Forester from Wicked Woollens

December 31, 2012


I have emerged from my sea of spinning wheels to make one last post for 2012. Personally, I will be rather glad to see 2012 belong to the ages as it was not the best year I’ve ever had. Yes, I did rescue a team of mules from slaughter and yes, I did rescue a horde of spinning wheels and circular sock knitting machines. But I also saw more doctors in this one year than I have for the past 30 besides spending 11 days with no power. I’m ready for 2013.

I did get quite a bit of knitting done, being without power for 11 days. Mostly Christmas gifts. However, one was a project that was a long time in coming and which only finished up a few days ago.

There is a marvelous Welsh designer named Sally Pointer who publishes under the “Wicked Woolens” banner. You can find her patterns on Ravelry. Her designs are based on nature and on history. I have a previous blog post on her “Russula” cap.

Another of her designs captured my imagination: the Forester cap. Forget that at the time I started it, I had little to no experience with lace knitting. Nor did I like to work with small, fiddly needles. Or be able to read a chart. However, Sally’s charts are very clear and very simple to follow, even for a novice. I got over the needle thing, although it did contribute to the 10 months or so it took to complete this. Cast on with a size 2 and switch over to a size 3? Really? I felt for a time like i was  knitting with long toothpicks.

However, once I started this, I did several other small projects with tiny needles, so by the time I came back to this, the needles didn’t seem fiddly at all. I wish, however, I had knitted the ribbed edging a bit longer, but at the time, I’d had quite enough of no. 2 needles! Leaving the ribbing short allowed the tensioning of the cable to pull up and cause a slightly scalloped edge, which wasn’t a bad thing.

The yarn proved in the very end to be a bit disappointing. It is Filatura di Crosa’s Golden Line Alpaca which is 40% alpaca, 35% merino wool and 25% acrylic. I am not a big alpaca fan, but I loved the color of this for this project because it is not a solid green; it is shot through with tinges of gold and orange and looked, well, leafy. However, when I wet-finished the hat, any spring the yarn had went out of it and the resulting hat, while it has a lovely hand, is a bit limper than I would like. All-wool would have held up better.

All in all, this was a good learning experience for me and a positive project to end the year with.

Here is hat on my typical “modeling stand” stone:

forestry hat 1

Here it is with its natural comparison: do you see the evergreen tree in the design?

forestry hat 2

Front the top, looking down at where everything comes together;

forestry hat 3

And on my wooden hat form so you can see what it looks like filled out:

forestry hat 4