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Saguaro Blossom Hat

The last hat I indulged in during the Any Hat KAL is the Saguaro Blossom Hat by Anne Podlesak.  I found this pattern in her Free Spirit Knits book, during an Interweave sale,  Have you seen the patterns from this book?  I am amazed that this hat pattern qualifies for the Brooklyn Knitfolk Hipster KAL because it is under 30 projects.  It’s hard to believe that a hat with such interesting cables, and a beret, no less, wouldn’t have tons of finished projects on Ravelry.  And who doesn’t love a beret?

I’m looking mighty serious in these photos, but really I was just trying not to close my eyes for every. single. one.  That’s why it is so much easier to look downward.  Looking at these, you’d never think I took them that particular day because I had on “lots” of makeup for something I had to attend.  Seriously, how could I feel all painted lady like that when I barely have visible eyebrows?  So weird.

Anyway, I have only made one beret, and it was a plain stockinette pattern.  So this hat was a departure from my usual.  I loved seeing how all of the cables came together at the top.  The only problem I had was keeping a steady gauge while knitting the ribbing.  I had to stop halfway through my knitting and rip back to re-knit it at a tighter gauge, and I still didn’t tire of the cables.

Details: I used US size 4 needles for this hat.  You won’t have to use so small a needle unless you also have ribbing tension problems.

The yarn is Circus Tonic Handmade‘s Hullabaloo Aran base in the Antarctic Prion colorway.  I looked up the prion and, yes, it’s accurate.  Perusing Hannah’s shop is like going bird watching.  I want to google every colorway name.  I loved the delicate addition of blue to this skein.  I thought it was perfect for an intricate cable pattern.  It doesn’t distract. You can see the yarn, below, in a bag that also came from Hannah’s shop.

I already told you I had issues getting the brim tight enough to fit my shrunken head.  Well, I re-knit the whole hat to fit on size 4s, but after blocking, the ribbing was too big again.  So I did that thing I hate to do.  I picked out the cast on edge of the hat and balled up my yarn as I ripped out all but the first row of the brim.  Working down from there was kind of a mess because I lost track of where my round began and ripped back to a random spot mid-increase round.  But I knew what stitch count I needed to decrease to (since I was knitting down instead of up) and just fudged my way through it.  Since the yarn was already blocked, one more tight knit of the ribbing got a truly good fit.  I could steam block the main body of the hat to be larger if I want, but I probably won’t.  Anyway, I love the result.  All of the work was worth it.

The designer, Anne, is also the dyer behind Wooly Wonka Fibers, a shop I’ve heard of, but not yet tried.  Look at the color combo of this Jane Austen inspired mini set.

As far as Free Spirit Knits goes, there are 4 or 5 more patterns I’d like to make.  I don’t know when I would get to them, but the Snowball Hoodie and Santa Fe Wrap are ones I’d like to knit soon.  I keep imagining it knit in colors that are subdued and not at all southwestern inspired.

Today is the last day of the Any Hat KAL.  I’m grateful to Andrea for getting me to think about hats.  They proved a nice stress reliever this month.  I added a few new patterns to my queue because of it too.  Since I’m also entering these in the BKHipsterKAL I thought I’d leave you guys with my best interpretation of a hipster photo.  One that looks like a Diana or Holga lens or else that faded vintage yeshica feel.  But, really, most photographs I see, and those I take, tend to look like they were made with vintage cameras, by way of high tech apps.  Here is my attempt at an extreme.

(more hipster fails on ravelry, instagram, and flickr)

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