hazelhurst

So, I am imagining that some of you won’t have heard of Ronnie Hazelhurst – the meister of British light entertainment who has given his name to my new design? Tom and I are both children of the 1970s, and, for better or worse, the tunes of Ronnie Hazelhurst have featured largely in our lives. Hazelhurst composed the themes to Sorry, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and Are you Being Served – neat little tunes tinged with characteristic melancholia – but he was also responsible for the atrocious ditties that introduced Blankety Blank, and Terry and June. Love them or loathe them, the problem with Hazelhurst’s theme tunes is that they have a tendency to get stuck in your head and stay there. In fact, I think that there is a whole special portion of Tom’s brain that is entirely devoted to Ronnie Hazelhurst – he often finds himself plagued with Hazelhurst earworms, which he then inflicts on me. (What? You don’t constantly whistle / hum / sing ’70s theme tunes while going about your household routines? Clearly it is just us, then?).

So what is the connection? Well, I found knitting and designing this scarf strangely reminscent of a Ronnie Hazelhurst theme tune – it is simple and memorable and I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

In a way, this infinity scarf marks the end (or the beginning, depending on how you look at it, ahem) of a train of thought I’ve been following through other recent designs, such as the Funchal Moebius or the Mucklemuff. I have found myself interested by the graphic potential of simple, colourwork tubes – and this is the simplest of all.

Knit as one long tube, on a small diameter circular needle, this scarf showcases a gridded check that is more often used as the background or filler to more complex colourwork designs, but which I think looks lovely on its own. The pattern is fixed in the head after less than one repeat, after which you can just work away while watching [Borgen] (insert name of your preferred well-written Danish drama) — you will never have to move your eyes from the screen or subtitles to the chart, and the scarf will quickly take shape in your hands. When your scarf reaches half the length you want it, simply pause in your knitting, reverse the order of shades on the chart, and continue onwards. At the end, you just graft the two ends together, and BINGO! You are now the proud owner of a graphically-pleasing infinity scarf that can be worn in several different ways.



Because I know you will ask me, I’ll tell you that the coat was a recent bargainous acquisition in the Toast sale – a good quality, herringbone tweed affair that I have simply jazzed up with some vintage buttons down the front . .

using a couple of different types at the cuffs and back tie . . .

. . . pleasing!

Like the Funchal Moebius, this finished scarf has a woven appearance – in this case reminiscent (to me at least) of old-fashioned gingham. This even-ness of appearance is of course due to the lovely Poll Dorset yarn from Renaissance Dyeing – shown here in shades Carmine and Ecru. The scarf uses just two skeins, with a yardage cushion to add a few repeats, if so desired.

Anyway, if you’d like to make your own infinity scarf, the Hazelhurst pattern is now up and available here or here. As with the Funchal Moebius, Andie at Renaissance Dyeing will be stocking kits for this pattern. She also has a special offer for those of you who are interested in purchasing yarn and pattern together in a kit – I’ll be back shortly to let you know the details.

In the meantime, thanks so much for your comments on the last post. A few things have been said to me in person recently that have rather hurt me. Your kind comments are the complete opposite of these inconsequential thoughtless remarks . . . and not for the first time, I feel lucky to have such wonderful readers. I take a lot strength and heart from your supportive words. Thankyou.
Anyway, I’m afraid I rather outdid it the other day with my walk / angry stomp, and have been feeling the consequences a little. I’ll be more chipper in a day or two. Till then . . .

Funchal Moebius

Here is my Funchal-inspired design! Like the ‘dragons-tooth’ pavements I saw in Madeira (thanks for the info, knitlass), the Funchal Moebius uses a high-contrast OXO motif with strong diagonals. One side is dark-on-light:

and the other is light-on-dark.

The design begins life as a provisionally cast-on tube . . .

. . . which is knit continuously until it reaches the circumference of your shoulders. It is then blocked flat, twisted in the middle and grafted to form a continuous moebius strip. The result is a dramatic wrap that can be worn in several different ways, but which is surprisingly simple to knit.

The yarn is Renaissance Dyeing’s wonderful organic Poll Dorset 4 ply in shades ‘midi’ and ‘ecru’. This is one of my all-time favourite yarns in which to knit colourwork. Because it is slightly lustrous and worsted spun, it is very different from working with a Shetland – the yarn is very smooth, creating a fabric that is incredibly even (to the point of appearing woven) with a slight sheen and very little halo. The Poll Dorset that Andie dyes is grown, and spun close to where she lives in the Pyrennees. I love that every stage of its processing is totally visible. (You can see the sheep that grew it, together with their shepherd, and the spinner that spun the yarn over here on Andie’s blog.) Andie dyes naturally, and her colours are – naturally – amazing.

I am incredibly pleased with the way this design has turned out. It is simple, versatile, really fun to knit, and sure to be useful in the colder weather.

Want to see how you might wear it?

And yes — everything else I’m wearing is WOOL as well.

The pattern for the Funchal Moebius is now available here.

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