We interrupt this series of “flashback” posts to bring you a brand-new FO. I finished Ysolda’s Cairn last week, and am tickled to be one of the first people to knit it. I didn’t make the mitts, and the hat wasn’t for myself, but it was for somebody whose head was approximately my size so I am modeling it in the above photo. (You can also see some of the surprisingly-rural-for-southern-California view from my balcony here.)
I knit it with Koigu Kersti, in colors K304 and K2420. It was a long and arduous search to find a DK-weight merino yarn that had a “mottled gray” colorway, but the mottled gray was something I couldn’t compromise on for reasons I’ll get to in a minute, and the merino was something that I wouldn’t compromise on because I’m always afraid when I knit gifts for non-knitters that they will be turned off by wool that is the slightest bit scratchy. It turned out to be a great choice. The yarn looks to me to be a three-ply, where each of the three plies is itself made of three super-skinny plies (I don’t know if this just called a 9-ply or what), but the end result is a yarn that is super-durable while having a sort of rugged texture perfect for manly knits.
A few months ago, my friend G. contacted me wanting to know if I could knit a replica of her boyfriend’s favorite hat, which she had borrowed and lost. Here’s the picture she sent me, with faces cropped to protect the innocent:
I informed her that, sadly, I could not knit a replica because it looked to me like her boyfriend’s hat was woven, not knit. But with the help of some friendly Ravelers, I was pointed to the wonderful world of slip-stitch patterns, and was able to tell G. that while I couldn’t knit something exactly the same, I could knit something that was sort of inspired by the original. I had made some vague mental plans to adapt the stitch pattern from Interweave Knits’ Windowpane Socks into hat form, but that was going to be a serious pain in the ass. Magically, a few weeks ago, Ysolda released Cairn and I realized it was perfect. Unlike the Windowpane Socks pattern, it’s not trying too hard to mimic the original, but it’s the sort of hat that a guy who liked the original hat ought to also like. I mailed it off to G. and she reports that they both love it, and are planning to repay me (and my boyfriend, who took the lovely photo above) in hospitality when we go to San Francisco in a few weeks for spring break. Score!