Hello hello and happy Wednesday!
I really enjoyed reading your responses to my last post about if and how your knitting changes with the seasons! Surprise, surprise, most of you said you knit on through the summer (I guess if you’re committed enough to read knitting blogs, you aren’t likely to let a little heat deter you!)
It’s stayed mainly warm and nice around here, not nearly as hot as some other parts of the UK. One nice evening last week (too nice, really, for a hat, but not unbearably hot) Mr. N was kind enough to model my recently finished Curlew Hat! (He now thinks the hat is his. I insist he merely has the right to borrow it.)
I mentioned this hat briefly when I cast on, but because it’s a really cool project, a quick refresher: the hat was designed by Linda Shearer of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers, and Dyers for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to raise awareness about the plight of Curlews. The birds are waders and rely on marshy fields and moorlands to find food, areas that are disappearing. And apparently, their call is quite distinctive and gives them their name! I’ve yet to see one in the flesh (feather?) but apparently there are large populations around Morecambe Bay, which is nearby, so I think I know where Mr. N and I will be walking next and what feathered friend we’ll be looking out for!
Anyway, the pattern is lovely as is the cause, so as soon as Kate from my LYS Northern Yarn announced she was going to host a little Curlew knitalong, and donate to RSPB for every set of Jamieson’s Spindrift bought to knit the hat, I joined right in — as did a lot of other knitters! You can see some of the lovely versions people have been whipping up by looking at the #castonacurlew hashtag on Instagram.
I began this project right before I left for the US, and the deep ribbed hat brim made for great travel knitting. My progress was a bit slow while I traveled, but I finished it up once I got back to Lancaster!
I made a few tweaks to the pattern. I swapped in 2×2 rib for the 1×1 the pattern called for. It seems no matter what I do, I can’t make my 1×1 rib look tidy, so if it won’t mess up the pattern too much, I always do this! I also widened the background band of the original pattern to encompass the whole bird … this was a choice made from necessity! I chose as my main color Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift in Wren … I was drawn to the beautiful complexity of the light brown, which actually has all sorts of colors running through it!
The complexity that I loved though meant that most of my contrast colors weren’t showing up so well against it! I wanted to make sure you could really see my Curlews, so I used Highland Mist for the background. Midnight, Burnt Umber, and Birch were used for the border details, the Curlews’ legs and tops of heads, and the body, respectively.
Last week I had the pleasure of helping out at Northern Yarn while Kate was away on holiday, and I spent one whole morning putting together some Spindrift bundles of three and five colors for Bousta Beanies, Merrie Dancies, and Curlew Hats. It was a lot of fun as I tried to play with colors I wasn’t normally drawn to and got to really see the complexity of so many of the Spindrift colorways! You can see the bundles in a little album on the Northern Yarn Facebook page. I was all set to cast on another Curlew Hat with this one:
I love the idea of a pop of bright acid yellow with the muted greys and beautiful Blue Lovat, which has lovely flecks of yellow in it. But then Ella Gordon brought out a new hat pattern this week that also takes five colors, so I’m thinking that might be the pattern to try these colors on!
A few WIPs to finish before any casting on though, methinks, and also I need to decide about a pom pom for my Curlew!
Hope your week is going well — I’d love to hear what you’re working on in the comments!
More soon, and until then, happy knitting!