So lately I've been missing me some Julia time. I know, I know, I will probably see her at Christmas, but her blog's been pretty quiet lately (I am also guilty of this...) and then I remembered "Duh!" she's been doing some stuff over on the Patons blog, so off I went...
And what did I discover, but a KAL in progress!
Now, first let me say that I'm not really much of a "joiner". I'm more of an organizer I'd say, so while for a split second I thought "maybe I should join this kal?", a dose of reality got the better of me and I remembered "oh yeah, it's all I can do to update my OWN blog let alone add to another". Plus I'm kind of bad at progress pictures lately...and by the time I get around to posting about the process, said item is usually DONE and I'm anxious to skip that step and just post my completed F.O. (naturally sweaters are a different story!)
Secondly I need to point out that this was their chosen project:
The Patons Fair Isle Tam.
(this image borrowed from FiberFervor from the KAL's flickr group...)
Yes, it's beautiful, and yes it's Fair Isle, so it looks appropriately intricate.
That said...Fair Isle? I'm really not a fan. Maybe I'm supposed to be because I'm a knitter? I think I don't like it because it sort of goes against my general fashion sense, which for the most part is a wardrobe full of basics and neutrals with pops of colour. I'm a Plain-Jane for the most part. Garish patterns and bright colours all over the place send me screaming for the hills.
Yet still, I was intrigued. I've always wanted to take a stab at knitting some fair isle, and what better than a fast, non-committal hat to get me started?
Done. It was decided. But I refused to agonize over colours and whatnot, so I ran up to my stash to see what Patons wool was there. I had about 6 colours in the stash (all neutrals, naturally!). I needed five. Even the process of deciding which colour to omit was pain-staking, so I cannot image the anguish I would endure if I had given myself all and any options. If you go over to the blog you'll notice people have charted out all their colours - -clearly the way to go-- but not something I would ever have the patience for. As it was I didn't even draw mine out on graph paper --I just sat there cursing the chart I was looking at that had nothing to do with the colours I was actually knitting. Every stitch was "ok, the chart says green, that's my dark grey" I didn't even write it down, I just went from memory (it's a miracle that I didn't screw that up).
And now here it is in all it's glory:
AND, I absolutely love it. I think the fact that I chose so many neutral colours has actually made this a very wearable hat for me. I've worn it a few times already and gotten many compliments. Several folks have asked me if it's "store bought", which I presume is a non-knitter's compliment haha.
My one issue though is my grey on grey combination. It does kind of make for a nearly invisible "star" pattern on the top and kind of belies the intricacy of the pattern. You'd sort of never really know to look at it at first glance that I used as many colours as I did. The gold winds up drawing the eye more than anything else and looking like a sunflower on top. If I did it again, I'd swap out one of those greys for something a tad brighter so that the outer star shape would pop a bit more. And I'm actually thinking that I may still knit this hat another time. I'm not sure what I was so afraid of, but it really only took me a couple evenings of TV-watching-knitting to get it done.
It's definitely given me the confidence to move on to a bigger fair-isle project if I so choose (though I don't really see that in my future), and I'd seriously recommend it as a first stab at fair isle if you were looking for one.
I also haven't blocked the hat. I'm really not into making it all "tam" style but prefer a slouchier beret, which I think is evident in these pictures. Blocking it may have made the pattern pop a little more.
For those interested I used 4mm needles, and just some Patons Classic Merino wool from my stash, but my colours were: Black, Olive, Mercury, Old Gold and Grey (sorry the actually name of this grey escapes me...)
I had a picture of the inside of the hat that I must have deleted, but I was pretty proud of my "floats" as well, particularly for a first try. All that "extra" carried-over yarn in there will make for a warm winter hat!
Don't mind my vaccuous robot face...really not sure what I'm smirking at here--pleased that I'd conquered fair isle perhaps??
And desperate for some new "winter" hair I have gone back to my roots (pun intended) and am officially a brunette again. Bye-bye red (for now...)!