Thursday, November 2, 2023

Donna Smith's Muckle Leaves Beret and The Shetland Wool Week Annual 2023

I have a new favorite knitting pattern to add to the small library of things I'll return to again and again - even though as it turns out I haven't made it properly yet. 

There are a few patterns in this year's Shetland Wool Week annual that I really liked, but the one I was drawn to first was Donna Smith's beret - there's an error in the instructions - a repeat pattern sequence has been missed out - it came up on the website about an hour after I cast off hat one, which did at least answer the question of why it came out on the small side. It's still a pleasing hat that will do nicely for someone with a smaller head than mine.

I love this pattern for its elegant simplicity. It would be an excellent place to start if you're new to Fair Isle or knitting in the round. It's stylish enough to want to wear - the books I first re-learned to knit from were full of things that were not and that was an issue. It's hard to develop your skills if everything you have a pattern and instructions for is entirely unappealing. That it only uses two colours is a bonus as well.

Mixing colours for Fair Isle knitting is a whole lot of challenges and decisions - using only two is a useful step back and a chance to let odd balls of things that have been sitting a while in your yarn stash shine. In my case, that's a lot of colours I've bought that are slightly outside my comfort zone. Because this pattern doesn't need a lot of yarn (2 balls of the main colour, 1 of the other) it's a really satisfying way to use some of those things up at last.

It's a quick pattern too, so altogether excellent for making and giving away. I'll add a picture when I've finished hat two! 

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