The accessories parade continues today, as I got on a bit of a tear. There’s something so satisfying about a project that you can start and finish in a couple of days. And there’s something satisfying in an entirely different way about going out in a set of knitted accessories that actually coordinates.
I decided that the superfine merino would be my travel knitting in Vancouver. I purchased the “The Shift” from Andrea Mowry, and cast on in the plane. I sewed up the seam, in a rather messy fashion, at a White Spot in Nanaimo.
The original pattern was for three colours, and in two colours I started to feel the pattern was a bit dull. So at a roughly calculated halfway point, I changed the main colour, and that made it interesting enough for me.
The real joy of seeing these two yarns together is, indeed, how they gently shift against each other. They play with value contrast, going between areas where they are less or more contrasted. Overall, the contrast is not so severe that the hues are lost.
And these two colourways take advantage of simultaneous contrast. Red-violet and yellow-green are complements. But the colours shift around between the analogous hues on both sides, and simultaneous contrast helps all of those shifting hues to pop against each other.
Ms. Mowry has published a series of shift patterns, but as I’m just using two colours for everything, I kept it simple. Using my cowl as a gauge, I just put the same stitch pattern on the hat.
I have a thing now about putting pale colours next to my face. I don’t want to do it. That’s why I made the red-violet the dominant colour in the top of the shawl, and also in the hat. I just made up the crown as I went.
For mitts, I swapped the colours, and did a bunch more designing on the fly. Greta had the idea to knit the mitts down on smaller needles for durability. This meant that my cast on number was a little small. So I just knit the whole thing flat, then added a sort of thumb gusset that went up the whole side of the mitt. This added width, thumb, and contrast all at once.
I have this set in Yellowknife with me right now. They make me feel oh so chic.
And how is the superfine merino wearing? I rightly thought that the most wear they would get was kicking around in my wear during the knitting, but they also have to kick around among my possessions when they aren’t being worn. So far, the cowl and hat have just put up a healthy little halo. The mitts have started to pill already, but they were never going to be long for this world.
There’s one more little accessory set I made, this one on a complete whim. It happened to use up the first two skeins I made when recording the Wool Circle, back in September and October. I got a little obsessed with brioche after I knit a brioche hat in the qiviut knitting class I helped teach in February and March, so I watched a little class on Craftsy called “Brioche Knitting Made Easy.”
You know, I didn’t need to take a class on brioche. The brioche hat I had already knit was way more advanced, and I’d figured most of it out intuitively. But there’s something immensely comforting in taking a class, following someone else’s plan. In this case, it was the difference between freehand drawing and colouring-in. Sometimes you just need a little colouring-in.
I used the beautiful skein of red-violet that I spun from West Coast Colour “Biffle” following the sampling I did for my very first Wool Circle Episode. I knit this simple Brioche hat that suits me just fine.
I didn’t have a lot of the red-violet left, so to make the mitts next in the class, I pulled in the undyed grey BFL that I spun for the next episode. Here I departed significantly from the class, using two colour Brioche when it hadn’t yet been introduced, and adapting the pattern so I wouldn’t run out. The mitts themselves would be too large if I hadn’t added some regular ribbing at the top and bottom. With the ribbing to cinch it in, these are like cozy little bags for the hands.
I wore this pairing to church on Easter Sunday, with my fancy church dress. I love how two things that match can make an otherwise haphazard outfit look downright put-together!