Finish line: Part 2 – Runa

Runa is finished!

I’m really pleased with how it turned out……….

Runa Hat

…….. I love the soft halo of the Artesano Alpaca DK yarn………

Runa Hat

….. and it’s lovely and warm thanks to the combination of alpaca yarn and the stranded colourwork that creates a thicker fabric.

Runa Hat

(But I still don’t like having my photo taken!)

You can find my project on Ravelry here.

So what next?  I’ve finished three WIPs since I started my WIP Amnesty (four WIPs left to finish), so I think it’s time to start a new project (although I have been working a little bit on a jumper I’ve had a on the needles for about a year) but what should I knit next?  Any ideas?  I need to use up some of my stash……..

Lottie x

All photos copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

WIP Amnesty: Part 3 – Runa

Next on my WIP list is this, Runa:

Runa (fairisle hat) in progress

Runa in progress
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

Runa is one of my designs for Artesano and  you may have seen it in one another guise as one of the patterns in the Artesano Nordic Collection 2011 and also in Let’s Knit Magazine (Issue 51) about a year ago.

Runa Fairisle Hat

(Copyright Artesano 2011 used with kind permission)

I started this one back in January last year, and it really should be finished by now, but various design commissions have had to take priority, and usually once I have finished those I either have more ideas to explore and swatch, or I want to cast on something new that I have never knitted before or something mindless which I will inevitably get bored of (i.e. acres of stocking stitch) because my brain is crying ‘Enough!  No more thinking, please!’.   So although fairisle isn’t that hard, I end up putting it off.

I could have taken Runa on holiday with me to finish, but as this version needs 4 balls of yarn, it just wasn’t practical, as I only have the crown left to do and I would have packed all the yarn I could fit in my case and then finished it and had NO KNITTING, which is obviously unthinkable.

Runa Superwash Merino Swatch

My original Runa Swatch in Artesano Superwash Merino DK
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2011)

Anyway, back to the project itself.  The reason I wanted to make another Runa is that originally submitted two colour schemes for this design. One in Artesano Superwash Merino DK, and one in Artesano Alpaca DK.  In the end the Nordic Collection was worked in Superwash Merino DK (in two colours), but I still wanted to make a version in alpaca as I love some of the heathered shades that are available, especially in colourwork.

Runa Swatch in Artesano DK

My swatch for the alternative Runa colourway in Artesano DK
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2011)

Runa was inspired by Viking carvings and heart shapes traditionally found in Scandinavian knitwear, so I wanted to reflect this in the two different colour schemes.

The idea with this colour scheme was to show a different side to the design.  To me, when you stripe the background in more girly colours the swirls look like little hearts, compared to the original two colour version which has a more graphic abstract look.  I like the way that with just a few changes like this colourwork patterns can take on a very different appearance.

Runa hat in progress (wrong side)

Even the wrong side has to be neat – I’m a perfectionist!
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

So as you can see, it’s not as if I have fallen out of love with Runa, we just needed some time apart.  But I want to get this finished (before summer – such as it is in Britain – arrives)!

Next time……… a finished hat!!  🙂

Lottie x

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)!