Finished: The Owl In The Thicket Hat

The Owl In the Thicket is my new favorite hat! Cables, owls, beads, cashmere - what’s not to love? | withwool.com

It seems like I say this every year when I finish a new hat, but this is my new favorite hat. It’s soft, warm, and perfectly slouchy. There’s even cables and owls with beaded eyes for good measure. The only thing I’m kicking myself about is that I didn’t cast on until a year after I’d bought the yarn! Still I’m glad it’s finished and just in time for weird spring weather. Will it rain? Will it snow? Look out the window to find out.

The Owl In the Thicket is my new favorite hat! Cables, owls, beads, cashmere - what’s not to love? | withwool.com   

The pattern, Owl in the Thicket by Sara Huntington Burch, was a great challenge. This hat is all about the details and required lots of attention. Aside from the ribbing, there were only a handful of rows that were the same in the entire pattern. I had a lot of fun knitting it, and now I want work on more complicated projects. It’s nice to break out of the auto-pilot knitting every once in a while. And the knitting didn’t actually take all that long because I had a hard time putting it down. I just got hung up on how to block the thing which I’ll show in more detail in my next post.

I splurged on a skein of the recommended yarn, Anzula Cricket in the Lenore colorway, which I don’t do often. The benefit and responsibility of having a large stash means I usually shop from it first. The reason I splurged is that Cricket is a blend of merino and cashmere with a beautiful luster. The yarn was wonderful to work with and the semi-solid dye job added the right amount of detail. I’m glad I didn’t pick out a darker color because then all the cables would have gotten lost which would have been a complete waste.

The Owl In the Thicket is my new favorite hat! Cables, owls, beads, cashmere - what’s not to love? | withwool.com   

The yarn and cables certainly go a long way towards making this my favorite hat, but the pom-pom is what really makes it. I add pom-poms to stuff on a case-by-case basis. They’re cool, but not always necessary. Not this time. The pattern sample looked so good with a pom-pom, and my hat just looked so lacking without one. So I made a very large and in charge pom-pom, but how to put it on? This pom was pretty weighty and used 5 yds of yarn! I didn’t want it to pull the hat out of shape or for it to look tacked on. The answer turned out to be a .5” button. I used this tutorial for how to attach a removable pom-pom. Now, I have no intention of wearing the hat without the pom or taking it off (except maybe to wash it). The button gives the pom somewhere to sit, and that little bit of extra structure makes all the difference.

Now to wait for the weather to get cold enough to wear this beauty. I might not have to wait long with this random weather.

The Specs:
Pattern: The Owl In The Thicket by Sarah Huntington Burch
Yarn: 190 yds Anzula Cricket - Lenore
Needles: US 4 - 3.5 mm
Dates: January 11 - March 11, 2018
@Ravelry

Peppercorn Bracelet the Second

On the same day I wrote about the first Peppercorn Bracelet, my mom sent me an email asking me to make one for her too. My Mom’s absolutely awesome so she went to the top of the list. When I was out and about searching for yarn, I found the perfect bronze-colored glass beads in a yarn shop. A good trip.

This Peppercorn Bracelet worked up even faster than the first. Using the recommended number of beads will do that. The second reason was because I switched to a crochet hook instead of using double pointed needles. Working fine hemp cord with the DPN’s was hard on the fingers. The needles poked holes in my skin and left my finger tips sore. Using a crochet hook made the whole process pain free and wonderfully fast. I was able to finish the whole bracelet in an afternoon instead of having to space the work out over several days. 

After making two of these, especially from hemp, I can tell you that there is one step that absolutely can not be skipped - blocking. When the bracelet is fresh off the needles or the hook, it’s going to twist and curl up on itself. It won’t lay or hang well and it certainly won’t look its best. The one minute it takes to block the piece is well worth it. Put the bracelet under water just long enough to get it wet. Tug the ends a few times to straighten it out and hang the bracelet up to dry. That’s it.

The Specs

Pattern: Peppercorn Bracelet by Kourtney Robinson

Yarn: Fine Hemp Cord

Beads: Mill Hill size 6/0 seed beads, 16606

Hook: 2.75 MM

Peppercorn Bracelet

Olive-Peppercorn-Bracelet.jpg

In a perfect world, I’d be writing about how I cast on for the Peppercorn Bracelet as soon as the beads and the cord were in hand. The pattern photos are lovely. All the projects on Ravelry are very complimentary. However, I strung the beads in January and then the whole thing sat on a shelf until I was infected by sudden fit of reorganization. Finally knitting the bracelet seemed like a much better idea than stuffing it into a bag and forgetting about it for another month or two. Glad I did.

Olive-Peppercorn-Bracelet-Tie.jpg

Over the next few days, I knit on it at least 5 beads at a time. The hemp cord I subbed in for yarn was a bit hard on the hands and not just because it lacked any stretch. I was poking holes in my fingers trying to get one stitch over the other. The finished bracelet is definitely worth the effort though because I love wearing it. It’s dangly and the hemp cord has a nice drape. Even better, the bracelet’s extra long since I used every bead I had. Why let the extras take up space on that shelf I was trying to  reorganize? Made the end ties longer too so it sits at the perfect spot on my wrist. 

Wearing-Peppercorn-Bracelet.jpg

I like wearing this bracelet so much that I’m definitely going to make more as gifts. They don’t take much cord/yarn, I get to play with pretty beads, and my friends get a nice bracelet. Everyone wins. 

The Specs

Pattern: Peppercorn Bracelet by Kourtney Robinson

Yarn: fine hemp cord

Beads: Toho Seed Beads 6/0

Needles: 2.5 mm DPN’s

Olive-Peppercorn-Bracelet-2.jpg

Breaking for a Bracelet

I’m a big fan of taking a break when necessary. Complicated problems, finicky questions, and pesky knitting designs can be hard to solve in one sitting. Instead of beating my head against the same spot on the wall, I go for a walk, play a game, and do my best to simply ignore the damn thing for awhile. It’s better to come back with a fresh mind and make time for the flash of inspiration to strike. 

The current pesky problem? My latest work-in-progress design. Things were doing so well too. My swatches were truthful and I had enough yarn; the only thing left to do was cast on. Several thousand stitches later, a tiny detail about knitting in the round threw the whole project for a loop. The only thing to do, besides from rip it all out, was to do something else. 

Peppercorn-Bracelet-Materials.jpg

Enter the Peppercorn Bracelet by Kourtney Robinson. I picked up the supplies for it last month and last weekend seemed like the perfect time to get started. My only mod is to use fine hemp cord instead of yarn. By the way, collapsable eye needles for stringing beads are definitely worth the money.

Peppercorn-Bracelet-Beads.jpg

The weekend away and a little mindless knitting seems to have done the trick. I have an easy, wonderful solution and the pattern is back on track. Still have to rip out the first attempt though. Send reinforcements.