had simple cable patterns. On a side note I ordered this book “Knitted Cable Sourcebook” and cannot wait to try and swatch some of the more complicated cables.

Seathwaite is best suited for a yarn that is a mostly a solid colour. The cables can get lost otherwise and they are so pretty it would be a shame to hide them.

Version 1: using Rowan creative focus worsted

This yarn has a bit of fuzz to it, similar to the sample version. It was a dream to knit with and the cables came out really nicely. The hat can however be a tiny bit itchy in this yarn, especially if you do not have much hair or thin hair.

I added a bobble to this version. I actually had to make the bobble twice as the first time around I did not make it tight enough so it unravelled eventually.

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Version 2: using Three Irish girls springvale DK

This yarn was special to me mainly because my best friends Katja suggested it to me and I found a colour way called winter birch. My childhood was filled with silver birches and they are my favourite tree so I saw this as a sign to get the yarn.

The yarn is merino so a bit softer than the Rowan yarn. I was worried it wouldn’t hold the cable shape as much and used a smaller needle size to get a tighter gauge. I also just realise d that the yarn is DK but the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. I would suggest doing a swatch if you happen to be more observant than me before you basically change the whole pattern suggestions. I was lucky it worked out.

The hat fits perfectly and the speckles are subtle enough to not distract from the cables, in my opinion.

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Question: Do you have a favourite hat pattern for solid colour yarn? What about for speckled or variegated yarn?