Extreeeme!

What does the word extreme mean to you? Does it make you think of Extreme sports like snowboarding, motocross, rallying, canyoning and bungee jumping? Or does it mean something else – perhaps taking things too far? Well, I think I might just have taken things too far with my latest project……

Extreme Knitting

Extreme Knitting!!

Yes, I am trying a bit of extreme knitting (I know – this is the sort of things that newspaper articles joke about, as if it doesn’t exist, or is an oxymoron) with some old relics and oddments from my stash (about 15 or so strands and 24mm needles from Rachel John – I’ve only had them 4 years *ahem*).

Extreme Knitting

Yes, it is huge….mahoosive in fact!

Goodness knows if I will ever finish it – it is already getting very heavy – but I really love the thick squishy fabric so far.  I’m not really sure if it will be a blanket or throw or a rug yet, or even where it will go, but something about the eccentricity of the whole thing appeals to me – non-knitters might think I’ve gone mad, and you know what, I don’t care!

I’m even using some ancient Rowan Big Wool Tuft that I bought when I first started knitting and I thought I would never use because it is a bit hideous, but somehow with the scale of this it works!  I’m trying to go for a sort of marine look with the colours, and I even have some Louisa Harding Jasmine in there for a bit of silvery sparkle, like light glinting off the sea, as well as some handspun that I bought at a craft fair on holiday in Austria a few years ago.

If anyone asks, I’m calling it ART!

Lottie x

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Glacier Hat

Once again it’s been mad – one day I will have some time to blog consistenly/rest/socialise/knit something I get to keep/do Christmas shopping in something other than a blind panic (ie yesterday afternoon)!  However the considerable upside of all this is that I’ve got a couple of exciting things that I will be able to tell you about next year.  Yay!  But not yet.

Until then, I’ve got a newly published design in Knit Now Issue 16 to tell you about 🙂

If you know me, then you also probably know that I have a weakness for hats.  I also am a bit of a magpie, especialy where beads are concerned, so what better way to combine the two than in a beaded hat?

I had a skein of pale icy blue Manos Silk Blend (shade #7338 Aquarius – not usually my sort of colour, but perfect for this design) in my stash, which I bought with the idea of swatching it with pale sparkly beads, keeping to the icy theme, and an idea for an unusual way of encorporating beads into one of my favourite stitch patterns.

So after a bit of swacthing and a sketch, I sent it off to the lovely Kate at Knit Now, and it got accepted – yay!

Design sketch of Glacier Hat

My sketch!
Image Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012

So here it is – and what else would I call it but Glacier?

Beaded Hat using drop stithc pattern

Glacier Hat from Knit Now Issue 16
Photograph Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing (used with kind permission)

Beads are knitted into alternate panels of the drop stitch pattern replacing the ladders that you usually get (knitting them into every panel would have made that hat a bit too heavy), and in between the drop stitches, there are tiny mock cables which continue from the welt into the main pattern……

Stitch details (little cables and beads

Stitch pattern detail – I love these little mock cables – so satisfying to knit!
Image Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012

…..and the pattern comes together satisfyingly at the crown.

Back detail of Glacier Hat

Back detail – I love the convergence of the pattern!
Photograph Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing (used with kind permission)

If you fancy giving Glacier a go, remember to choose a yarn with a high wool content.  Manos Silk Blend may have silk in it, but it is 70% wool – really important for this pattern, as you need the hat to keep its shape under the weight of the beads (the hat is also seamed to help keep it from stretching, and all this means that it keeps its shape perfectly).  Talking of beads, I got mine from Debbie Abrahams Beads, (size 6 clear beads) I chose clear silver lined beads, but there are lots of other colours to choose from.  I’m really tempted to make another version in brighter colours – maybe with more than one colour of beads….hmmm………no one minds if they don’t get a Christmas card or gift do they?!

If you want to get your hands on this pattern, and lots of other lovely patterns, Knit Now Issue 16 is in the shops now, and you can also find it here at Stash!

Merry Christmas!

Lottie x

P.S. Yes, I am also on page 3 of Knit Now – my answer to the designer question got picked 🙂 yay! (and no it isn’t that sort of page 3 – thank goodness)!