Bayard Brooklyn Tweed Hat

I picked this pattern and yarn up last fall at the “Vogue Knit Live” event in Chicago. A vendor from St. Paul, Minnesota had a sample of this chic hat and I wanted to knit it. I finally got around to making it this summer. I do not bother with knitting a test swatch because I know that my gauge is bound to be off from what a pattern says. For this reason I generally size down in knitting needles. As I knit this I could tell it was going to be huge but didn’t worry because with wool there is always felting. After finishing the hat I took a before felting picture and then an after. It’s still very cute but has a slightly different look and drape. I imagine that one would have to knit very tight in order to achieve the gauge of the pattern. Most of the hat was 184 stitches in the round which is a lot! I like to knit looser with smaller needles.

The pattern and wool from Brooklyn Tweed- so cute! Must knit.

Work in progress. The back has this interesting slipped section and is perfect to camouflage color changes.

Huge! Love the decreasing detail.

Another nice detail- twisted rib cuff.

Before felting. It’s an animal? It’s alive?

After felting. It has a different look but is still cute.

Side by side comparison. Before and after felting.

Prepping wool scraps for felted acorns

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I knit with a lot of 100% wool which results in many wool scraps. I finally discovered the perfect use for them with this acorn tutorial from the HonestlyWTF blog. In the following photos I’m sharing how I break down the wool scraps to prep for felting. Making these felted balls can be tricky because a lot of cracks form and they can be difficult to cover. I recently tried to make these with roving that I had purchased from the craft store that didn’t require combing and it seemed to work pretty well but then you aren’t using your scraps. I scavenged some of the acorn caps but some I purchased on ETSY.

I could knit with these scraps but I needed this color. For whatever reason this light tan color seems to be easier to work with- fewer cracks in the finished product!

Trim the yarn into shorter pieces and place onto the comb.

Yarn will begin to fluff. Remove, replace on the comb and repeat.

Ready for felting.

My finished products. These were all made from yarn scraps.

Knit Hat Design

This hat was knit using Flicker yarn from Berroco that I purchased at the Knitting Tree in Madison. This is my own pattern using a stitch from one of Barbara Walker’s books (some of my favorites). I knit 3 identical hats and one has already been purchased for a Christmas gift for next year!

This yarn has a subtle sparkle in it which I was drawn to. It’s fun to try out different yarns especially when I knit with the same yarns over and over for my knit business. This yarn is stretchier than most and makes for a very comfortable hat in a refreshing color. This pattern will be available for purchase soon and these samples will be listed in my ETSY shop soon. 

 

That’s me, Laura. Photographs by Mom.

Fiber Tourists

A friend and I went to the Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill in Mt. Horeb, WI this week. I had been wanting to tour the mill ever since the owner, Anne, gave a talk at one of the Madison Knitting Guild meetings last fall. It’s a short drive from Madison in a beautiful, hilly area.

They were doing their once-a-year cleaning of the equipment when we visited but we still got a good glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. Each batch of yarn that the mill produces is custom. They have a storefront too and we purchased some super soft and affordable wool from the mill. I can’t wait to knit with mine! Project photos to follow.

This wool has been washed in one of their two washing machines (agitators have been removed) and is now drying.

Their equipment is old! Some is from 1905, others from the 1930s and the spinning frame is from the 1950s. Some of their equipment is from Lowell, MA.

“Skeiner” this machine can make 10 skeins at a time and transfers spun yarn from cones into skeins.

Love this natural color!

“Sam the Ram”