frenzy

Happily, I always love to knit, but it has been a while since I have found myself in a total knitting frenzy. This particular frenzy struck on Friday, took over my brain and hands, and meant that I had to knit all weekend until I was done. To explain: on Friday morning, I popped into John Lewis for some snap fasteners for my cardigan. I picked those up, had a nice chat with Lindsay, and a good squoosh of the new Rowan yarns. I was particularly pleased when I saw the new ‘fine tweed’ range – one of my all-time favourite Rowan yarns is the now long-discontinued Yorkshire tweed and this new ‘fine tweed’ is very reminiscent of it. The colourways are named after Yorkshire and Lancashire villages, and the yarn is also spun in Yorkshire.


Fine tweed is a lovely nubbly, woolly single. It is very fine – the weight seems a little more sock yarn than 4ply – and the twist is punctuated with little tweedy flecks. There are 24 colours, and they are all amazing.

AMAZING

I went home, and spent the afternoon walking in the rain. I couldn’t stop thinking about those colours. Some were soft and faded, like old crewel wools, others were deep and rich and Autumnal. And tweedy. So tweedy. The frenzy slowly took hold – I just had to knit fine tweed! I needed to make colourwork! NOW! I had many other projects on the go, but to hell with them! To hell with everything! My fingers were itching for fine tweed. By Saturday morning, I was sorted. Oh, you tasty little yarn cakes. You are MINE, all mine.

I had lots of fun swatching

Did I mention how much I FOOKIN LOVE THOSE COLOURS?

Though the frenzy had by now seriously taken hold, with uncharacteristic restraint, I decided to draft up a whole pattern beforehand rather than, as per my usual practice, having a few design thoughts and knitting them up on the hoof. I spent the day immersed in Illustrator and came up with some hat charts from a couple of ideas I’ve been playing around with for a while.

These wee flowers have been knocking around my files for over a year now – I had intended them for something I’d just not got round to knitting. I find them very pleasing, but I was perhaps even more pleased with my crown chart. While the body of the hat would be covered with little flowers, the crown centre would resemble a larger flower. Big flowers! Little flowers! FLOWERS ALL ROUND!

Then I sat down and I knit like a loon.

By today – Monday morning – I had a fun new hat!

The frenzy has now evaporated, but it has been replaced by a sensation of self-satisfaction, which to others may manifest as the annoying smugness of a person who feels that she has got something RIGHT. I am really very pleased with this hat.

I think I am so happy with it because all of its design elements made total sense to me from start to finish. The yarn was utterly compelling and I felt I knew before I began how the colours I’d selected should work together. The design idea is simple, but this is really often best. It was fun to knit and to design (I enjoy playing around with charts in Illustrator). Though I think the crown chart placement still needs a stitch or two of tweaking, I love its kaleidoscopic effect and the way its decreases line up like a little braid.

This hat began in the FRENZY. It was made for the pure, knitterly pleasure of making it, and the fact that it turned out well is an unintended bonus. I didn’t intend to make a fine-tweed floral hat, much less to write a hat pattern, but this is what appears to have happened. I have lots of other things in the pipeline (including Betty Mouat, and the next issue of Textisles which will be out very shortly) but I am glad I gave into the frenzy and knit my arse off this weekend. Anyway, if anyone fancies covering their head with knitted flowers as the weather starts to turn, you should be able to do so in just a few days.

184 responses

  1. Lovely! Bravo! And I agree those new tweed colors are stunning! I’d better finish the other hat – caller herrin – I stopped because i thought the diameter too small and I couldn’t bring myself to rip it out and start again. But I see I will want to make this new one, so I had better just steel myself to frog it.

  2. Sheer genius! It’s beautiful! Thank goodness there are inspiring people like you out there who have the vision to design such lovely things for the more earth bound people like me to enjoy! You make my fingers itch to get knitting.

  3. It’s just awesome how that frenzy came together and made such a gorgeous hat! I love it! The colors are just right, the design is just right. And I hope you’re going to publish the pattern some day.

  4. What a fabulous hat!! My mind is already planning how I could knit it, then line it (perhaps with fleece?) to overcome the dreaded woolly itch!! A second thought, even as I typed – perhaps I could knit a plain version in cotton to line it with. You can tell I really like the hat, to be prepared to go to so much trouble to be able to wear it!!

  5. Oh, serendipity in the form of squooshy balls of fine tweed. And a gorgeous hat too!
    What a wonderfully fulfilling weekend, I’m so happy for you (and can’t wait for TextIsles!).

