We've been back from Shetland for a fortnight and I'm still daydreaming about when I will get back there. I keep squeezing balls of Shetland wool and thinking about casting on new projects. I designed a hat for this year's Wool Week Annual which I haven't yet shared here. Sumburgh hat is a beanie with fine twisted stitch cables winding seamlessly from brim to crown.
I've been fascinated by the twisted cables from Maria Erlbacher's book, Twisted-Stitch Knitting for some time. They feature in my Bruton Hoody and an early sock design that I did for Simply Knitting. There are so many beautiful stitch patterns in that book! My hat is based on Pattern 76 - Klausner Model, which is written for a twisted panel 14 sts wide. I have reworked the cable to create an allover pattern, and included a stitch marker move which allows the patterning to continue seamlessly right around the hat.
Here I must confess that it took me MULTIPLE attempts to design a crown shaping that I was happy with. It is testament to the wondrous properties of Shetland wool that the yarn remained completely untroubled by being knitted and ripped a few times. It was totally worth the rude words that I muttered at it each time it wasn't to my liking, because I am absolutely delighted with how it turned out in the end!
Whilst I don't have any plans to get back to Shetland any time soon, I shall wear my Sumburgh hat and dream of the puffins we saw there in 2012!
If you fancy a Sumburgh hat of your own, we have a few copies of the Wool Week Annual left in the online shop, and it takes just 2 balls of Shetland Heritage yarn. We have increased the number of shades we are stocking, and now have nearly the whole range! It's beautiful stuff - smoothly worsted spun and softer than the 2ply Jumper Weight. The cables really pop out of the fabric with this yarn.
Some technical details:
The pattern is given in both written and charted formats, so that you can work in your preferred style. As well as yarn and pattern, you will need: One set 2mm double-pointed needles or needles suitable for your preferred method of small circumference knitting; One set 2.5mm double-pointed needles or needles suitable for your preferred method of small circumference knitting; Stitch marker and Cable needle.
The pattern is only available in the Wool Week Annual 2017 until the end of next year.
Massive thanks to Misa Hay for asking me to contribute a design to the Annual, there are some absolutely stunning designs in there! And as always, many thanks to Jesse for taking beautiful photos. We also reshot all of the yarn in our online shop on Monday, so do go and have a browse at the newly-expanded ranges.