High Cliff Hat and Knitter’s Waste

I guess this High Cliff hat is my third project for the #RecycleReknitRemake Make-along. It is one of the yarns I’d balled up a few years ago when I bought some bargain hats and scarves at the mall to reclaim the yarn.

I originally thought it was super bulky, like the green yarn in my Durand Cowl, but as I handled it, I saw it was just bulky. This led me back to my Ravelry favorites tagged under: “bulky” and “hats.” I was so happy to to see this favorite was in Alicia Plummer and Melissa Schaschwary’s Plum Dandi book, which I owned and had yet to knit from. So, now I’m recycling yarn and using an older pattern book rather than buying new. Two points! Not that anyone is keeping score. 

Well, I sort of am. Unused pattern books is another kind of knitter’s waste that I’ve been trying to deal with. In general, I think that you can’t have too many books or records or photos or creative tools, pattern books ticking three of the four boxes. I’ve justified my collections by reminding myself they are art, self expression, creative exploration, keeping my mind sharp, self care, enlightening, etc. They’re also obtained on a budget. I trade of one thing to have another. More etc.’s. But the reality is that I had to pick my way around all of these tools and dig through double stacked book shelves that sagged beneath the “creative” weight. Not to mention the expense of print revival pattern books and magazines. I have no idea what I will do as Pom Pom Quarterly, Laine, and Amirisu continue through the years. They’re so nice and I love flipping through them. But Dang! They own a lot of shelf space now. While I feel much less remorse for having full bookshelves than I would an overstuffed closet, the truth is I’ve had both and I needed a change. Getting a bigger bookshelf wasn’t really that change. The knitter’s waste is on my mind. So, yeah, at least using all of these books seems the right thing to do. It will be an ongoing goal. 

High Clif, by Melissa,  is nice and roomy. Nothing shows off chunky yarn like a big, fat cable. The yarn used in the book sample is Madtosh Home, which has a little twist to it. My yarn was more like roving, but I felt like the cabled texture would remain visible with wear because it’s just such a big, dramatic cable. 

Details: I used size US 10 needles and knit the whole hat via magic loop. I rarely bother with double points these days. Once in a while I pull out the imperfect little double points I made and use them just for funzies. I got stitch gauge, but had trouble meeting the correct row gauge, so I just knit one extra repeat of the cable stitch pattern and it was the perfect length before crown decreases. I topped the hat off with a faux fur pom pom I got a few years ago when I was searching for the best pom pom. It’s from Fffabuknits on Etsy. I don’t really remember how the pom pom quest ended, but this must have been my favorite because I see that I bought 4 in my Etsy history. Those that I’ve used previously have held up well. They don’t have that toddler’s matted teddy bear look that some of my lion brand poms have. It is almost as soft as my cat, Hazel’s fur. Almost.

I have quite a few knitting goals I want to finish, so I’m not sure when I’ll get back to the other Plum Dandi designs. But I have some favorites. Bretton Woods has a simple vibe. I love the gentle ombre effect. I can see using two sport weight yarns held together to do an ombre/ marl in similar colors. I’d probably want to keep something like that, but it would also be a good Christmas gift too. As would Harrington. And I have a box of Ye Olde Joann super bulky yarns I could crack open for that one.

The thing I’d like to knit the most from Plum Dandi is probably Keene– a bulky sweater pattern with a ribbed turtleneck. The fit is so classic and understated. It could be a staple.

P.S. If you’re reading this the day I post it or a few days after, Alicia Plummer is having a 50% off pattern sale in her shop. Check out her instagram to see details. This won’t include the patterns from Plum Dandi, but she has a slew of patterns from the last few years, like the Wyeth Pullover I knit a while back. I picked up Down East while I was browsing this morning. E-patterns don’t take up shelf space 🙂

More on Ravelry, my instagram here and here, and images on flickr.

Podcast posts discussing this are Episode 54: My Pets Run the Show and Episode 55: Ms. Fixit.

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