Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Ruschia hat and me

Photograph of a grey hat knitted sideways

I am smitten with everything about my current project - the design, pattern and yarn are all a delight.

I have crocheted myself and my little one a handful of hats and knit him a hat but I can't say I am at all experienced in the art of hat making, but I do love to wear one! In my plan for the year, October and November were always going to feature two hats; my little boy's head hasn't really grown but he's commissioned another 'bird hat' using the West Yorkshire Spinners Aran Print yarn and I was going to knit a hat for myself. At Unravel in February I bought a beautiful skein of yarn from Amy at Stranded Dyeworks which I earmarked for a hat but no pattern immediately 'spoke to me'. I fancied working up a cable hat but I couldn't find one I liked because I really didn't want a pompom on top.

I was thrilled when my copy of A Year of Techniques popped through the door in September because it contained a pattern for a most gorgeous, squish hat that definitely did not require a pompom! I also had a goal to enhance my knitting skills (and confidence) this year so it was perfect all round.

Ruschia hat
I am working on the Rushcia hat designed by Woolly Wormhead. It was worked sideways and knit flat in lovely squishy garter stitch. The shaping of the hat is created with short rows and slip stitches create a beautiful design on each section or row repeat. Such a clever, clever design!

Out of my comfort zone
My first reaction was; 'I love it! I have the yarn and I can make it!' And my second reaction was; 'crikey, it needs a crochet provisional cast on (which I haven't done before), wrap and turn short rows (that I haven't done before) and garter stitch grafting (which I haven't done before). Maybe I will leave the project for another day'.

The beautiful design and clarity of the pattern won through and I gave myself a good talking too before finding my waste yarn to cast on. I have also been happily using dental tape lifelines to give myself a little extra reassurance. If you are feeling a little wobbly about a project, I heartily recommend using life lines.

A Year of Techniques
If you haven't come across A Year of Techniques by Jen and Jim Arnall-Culliford I urge you to look it up.
Front cover of the book 'A Year of Techniques'

It has 12 patterns and supporting tutorials for each pattern allowing you to build up a whole arrange skills and practice them in specially conceived patterns. 

I genuinely don't think I would have found the confidence to tackle the Ruschia hat without the supporting instructions and tutorials.  

Monogamous knitting
I cast-on on Sunday and have knit on nothing else all week; this project has me hooked. The yarn is plump, squishy and beautifully dyed. The pattern is written in such a way that I know exactly where I am and can see my progress during the course of an evening.

Selection of project bags

The only problem with monogamous knitting is that I have some empty project bags and I'm really lacking handy travel projects and mindless projects that don't require concentration. I will be fixing this over the course of the weekend...

Emma at Eldenwood Craft doesn't didn't have a knitted hat either and has decided to rectify this. She has also reached out to her Ravelry group and initiated a little hat knitting KAL. So if you are knitting (or crocheting) a hat, do join in!.

Garter stitch grafting...
I am happily writing this post before I have attempted any garter stitch grafting - eek - but assuming that goes smoothly, I can't wait to wear my new hat. It's gone noticeably chilly here this week so it looks as though I'll have it finished just in time.

A knitted hat in progress and an open book

 I hope you have a lovely weekend of crafting ahead of you x


  1. Your hat is looking fab Helen! Well done for pushing yourself to learn new skills!

    Marta xx

  2. Wow. That hat looks amazing. I'm putting that book on my Christmas list!

    1. I'm fairly certain you'll love it! We need a crochet-version I think x