While hunting around for a pattern on Ravelry one day, I stumbled across Welsh designer Sally Pointer (sallyinwales). Her patterns, published under her Wicked Woollens line, are inspired by nature and by historic garments, both big draws for me.
While I’m not typically attracted to berets or tams, I couldn’t stop thinking about Sally’s Russula Cap. Her pattern notes say the name comes from a genus of mushroom known for their rounded red and orange caps. Something about the whole Wales – forests – mushrooms thing fired up my imagination and I needed a Russula Cap.
The yarn was a bit hard to find. It is Twilley’s Freedom Spirit and the only place I could find that stocked it was Paradise Fibers. Fortunately, they carry the whole line of colors, so I took the opportunity to order a range of them. But for my Russula Cap, I used the one in the pattern photo, #502 Fire. The colors range from a very deep red to orange and while it is self-striping, the stripes are subtle until your rows get shorter.
The pattern is very easy. You cast on 100 stitches and work around for about two inches, then fold the work in half and knit together so that you have a nice, neat, turned under band. The one problem is that on a small head, like mine, the finished hat was a little big. If I make it again, I will rib the starting rows and possibly cast on a few less stitches. As it is, I took 3 strands of left over yarn, braided them, and threaded them through the band to make a drawstring to tighten things up.
The hat is all increases to the middle, then decreases to the end. I like the way the orange happened right towards the end, and allowed for the ring on the top.
Of course, now that I have the darned thing, the weather abruptly turned to 50 degrees and lovely early spring. Oh, well. At least I’ll be ready for the fall!