Recently an opportunity to give back with my knitting cropped up to me. The Spring to New Life fundraiser was being organized at Northlea United Church to support an incoming Syrian Refugee family in Toronto. People were organizing an evening show and silent auction to raise funds for their sponsorship and other needs the family would encounter.
I’d offered a custom knit baby sweater at another fundraiser the previous year, but this year decided to knit the actual sweater and have it at the fundraiser on offer. There was a huge skein of a variegated blue, green and white yarn in my stash, courtesy of my Mum’s volunteer work. It was a sport weight, superwash Merino, soft, but very much machine washable when a little cherub inevitably well, you know . . .
I found a pattern that I liked, Drops Design McDreamy, I guessed at the best size and went with the 6 mos size. The pattern is knit in the round, from the bottom up, to the underarms. Then, you cast on the sleeves, similarly from the bottom. When the sleeves are finished, you knit the sleeves on to the same needle as the body and continue the shoulder and neck shaping to the collar, where you stop knitting in the round.
The pattern yields a lovely result, but there was quite a bit of cursing during my knitting. I think part of it might be the translation, but I found many parts of this pattern confusing!
Looking through the Holiday 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting, I was totally struck by the Chevron Hat pattern included in their story on burgundy knits. (I won’t get into my pet peeve of naming knitting stories or patterns after the colour of yarn they’re made in here). I had also discovered a yarn from Sandnes a few weeks earlier, the Soft Alpakka, a fluffy, and soft yarn that was a puffy ball of fluff. I wanted to mix the yarn with something sturdier and more traditional, so I grabbed some Rowan Pure Wool to serve as a stabilizing background for this. Following the Classic Watch Cap pattern, with the chart from the Chevron Hat, I knit stranded colourwork to create a zig-zaggy hat.
It’s cute, right? It’s totally solid and the inside is cozy with the fluffy Soft Alpakka, making a hat that’s sure to block the cold Montréal wind, come winter. I blocked the top over a plate to really flatten out the crown decreases, but it wasn’t tremendously successful.
I knit this while streaming Welcome to Sweden, one of my new favourite TV series! I couldn’t help but feel that the stranded colourwork goes well with a show about Scandinavia.