  6. Oh No….now I’ll have to make a pretty flowery hat! Resistance is futile, and I have a Pi shawl and several other WIP. I shall spin some singles in lovely shades for that very purpose. Excited! It’s such a braw pattern, Kate.

  7. As I love hats in any shape and form, to see this beauty today has made me smile. Lovely yarn, lovely knitter….well done!

  8. OH KATE – I laughed , then I laughed some more– I so know how you feel – what a pleasure eh , to feel that passion about what you love , and the need to do it right now – I always say ‘ I want to do it yesterday ‘ – great to find a new yarn and one to love – the end result is such a happy little hat , and reflective of your mood- I love the hat

    – funny , life is so filled with ups and downs , and sometimes more downs , but to be so lucky to feel that passion and love for something like your hat project is special , not everyone feels that – its those times we need to cherish and hold on to to get us through — very best –pat j

  9. I’m continually awestruck by your prowess.

    As there is a chill in the air here, I’ve just been thinking about stringing along some chunky yarn on fat needles and making some lumpy, uneven thing….and here you whip out this. Lovely and amazing.
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. What a wonderful hat! It makes me want to learn how to knit. I’m an artist, whose grandmother taught me to knit as a child, but I’ve forgotten. And, as an artist I understand the FRENZY that can take hold as the creative process unfolds. Congrats on a lovely hat and on Freshly Pressed, as well. Hang on for the ride!
    Kathy

  11. Love it!!! And I so agree with you — the colours came together perfectly, and your decreases & the flower on top are perfectly lovely. :) Now you’re making MY fingers itchy!

  12. When my daughter and I visited London we had a chance to shop at John Lewis. It’s a fantastic store and I had to “squoosh” all the Rowan yarn too. I purchased a bunch of Rowan aran felted tweed to stuff into my suitcase and after returning home purchased some of the regular felted tweed. I love your pictures of the “fine tweed” and the beautiful hat you designed. I know what my next purchase will be!

  13. Amazing! You are SO gifted! I don’t normally comment on your knitting posts because I am a hopeless non-knitter. But these colours, these textures…sigh…and your rabid enthusiasm are irresistible. Thanks for making me smile – even if I never will be able to knit me own bunnet.

  14. I LOVE the hat! The new Rowan Fine Tweed looks lovely – I have a shade card but have not fondled it in real life! This hat is a beautiful design and I love your colourway – what a great excuse, er reason to buy more yarn LOL!!!

  15. Just perfect! Oh how amazing that it all turned out. Really meant to be, and I can’t wait to knit it myself. Anyone ever tell you how amazing it is that you can do that? It’s amazing.

  16. Congratulations!!!! Please remember this feeling the next time you are having a few days of real physical struggle. You do unbelievable things as soon as you have the opportunity, and the “rest” periods, whether forced or voluntary, are part of the creative process. Enjoy your gorgeous hat! I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the flow and dance of creation all weekend.

  17. giving in to a knitting frenzy can be so gratifying! i like your hat, and that natural colored tweed (off white with flecks of soft caramel) has me practically drooooooooling. okay, actually drooling…

  18. Ok, now I want to pick up knitting again. The cold winter months are coming up, and I’m going to have a ton of down-time at work. A nice (manly) cap would be a fun project to get me back in the habit.

  19. I have a Groupon for a local yarn shop and wasn’t sure what to do with the largesse of $40 to spend on yarn and now- I WANT THAT HAT. Great post! :D

  20. Yummy, yummy, YUMMY! I wanna! Now!
    (Ahem. Your frenzy is obviously contagious. OK, I guess I can wait a bit, especially as I have a deadline, but who needs to earn a living when there are things like that around?)

    And congratulations on making Front Page on WordPress, BTW…

  21. Oh dear – I did NOT need to know about that yarn. I’ve already got my sights on more Shelter than I can afford (to knit Gudrun’s Levenwick)…tweed is my weakness. Great hat!

  22. Very beautiful.. I love that pattern. I love knitting too but making something so beautiful would stump me.. thank you for sharing this with me. Oh.. if you ever get tired of your sexy new hat.. mail it to: Toronto, ON.. LOL!!! laughing

  23. I too jumped for joy when I saw the new Rowan Tweeds. I LOVE your hat :o) It shows off the colours and yarn marvellously. Hoorah for the knitting frenzy! If only I could have my own frenzy on my Laar ( lace weight on 2.75mm and me being the slowest knitter in the world. Sigh. On the last sleeve…)

  24. I haven’t had a knitting frenzy like that in quite a while, so I was happy to hear someone was having one! And what a beautiful hat it is. We are still in 3 digit F weather in the States, so I cannot even think about wool, but hope cooler weather is coming soon.
    Cheers!

