Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Gem of a Hat and Scarf Set

A few years ago, I decided I wanted a scarf and hat set in green. I have a pair of spring green leather gloves I'd picked up at Winners for $20 years before, and I wanted a set that would coordinate with them. That spring green would also look nice with my dark brown wool coat. 

I say I decided this a few years ago because it took me some time to find just the right shade of green yarn in the DK weight I needed for the pattern I'd picked out. Greens can be tricky to coordinate. If they're just least bit off, they look terrible. I took one of the green gloves with me whenever I went yarn shopping, and struck out many times. Eventually, this past spring, I found what I wanted: 400 grams of 220 Superwash Merino in Peridot. (220 Superwash Merino is technically a worsted, but it really isn't a worsted -- it's between a DK and a worsted.) The green was several shades darker than the green of the gloves, but the right tone, and the gloves won't be right next to the hat and scarf when I've got them on, so I thought it would do. 

It makes me smile that the yarn shade is called Peridot. I was born in August, and peridot is my birthstone. I used to hate peridot and wish I'd been born in any other month so that I could have a birthstone I liked, but one day in my early thirties I clued in to the fact that the peridot green actually suits me and that I had several pieces of clothing in that colour in my wardrobe already. Since then I've acquired a little collection of peridot jewelry that I love, and I have always had a few pieces of spring green clothing and accessories in my wardrobe. And then I ended up working on and completing this project in August, so it was doubly appropriate.  

For the hat pattern, I chose the Armley Beret, designed by Woolly Wormhead. It's an attractive design, and I thought the little tapering cables around the brim looked like little trees, which would accord well thematically with the green I wanted to use for the yarn. As for the scarf, there was no pattern, but that's never stopped me before when I was making a set. It's generally so easy to improvise a design for a scarf that will go with a hat design.

Here's the finished hat and and scarf. I'm pleased with both. The hat knitted up quickly and without any problems that I recall. 

The one modification I made to the hat pattern was to trim it with a tassel rather than a pom pom, as I'm more of a tassel type. 

And here's the hat and scarf with the gloves. They don't look as though they go very well in this photo, but that's just the lighting -- the combination looks better in person than it does here. Better that than the other way around, I suppose.


As for the scarf, I toyed with the idea of doing repeats of the tapered cable motif for the entire length of the scarf, but that would have meant having to repeatedly adjust the number of stitches and I didn't want the hassle. I wasn't sure it would look all that good anyway. Instead, I worked three continuous lines of the bottom cable, and for the edging I used the 2 x 2 twisted cable that was used on the hat opening. I had a ridiculous amount of trouble getting the edging right, so I'll just write here for my own future reference that when picking up stitches for cable edging along a scarf, picking up *three out of every four loops* gives one just the right number of stitches so that the edging will be neither too full nor too taut to sit right. The scarf is just over 6' long and 7 inches wide. 

I've resolved that this set must be my last new hat and scarf set for some time. Besides this new peridot set, I have a cream set, an old rose set, a plum set, a variegated set, a brown and orange fair isle set, a mohair tam, a peacock design wool tam, and an old rose scarf, all of my making, plus some other assorted, purchased scarves. All of these items are in excellent condition, and good grief, I only have one head and neck to wear them on. I have hats and scarves to go with every one of my coats and with every possible outfit, and it would be a senseless extravagance for me to spend any more money on others until I've worn out some of the ones I already have. 

I'm sure the crazy knitter part of my brain will try to make a case for yet another set pretty soon (i.e, "I don't have a red set!" or "I found this irresistible pattern that I MUST make!"), but the logical, budget-conscious part of my brain intends to be very stern and a hard sell on the matter.