Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mountain Topper

Another hat done for the Hats for Huts auction!

It's Deborah Tomasello's Snow-Capped Mountains, done in the prescribed yarn (Knit Picks Palette) but in shades I had on hand, not the exact prescribed ones. Still, turned out pretty well, don't you think? Braided tail on the top is my own added whimsey.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Not Mad, Just a Slightly Eccectric Hatter

Lately it's been all hats all the time around here. I've got a friend who needs some hats, and the Hats for Huts deadline is coming up. Lessee what we've got so far:


A beret made of yak yarn, a kit from GotYarn.com. Details here. This is a real beauty; the pattern was easy to understand and follow; the amount of yarn was just enough. And oh my goodness--when you wash and block the hat the yarn does indeed bloom to a fuzzy softness that would make little baby kittens feel like sandpaper! Yak is one of those fibers that is really extra warm for its weight. (Well, it would have to be, wouldn't it, to keep yaks warm on the Tibetan plateau.) Perfect for a sophisticated Alaskan head.

Next, we have the 100% Alaskan hat:

Details here. Made entirely of Alaska-sourced wool, dyed with entirely Alaskan snow, and topped with "8 stars of gold". Not visible is the fact that it's double around the sides, giving extra warmth and wind protection for Alaska ears. This one is destined for the Hats for Huts auction.

What else do we have in the Slightly Eccentric But Not Mad Hatter's shop? A couple more in process. The Brain Hat is ready for the application of the cortex to the cap. Actually, it looks at this stage more like a pile of innards. Has the brain spilled its guts? Or maybe it's a confused and extremely clumsy octopus?

All that i-cord has to be pinned on and then attached in some kind of a brain-like fashion. A bit daunting, to be honest. (After all this knitting, will I really be able to make it look like a brain?) Fun words gleaned from perusing lots of brain diagrams--the ridges are called gyri; the valleys between are suculi. I'm donating my brain not to Science, but to Hats for Huts.

And here we have most of a Mountain Hat. No prize for guessing it's also a Hat for Huts.

Pattern is one of Deborah Tomasello's multi-color masterpieces, Snow-Capped Mountains. It's a somewhat loose interpretation, as I had the prescribed yarn, but not in the exact shades. And no grey until I found some late in the game and duplicate-stitched it in. Washing and blocking will tell the final tale.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Snow Dyeing Again

What could be more appropriate for an all-Alaskan yarn than to dye it with 100% Alaskan snow? And so I did.

Base yarn is the Alaska Yarn Co. 100% Alaskan Grown Wool, DK/light worsted weight from CommuKnitty Stash in Homer, AK. Remember when I bought it last fall? Here's the nest I plucked it from, all pale and bare down in the corner:

After the vinegar soak, the skeins went into the tub laid out on racks, then covered with snow. Sky blue dye powder sprinkled on top of the snow:

and the whole thing left in the heated garage overnight to let the snow melt and the dye seep down into the yarn. Next morning, this is what I had:

Pretty pleasing that for once,  I got something like what I was expecting from a crazy dye technique, a cloudy blue Alaska sky. Last layer was a sparse sprinkle of yellow powder, for sunshine and to meld with some of the blue to form greenery.

 Then a half hour's steam, a rinse, and what have we got?

The yarn for a very Alaskan hat.