knitters often ask me how i come up with ideas for new designs. while the answer varies, many times they simply “occur” to me, very much on the spur of the moment, a product of a happy confluence of circumstances.
scotty is one such design—totally unplanned, it presented itself unbid and took hold of my needles, then made its way into my heart. before i knew it, i had a project on the go that i couldn’t put down, in spite of a long list of deadline work i really should have been attending to.
good thing it was a very quick project—which is one more lovable thing about it.
what happened was that while i was finishing up at TNNA, i found out i needed to knit a soft cap to gift to a friend. i was headed to canada right after the show so i wouldn’t have access to my stash for a while and i hadn’t gotten word early enough to ask some friendly vendor for a sample skein.
come monday morning however, one of my van mates riding to canada was the always-fun kim mcbrien of the sarcasmic house of indigodragonfly yarns. somewhere in the wilderness of mid-state ohio, it occurred to me that where there is a yarny, there might just be yarn—even if she wasn’t a vendor at the show.
hey kim”, i said, “you wouldn’t happen to have a skein of something really soft that i could knit a little hat from, would you? at this point, i was still thinking that a quick and simple stockinette beanie would be just the thing.
“it doesn’t even have to be an intact skein; i can work with whatever you got.”
next thing i knew, a shopping bag full of yarn was smacking me upside the head.
“maybe there’s something in the yarn bag that will do,” smirked the voice from the seat behind me in that yarnies-don’t-go-anywhere-without-yarn tone (seriously, don’t even bother using politeness with that one; it doesn’t work).
anyway, there were actually two skeins i really liked for my giftee. one was very dark and sophisticated and the other was well, risky, but so cheerful and had really great colors for her skin tones; i kept going back to that one. the color was called as god is my witness, i thought turkeys could fly. need i say more?
i loved it. and the more i looked at it, the more clear it became that not only was it perfect for this recipient, but a new design was roaring into life with every passing mile. that skein had plaid written all over it and i was quickly getting into a very plaid mood (you know me and my scottish streak. and if you’re not familiar, you can find evidence in the blog archives).
i wound it up and cast on for a swatch.
“now, wait a sec,” said the voice from behind, “are you telling me that you’re actually designing something with that yarn right now??”
“yup”, said i, not looking up from my work, “i’m pretty sure i know what i’m going to be doing; i just need to work out a couple details—like gauge. when it’s all done, we can publish the design, ok?”
(that shut her up for a while, hehe)
suffice it to say, that while this was a terrific start and the project was great fun and all went well there, the remainder of our trip did not go so well. i ended up heading back to detroit instead of on into canada. boy was i glad to have that hat project to knit during an otherwise unsettling next couple of days.
the knitting progressed quickly and it was a lot of fun, both in construction and in watching the color develop. indeed, between the stitch pattern and the colorway, it has a very “plaid” feel to it, which i love.
before i knew it, i was choosing buttons for the brim detail; whoa! that was fast.
on a small needle, the 2-ply tight twist merino nylon sock yarn from indigodragonfly is wonderfully soft but also very springy, so that brim holds it shape well and has great stitch definition even when stretched. knit on a larger needle for the hat body, the fabric softens and slouches into a soft pile.
shown here, size medium hat in colorway as god is my witness, i thought turkeys could fly. the pattern contains three sizes to fit children, teens and adults.
this cap would also be luscious in our bare naked wools breakfast blend fingering yarn. i might have to put one of those on the needles for my trip to albany this weekend.
our friend helen test knit knit the pattern using plucky feet from the plucky knitter, in colorway well preserved. it looks great in this nearly solid mix of very hues—completely different but beautifully rich!
many, many thanks to our good friend helen for knitting the test sample and sharing her photos with us; thank you helen!
and we are so lucky that sarah, who works here at knitspot headquarters, is happy to model at a moment’s notice; isn’t she terrific? thank you sarah!
well now, i must get off to get some other work done today but have a good week and enjoy this early fall weather. i hope it’s as beautiful where you are as it is here. perfect hat weather, for sure!