Snowball on the Holla Knits Blog Tour
Woohoo! It’s Holla Knits Blog Tour day! I’m very happy to be part of the tour and to be able to offer a fabulous giveaway, of which more further on in this post. As I wrote about the collection in general on launch day, I thought that today it would be good to give a little more background on my contribution to the collection
I’m not 100% sure where the idea for this design came from. It’s likely that my habit for trawling charity shops for knitting patterns from the 50′s and 60′s had something to do with it. The ideas of loop stitch and bonnets then twirled around in my head with the current vogue for blogger/street style like this and the glamour of 60′s ski resorts and winter wear.
The result was this loop stitch bonnet, made in two pieces- a flat piece with shaping for the back, with a short seam to fit it at the back, then a long tube of stocking stitch to make the front and ties. The first version, shown here, worked as I hoped it would, either tied under the chin (surprisingly flattering for the cheekbones I discovered!)…
…or worn loose with pom-poms flying.
However, hen it came to developing the pattern for the Holla Knits Fall 2012 Accessories Collection, I decided some adjustments were needed. The depth at the back of the original version had a tendency to look a bit ‘Little House on the Prairie’ when untied and a little bit like Marley’s Ghost from ‘A Christmas Carol’ when untied- not a look that everyone can carry off, especially if you don’t rock a big hair do.
The Holla Knits version is therefore a much neater, cuter affair. As you can see from the pattern shot, below, it suits long or short hair on the wearer and although it’s quite small, it gives great ear coverage (from the ties) and warmth (from the loop stitch- all those grannies making pramsuits knew what they were doing!). It’s quite bold and a wee bit ‘out there’ but I love it, and can’t wait to see how people work it in their own style.
The search for the best way to do loop stitch, or fur stitch as it’s sometimes known, was another point of development for this pattern. While the basic method of making the loops by wrapping the yarn around your finger or thumb then knitting it into the base of the stitch is similar, I found a number of different techniques described in my vintage patterns, stitch dictionaries and online. Some wrapped forwards, some backwards. Some made a loop every other stitch on a row, others every stitch. Some needed a lot of tugging after completing the stitch to stop the loop loosening up and shrinking as I knitted on.
In the end, I found the technique I thought worked best to use for the pattern- which includes detailed written instructions for the stitch (road tested by Allyson when she made her version of the design, so we know they work for UK and American style knitters!) It’s also worth noting that there’s a nice clear tutorial on the Crazy Aunt Purl blog here , which is worth checking out as its one of those stitches where it’s a lot easier to see or do it than describe it.
One thing to note about loop stitch is that, with all those loops, it’s quite yarn hungry. Which is why it’s so great that the lovely people at Artesano UK have provided not one, but two sets of yarn for today’s giveaway prizes!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of the Snowball Pattern, along with three skeins of squishy, warm and subtly haloed Artesano Alpaca DK in the Cream colourway used for my original Holla Knits sample.
Another, equally lucky winner will receive a copy of the Snowball Pattern, along with three skeins of Artesano Alpaca DK in ‘Venezuela’, a sumptuous deep berry/wine colour that is so on-trend at the moment, it hurts.
To be in with a chance of winning, please share your thoughts on the Holla Knits Fall 2012 Accessories Collection in the comments section below. Two comments will be picked at random to each win one of the prizes described above. Comments will close and winners picked on 23rd October. Comments closed! Winners will be getting an email soon… Remember, if you aren’t lucky enough to win, the pattern is available to buy here.
Be sure to keep following the tour, because there are still more giveaways to come…
October 22: Webs Yarn Store Blog - yarn giveaway
October 23: The Sweatshop of Love Hosts Homestead Heirlooms! – subscriber exclusive purse kit giveaway
October 24: Knitted Bliss – pattern giveaway
October 25: Stash, the Knit Picks Staff Blog
October 26: Holla Knits hosts Tara Shade! – Subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway, pattern giveaway