The nice thing about small projects is how quickly they fly off the needles. I finished the colorwork hat last weekend. It’s a semi-slouchy hat, with lots of room to keep the warm air in, and hopefully that extra space will also reduce hat-head. The pattern was completely unplanned; I cast on with 6 stitches and went from there, changing the colorwork pattern as the mood hit me. I stuck with fairly simple, geometric designs rather than traditional colorwork patterns, but there weren’t really any rules.

It looks absolutely gigantic when it’s laid out, but it slouches nicely when worn.

I have said before that I am really not a hat person, but this one seems to work.  Much to my surprise, the slouchy style seems to agree with me. (I think Ellen suggested such a thing quite some time ago, and she was definitely right!)

I’m not sure that I’m going to become a frequent wearer of hats, but it’s nice to know that there’s one I can stand to put on when the weather drops into the negative digits.

Of course, the speedy end of the hat project meant that I had to find new knitting that much sooner. I cast on for about 4 different projects this week, but nothing really clicked. One by one, they were all frogged and returned to the stash. As I was rummaging around for something else to try, I ran across my “weave knitting” swatches from a couple of years ago. Looking back at the original post, I realized that I never put up a picture that shows the stitch pattern very well. I started out the series with a variation on linen stitch; just a simple knit-slip stitch pattern that looks a lot like plain weave.

Then I played around with two colors to see what that would do to the (same stitch) pattern. These are the front and back of the two-color fabric.

That was kind of fun, so I tried another variation as well:

This one looks almost the same on the front and back. It’s not quite reversible, but almost.

Then I put all of the floats on the other side of the fabric, leaving a smooth knit fabric on the front and purl bumps and slip-floats in the back. I think this pair is interesting because the only difference between the swatches is which color is in the foreground and which is in the background:

Then, I played around with longer floats to make a knitted twill:

I think that there’s a lot more to be explored in these stitch patterns, but I need to sit down and figure out a charting and classification method that will help me design new possibilities. (I also need to find the enthusiasm to knit more foot-wide swatches…) I do want to get back to them someday, but for now they’re hibernating in the stash. Seeing them again got me thinking about how the stitch patterns might work in a more complicated colorway, though. Some more rummaging turned up a singleton skein of handspun yarn that I’d spun from the fiber inspired by our trip to Campobello Island a couple of summers ago. I pulled out the skein, crossed my fingers, and cast on. I didn’t have much yarn but I wanted a fairly wide fabric, so I cast on enough stitches to get about a foot of width and hoped that I’d get enough length to do something with the fabric when I was done. And then, I knit. Here’s the front of the fabric:

And here’s the back:

Subtly different, but close enough to be reversible. I love how the colors blend together. (This is the same stitch pattern as the light green and tan at the end of the “plain weave” swatches above.) I didn’t get much length, but I got just enough for a wide cowl when the two ends were seamed together. I didn’t think to snap a photo before I seamed it up, but here’s one half of the color stripes.

And here’s the other half, along with the photo that inspired the colorway.

I like to think that this might bring a little bit of summer into the winter, though I can’t say it worked when we went outside to take a photo. (This is my “did you take the picture? I’m cold!” face.) Still, it’s thick and warm, and can tuck into my coat and cover the lower part of my face, even when it’s folded in half.

For a small and unplanned project, I’m calling that a win.

And now, I am facing empty needles once again. I think that one of my “failures” from last week might have iterated into a successful project this morning, though. Time will tell, but at least it’s enough of an idea to give me something cast on.