Friday, 23 January 2015

Yak hat

Happy Friday, dearests! I hope you've had a good week! I'm tired out by mine, but it included an excellent day of sewcialising (more below), and the outlook for the weekend is pleasingly cold and sunny. Perfect for getting some fresh air and vitamin D in my new and favourite-ever knitted hat!

There are a lot of things I like about this hat.  Starting, where all knitted items do, with the yarn. I don't know if I mentioned it here, but I was one of the lucky attendees at the awesome Paris meet up in November (see Charlotte and Lladybird for write ups) and came away with a fantastic goody bag which included a 40% off voucher for Peace and Wool.  OK I just went to their site to link them and of course there's a sale on - NOT WHAT I NEED people! Because markdowns on wool, I am powerless to resist - and most especially when it comes with a sexy French blurb like this one: 

Under its thick, coarse hair, the Mongolian yak has a layer of very warm and incomparably soft down - a precious product once reserved for royalty. Yaks lose this down in the spring moulting season, when it is collected by hand, sorted and washed several times. Yak wool is very warm and extremely soft, similar to cashmere. 

This carded yarn consists of 50% down from the Khangai mountain Yak, produced by the region's cooperative farmers with the technical support of Agronomists and Veterinarians Without Borders.  The remaining 50% is incredibly soft extra fine merino from breeders in the Southern Alps. In addition to its exceptional feel and color, this yarn is entirely naturally treated and undyed. Being fairly traded, it also contributes to improving the living conditions of both Mongolian and French herders.

Isn't that just the most unimpeachably perfect yarn snobbery ever? I absolutely love it!! It's still the thing that tickles me most about the finished item of headwear. And to top it all off, it came wrapped in sparkly paper with a free chocolate:

Peace and Wool are WINNING at artisan craft supplies, guys! Totally made my day.

So then I just had to find a pattern. Time to test a theory I'd been developing: namely, that if you spend long enough scrolling through patterns on Ravelry - and there will be thousands, even when you've narrowed it down by yardage, weight, needle size, pattern type and everything else you can think of - and "long enough" in this case meaning well beyond what would usually be the point of no return, it might even take days - if you search that stubbornly and persistently, eventually you WILL find the one absolutely 100% perfect pattern for the thing you want to make.

I didn't say it was a time saving theory or anything. But it hasn't been proved wrong yet.

I found my holy grail hat pattern on about page 1,000* (*possibly an exaggeration). It's Rooty by Alex Tinsley, and well, it just grabbed me. The clever knit-flat brim, the braids, the perfect amount of slouch - I love it! And though you can't see them so well in this picture, it's also got tiny dots knit into it too, which gives it a lovely little bit of texture. (They show up better on the first and last pictures in this post). I showed it to my family over Christmas and they all agreed it was very 'me', whatever that means. I think it was intended as a compliment.

Right now, on to the sewcialising part! The part where, on Tuesday, I went to Paris again and met up with the wonderful, WONDERFUL Kirsty, Inna and Lisa. We had a brilliant time touring the fabric shops with Barbara of Stitching Up Paris, and I was yet again floored by the fabulousness of the internet and the sewing friends I've made through it.  But you know, I don't really have much to report about the day itself - we walked, talked, shopped, and it was like we'd all met before and known each other for years, which in a sense is true anyway.  It was just all round lovely to meet them.

However. I'm not just telling you all this randomly and pointlessly.

Here is a picture (taken by Inna - I hope she doesn't mind me 'borrowing' it from her Instagram feed) of Lisa and Barbara taking a well-earned shopping break. And guess what...

Lisa made a yak hat too! Hers is a Dreiecke by Very Shannon, also a textured pattern that works really well with the yarn. In fact so well that I was immediately seized with hat jealousy and wished I had more yak yarn to make a copycat hat with (I think I'm almost over it now).  We compared notes and particularly noticed how the wool has gone all fluffy in the wearing - it has a kind of downy halo-like glow. Albeit a glow that does bear a passing resemblance to pubic hair, which was my thought not Lisa's and not one said out loud at the time, but it was a thought that once had could not be un-had, so I thought I'd share it. You're welcome.

So that's my yak hat. The yarn really is as soft and warm as that blurb says it is, and it sits so lightly on the head. I like the pattern so much that I've already made another, this time for my daughter (on a size smaller needles so it came out just a little denser, and fits her perfectly).  It all makes going out in the cold just a bit more bearable.

And with that I'm signing off - I have some fake fur trim to shop for. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!


  1. Love it! Love the pattern too, that's going on my list...

  2. hahaha, now when I look at my hat I think pubic hair! Thanks ;)

  3. Too bad you did not mention pubic hair out loud; we'd have a lot of laugh! I love you hat and this big ponpon! Maybe I should knit one too!?

  4. Ha ha ha ha great post and now I wish I'd looked closer at Lisa's hat. Your hat looks great and yes, it was a super dooper day xx


Please don't be anonymous or unpleasant!