Friday, March 06, 2015

Skep, Espalier, & Herbage

I'm back to tell you a little more about the other hats in the Homegrown Hat Collection we released in January. Because these three have a more simple story behind each one, they will all fit in one post.
Skep Hat
Our most popular hat in the collection, the Skep Hat, had a very humble beginning.
It was totally inspired by a bath towel.


One day while folding laundry, I finally really saw this towel. You can tell it's well-used, so I have probably folded it one hundred times or more and never really looked at it. To be fair, I had just worked on a design for a magazine that included welts, and I am always ready to see honeycombs--I love them! I especially love the honeycomb cable in all its many versions. These images already fixed in my head allowed me to see the honeycomb edged with little welts here. At the sides of the towel, the honeycomb merges into more welts. That made something click in my head and so I took yarn and needles and tried it out. It rolled off the needles like it was just waiting to be. The Skep Hat was by far the easiest of the five hats to design. 


I love how the honeycomb section plays against the welted one. Contrary to almost everything else, I don't block Skep Hats. I'm afraid I'll mess up this lovely interplay! 
This is Quince & Co Osprey in (what else?) Honey.

Espalier Tam
The Espalier Tam started as a companion to the Harrow Tam, which I designed specifically to showcase Bare Naked Wools Stone Soup Fingering. Knitspot's Anne Hanson generously sent me some of her beautiful yarns to try, and the SSF among them wanted to be that Harrow I told about in the previous post. Once I had designed and knitted up the Harrow Tam, I found that I had exactly enough from the skein to make another one. How cool would it be to give folks two hats to make from the same skein? I wanted to make the second one a bit different, however, so I included less lace and put in an elaborate twist-stitch motif. As I gathered the five hat designs for the Homegrown Hat Collection, I knew this one had to be called Espalier.
Herbage Beanie
The Herbage Beanie seriously started about four years ago as an idea for sport-weight yarn. The result came out a little too fine and I got distracted with other projects. So it waited. When I met Bare Naked Wools' Stone Soup DK, I knew it was time to bring this hat out of hibernation. It's a good thing I didn't work it on up before, because it is perfect for not only the SS DK but also this Marmalade A Verb for Keeping Warm Pioneer. Both yarns are stretchy, squishy goodness that make very warm and comfortable hats.

This picture shows the rib-to-cable transition a little better. The Herbage is a simple marriage of one ribbed cable and one large cable with smaller cables moving inside it. Both cables continue into the crown decrease.

I would love for you to try any and all of the hats in the collection, and I love it when folks buy the whole collection. It's more of a bargain than buying each hat pattern separately--like getting two hats free!

I'll be back soon for some very exciting news! Next week we celebrate an important date!

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