  25. I know this sounds odd, but I want to rub those yarns. A lot.

    And thank you for rekindling my yarn-y love….My stash has been in storage for almost 3 years and I really want to knit now :)

  26. Absolutely brilliant, Kate!
    I just received my fine tweed colours that I intent to use for your Paperdolls sweater, but this hat surely is a winner too…mmm will have to get me some more colours then! Love the little flowers (and the yarn)!
    Also congratulations with textiles n°1. Am curiously waiting for N°2!

  27. love! i am looking forward to my hat for this winter. i just found it.
    now i only have to find a much needed new coat that goes with it…

  28. Fabulous! And so quick! I have not been brave enough to move beyond intarsia for colorwork, but I am inspired….can anyone suggest a good how-to-learn-fairisle resource (or beginner’s pattern)? I aspire to this hat. Someday…

  29. That *red* really stands out in the bouquet of colors you chose for this one. I absolutely am drawn into the charm of it. Sometimes , I think, that the best work of combination of colors is to showcase a single one, and this is a great example. Wonderful bit of Autumny Spring ! I can *so* relate to the total abandon fixation thing. You continue to amaze others, hopefully yourself a bit too.

  30. OH MY!!!!! It’s absolutely perfect. I am amazed that that was a thought and then a complete hat in a weekend! Kudos to you and even though you weren’t you totally deserve to be smug!

  31. Bafflingly gorgeous. Stunned…just stunned at it. But a half-hearted thank you for showing me yarn that I shall crave in several shades. It is…the perfect yarn. DANG IT!!

  32. Kate, you made reference to the (Adobe?) Illustrator in this post. Can you perhaps tell us more about it and how you use it when working on patterns. I know nothing of this program. Thanks.

  33. I saw the Rowan Fine Tweed in Liberty in London today and was very tempted by it. I’m glad I didn’t buy any now though as now I can wait until the pattern is published and buy the right colours to knit a wee flowery hat.

  34. Cute, cute, cute hat. The colors are so happy and cheerful. I definitely want to do this colorwork. By the way, ahem, did you say the pattern would be ready next week?? chuckle

  35. What a fantastic hat! The yarn colors are so beautiful. I love the color work and the floral motif, as well as the rainbow design on the very top of the hat! Beautiful hat, great work! :) I love knitting and crochet because in my opinion, it’s wonderful to take yarn, which has endless possibilities as to what can be done with it, and turn it into something both rewarding and beautiful.

  36. What a great hat – and what a gift you have not only to create but to communicate that creativity! I could feel the frenzy!

  37. Hah! 115 posts!!! What a frenzy….you clever thing you….it is just gorgeous…so very very beautiful…..please let me know when it does become available in Ravelry…oh to be as smart as you and even begin to know how to whip up something as beautiful as you have done….the colours are just divine – ..love your work!!! And all I did on Sunday was some questionable darning….

  38. I’ve been playing with the Fine Tweed a lot – it’s really lovely stuff – and am currently knitting a jumper in the DK version. Interesting to see which colours you went for .. I’m definitely off towards the deep 1970s end with this yarn, so it’s nice to be reminded that you can create light, delicate colourwork too.

    (PS Lindsay is one of my favourite people – and I know she reads this blog, so hopefully she’ll read my tiny salute!)

  39. I actually gasped at the wonder of this hat (lovely photos, all kudos to the photographer) – and this from someone who’s husband says I ‘wouldn’t get excited if your (my) arse was on fire’.
    Beautiful.
    I love your touch with the colourful ribbing, and the surprise of the pale background, and the patterning superimposed on that pale background. What a wonder. Congratulations.

  40. Wonderful stuff! The new tweed yarn is just up your street, and it has to be said, mine too – although my street is a good deal further away. Love the pretty hat and the colours – it looks so dainty. Happy news, happy knitting, happy yarn, happy fingers! What more could we want on this fine morning?

  41. what an amazingly beautiful hat. I love how it looks from the top with the sunburst of color. Great job! I can’t knit but I’ve always admired those that could. Congrats on being Fresh Pressed.

