As much as I love the joy of a beautifully finished piece of knitting, and as much as I will go to great lengths and employ an arsenal of tricks and techniques to get there, (remember my fixation with neat underarms?), at heart I am a bit of lazy knitter. If my knitting offers me a shortcut, I'll take it. Too many ends to weave in on a hat? Yeah, I might just ignore them and call it a new kind of head thrumming. Call it shortcuts or laziness or even sensible use of precious time, that's just the way it is. Yet, at the other end of the spectrum, I'm quite happy to rip an entire jumper if the fit isn't right for me. Go figure.
Given I'm a bit lazy, I also love stuff that looks really clever or intricate but isn't. Give me some slipped stitch knitting in a couple of colours, and I'm one very happy knitter.
So this little collection of patterns that I'm going to chat about today, Deception, ticks all those boxes.
All these hats use slipped stitches to create stitch patterns that are absolutely dead easy but look super clever and intricate.
All these hats only use one colour per round. Yep, even this one below, which really does look quite tricky. But it's not, it's really just working stripes and slipped stitches!
I tend to think of this type of knitting as being a bit like cheats colourwork, but really it's not about cheating. It's about using the techniques available to create something that looks great with the least heartache and hassle required. For me, that's an integral part of my knitting experience. I want to love the finished project, but I also need to enjoy the process of knitting. And while I am quite partial to colourwork knitting, I do know that it's not everyone's cup of tea. And I also know, that even as much as I like it, there are times that I just don't want to be messing with yarn strung over both my hands and the level of concentration required. Personally, I actually think the hat above looks like it uses techniques that are more complicated that colourwork ;)
When I started designing this group of patterns, my aim was to play around with these type of stitch patterns. In doing so I also wanted to explore a yarn that I was absolutely familiar with but in a new way. Over the years, I've knit at least one garment in every colour in the WOOlganics range, but when I started pairing them together and playing with different colour combinations; it was like a whole other curtain into their possibilities opened up. I couldn't believe that I'd previously missed how beautifully every single colour combines and works with every other colour in the palette. Even teaming unusual colour combinations together worked so beautifully and created such unexpected results.
The ultimate example of this playing with the WOOLganics colour range probably came with the hat below which used ten colour (you can use just two if you want). The stitch pattern here is again the result of a slipped stitch pattern interspersed with two round stripes.
Yes, there were an awful lot of ends to weave in in this hat. Well, there would have been if I had sewn them all in. Remember how I was talking about hat thrumming. The inside of this hat is actually just as spectacular as the outside, it's like a rainbow mohawk! No, you can't really carry a yarn strand up 18 rounds, which is what you would need to do here.
So the strange names?
Don't worry if you're struggling to pronounce a few of them, most of them are pretty quintessentially Australian words. These are place names that belong to a very rural area in Victoria, Australia, to the west of the Gariwerd National Park (Grampians).
It's hard to discover the origins of some of these place names. Some were probably originally Koori words that were misheard or corrupted. Words we'd spell differently now with a better understanding of the indigenous language developing. Cherrypool, for example, is the anglicised version of Djarabul and Woohlpooer would be spelt Wulbuwa. Wulbuwa actually means 'to burn very fiercely', which given the landscape of this area (scrubby bush) and its propensity for bushfire, it is extremely well named; as always seems to be the way with the Aboriginal place names. Laharum, I'm not sure ~ my research shows me that the local indigenous people did use the word lar for camp.
All these hats can be purchased either individually or as part of the e-book over in my Ravelry shopfront here.
Pop on over and give them some love <3
Do you find the etymology of place names as interesting as I do?
Which of these wee hats is your favourite?
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Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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