Monday, 14 October 2013

The winter hat saga

A few years back I made myself a hat. I'd bought this ball of discontinued Noro wool/angora blend from the John Lewis remnants bin, and there wasn't enough of it to do anything else with. It was made more in an attempt to use up an odd ball of stash than anything else, but unexpectedly I fell in love with it. I've worn it all winter for the last five winters, in fact.

Unfortunately, all of that love is starting to show. The brim is rather felted, and there are holes worn through it. Not to mention the fact that the seams are coming apart.

I've been in denial about the inevitable decline of this hat because I love it so, but I finally admitted it. I decided the best solution was to knit another hat as close to it as possible. The original yarn was discontinued, of course, but there are lots of lovely Noro yarns. I picked one that was a similar colourway and went to town. This was the result:

Cait's socks 001

Cute, isn't it? Shame that it's too small to go over my head. Oh well, one of the SCA small people will be going home from the event next month with a lovely new winter hat.

Then, out of the blue, I got an email from the lovely lady who runs Loop. I'd won a ticket to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace from a contest they'd had on their blog. I hadn't intended to go, but surely I'd be able to find some lovely hat yarn there? Off I trundled, pleased on my way to discover that Ally Pally is now within the Oystercard pre-pay zone.

It was very odd, being at that show. I went on the first day, early in the morning when there were very few people around. It meant I was able to do a reccy of the whole show before committing to buying anything. I've not been for the last three years, and I've figured out a lot more about my making and stashing habits. Most of the yarn was stuff I could easily find any old where. There was almost no spinning fiber. The patchwork fabric, while lovely, was not in the colour palette I wanted for the quilt I'm planning. The embroidery stuff was lovely, but I live within walking distance of a really well-stocked embroidery shop. I was in and out of the place in less than two hours. It was bizarre.

I did manage to find yarn for my hat, though.

Cait's socks 005

It's a different weight and a totally different set of colours, and I love it. In theory there's enough yarn in that bundle to make a matching pair of mitts, too. It's odd colours of mill-ends, but the nice lady running the stall had done the bundles in lots of colours. This one grabbed me as I walked past.

Apart from the yarn, I did almost no shopping. The little bit I did do made me very happy, though. The last time I went I'd found a lady selling crewelwork kits, and I've regretted not buying one ever since, because they were absolutely beautiful. She was back this year, and I bought two kits.

Cait's socks 006

Cait's socks 007

They are safely put away until after I finish the Christmas knitting, though!

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