  42. Even a few days back there was a freshly pressed post about knitting. Damn, I need to learn how to knit.. All I have around the house are design ideas and stuff but no idea on how to implement them :(
    This is again, friggin’ awesome!

  43. one of the reasons why i like this blog is because it’s likeable, for girls: we love pretty things. and in loving them we want to be in it. i am knitter too so i can see you have chosen some pre-tty kewl colors, girl! they suit you too so, for some few minutes isnt that just perfect?
    for boys: girls making/in pretty things are what that make their day.

    see you on your nxt Knit!

  44. Something about this post told me you were in Scotland right now. I sensed a fellow Edinburgher!

    Oh, how many times I’ve been caught up in that very John Lewis. Oh, how I wish I could while away the hours there right this very minute. I mean, Costa Rica is all very green and cool, but it’s no fine tweed hat.

    I know I shouldn’t feel this content satisfaction from seeing a post come straight from the ‘Burgh to Freshly Pressed, but I do. Congratulations on the pattern, and on the blog!

    Best,
    Megan.

  45. What a beautiful and productive frenzy. I had one this weekend too. Not with yarn but a second hand store find – a long red boiled wool jacket in size XXL. That means lots of fabric to make it into something new and fashionable for my small frame. A day later and lots of snipping and sewing and lots of red fabric on the floor and I have a fabulous kimono style jacket (with oh so fashionable raw edges) just right for wearing with an old Noro knit scarf in grey with lots of tiny bobs of color dotted through out. I am crazy about the combination.
    Of course, I paid dearly for the frenzy today. I too had a stroke and the creative spurt cost me a days energy. I spent the day looking at the ceiling and sleeping – when I wasn’t looking at the beautiful jacket. Ah, it is all worth it!! We must continue to follow the creative energy when it smiles upon us.
    And I can’t wait to smell the flowers on the new hat….
    Lori

  46. How fantastic to come across a fellow Edinburgher via Freshly Pressed! I love your blog and your photos are really fantastic. Your hat is fab and judging by the current temperature you will be wearing it already!

  47. Great frenzy and congrats on the freshly pressed!
    I haven’t been knitting that long and only do it sporadically but when i do i love to get things finished!
    Come to think of it I need a new hat! Your hat is so cute – but there is no way I could do such a great pattern – i think i will go for block colours!!!

    Great post :D

  48. What a pretty design – so clever. Such a gorgeous hat. Looking forward to the pattern. If possible, could we have a slightly bigger size, too. Your head looks quite small – (wish mine was!) Love the wool, too.

  49. That’s what happens when you are in touch with your creative side! Follow that inner, burning, compelling desire to create. Lovely. Hat.

  50. Gorgeous. These colours remind me of the fabulous colours of Patricia Roberts’s Shetland yarns, way back in the early 1980s. It’s been that long since I had the patience to knit this type of work.

  51. Tweed has always been my very favourite. Your hat is beautiful! It screams high end design houses to me. The colours are just perfect the way you have placed them, and the little flowers; just beautiful!

  52. Love the hat! Living in Southern Calfornia the weather rarely gets cold enough, but it’s so beautiful I’m sure I could find a few days to wear it. Otherwise, I could just drape it over the corner of my monitor and enjoy is loveliness.

  53. Stunning piece of work! I have drooled over the new Rowan Fine tweed myself.
    You knit that gorgeous fairisle in a weekend? It would take me weeks!

  54. Oh it´s so beautiful! I really love your creations. You´re an artist. My fingers are tingling right now. A visit to ravelry may come soon :o)))

    Greetings from Germany!

    Btw: Thank you for the updatet Owlet-Pattern, too.

  55. beyond charming adorable genuis, the hat and you. your passion is my favorite thing (besides your talent), if everyone could bring this to their own lives, what a world it would be. now i need some of that wool (the pattern is already in my queue)….

  56. Love this hat Kate and am patiently awaiting the last 2 colours to come via Mr Postiness. Then I have a week set by at half term when making the hat will be what it is all about. Love the names of the yarn as I live very close to all the village names

    • yes, those names are very evocative, and make me want to go walking in the Dales. I found myself thinking fondly of the landscape around Keld and Reeth and Richmond while I was knitting. You live in a lovely part of the world!

  57. My daughter-in-law sent me the link to your peerie flooers hat, I’m in North Ronaldsay in Orkney, and I love it – lots of peerie flooers will soon be up, so I will have ago at your hat. Beautiful. My knitting frenzy recently is for socks, luckily there are lots of happy feet who like them. x

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