Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Little Lessons

During my recent knit-free time, I managed to finally sit down and star reading Clara Parke's must have reference book, The Knitters Book of Yarn. While I've had the book a good long while, I'd never done more than glance through the sections. That afternoon I made it through all of Section 1: Fiber Foundations and most of Section 2: Making Yarn. I can't wait to get to Section 3: Ply Me a River to better understand all the ply business. I do know that after making a cardigan that was pilling before I ever bound off that Single Plies are not for me, except maybe in an accessory here or there.

Back in Section 1, I learned all about the properties of the yarns we knit with: protein, cellulose, cellulosic and synthetic. What's light weight but warm, all about scales and staple. And I learned, once and for all, that Mohair is from Angora goats and Angora is from Angora rabbits. An important distinction!

Which brings us full circle in the hats department. Ysolda Teague hats, that is. My first Ysolda hat sets the gold standard of all hats. Gretel is my best fitting, most flattering hat I happily wore almost all winter. It was also my first experience Berroco's Ultra Alpaca (50% alpaca, 50% merino) and I can't wait to use it again. For a pair of Almera gloves, perhaps another Gretel, and yes, even a sweater!

Gretel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Needles: KP Options, 4.0 & 5.0 mm

I then moved on to Rose Red (or as I called my project, Petal Pink). If you remember, I was trying to behave myself and knit from the stash. The pattern called for an Angora blend but all I had was some Teddy Mohair I'd brought back from Israel. Yes, it had the fuzz factor, but it also was partly synthetic and it just never grabbed me.

But when I found 100% Angora on sale at Knitting Nation I just HAD to grab it so I could try again. Rose Red Redux is working out beautifully! Yes, it sheds a bit and is a pain to work with in this heat. That's probably the main reason the hat isn't done yet. I do a few rounds and my hands are sweating and full of magenta fluff.

But this thing is so incredibly soft! And the color! It's so worth it! And I'm hoping once it's done and just sitting on my head that the flying fluff will cease.

Rose Red by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Valeria di Roma Angora in Magenta
Needles: KP Options, 4.0 mm

My third Ysolda hat, Verity, was finished before the 9 Days but took FOREVER to dry.

As anyone who has made this will tell you, the hat flies off the needles, and then when all you have left is the band you learn that IT takes as long as the hat to finish. But it is so worth it. Look at that lovely Linen Stitch texture.

Finding the perfect button is always a challenge. But one that I enjoy. Once again, after rummaging through almost all of Sheila's fabulous buttons, I finally found this one.

Verity by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran (80% alpaca, 20% silk; 100 soft squishy goodness!)
Needles: KP Options, 4.5 mm

I'm thinking of making another Verity as well. With Knit Picks Andean Silk in Grass, to match my Backyard Leaves. Remember, I'm all about the matched sets these days!

1 comment:

Fran said...

Ooooooh, I love the hats! I'm a real hat nut.