When I was given some Rowan Island Blend samples at last year’s Rowan Roadshow, I instantly knew I would turn them into a very special hat. I had experimented on an unusual shape before and was sure that this soft and drapey yarn was the perfect choice for my idea.
I wanted a hat that can be worn either as a beanie or as a tam. There also was this idea of three-dimensional segments that add dramatic volume. Voilà, Opulence was born. The hat looks extra spectacular when worked in different colours, but due to its unusual shape, it also looks stunning in one single colourway without the colourwork. Opulence is worked bottom-up in one piece using intarsia in-the-round if you opt for the multi-coloured version. A folded hem contrasts the opulent crown.
My sample uses Rowan Island Blend (70% Falkland merino wool, 15% baby alpaca, 15% silk; 137 yd / 125 m per 50 g) in Empire as main colour and Jet as contrasting colour. The DK weight yarn is very soft and drapey, light enough to wear the hat in spring, yet warm enough to also wear it in winter. However, if you prefer another DK weight yarn, just make sure you meet gauge and surprise me with your interpretation! The pattern comes in six sizes to fit to fit 14 (16, 18, 20, 22, 24)″ / 35.5 (40.5, 45.5, 50.5, 56, 61) cm head circumference. As usually, you can buy the pattern in my Ravelry store. I am looking forward to all your colourful Opulence hats!
When my dad asked me to knit him a fingering weight, Shetland argyle sweater, I did not expect how long it would take. I started it in September 2018 as a Christmas gift, but it ended up as a 2019 Easter gift. However, my dad is super happy with it.
I have modified the Jagger pattern by Martin Storey as a full intarsia front with navy sleeves and back. The yarn is Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift, a classic Shetland yarn for colourwork sweaters.
The largest size used about 450g of yarn on 3.5mm needles, 3.0mm for the ribbings.
This was my first large intarsia project, with up to 40 bobbins hanging at the back of each row of the front part. Nonetheless, intarsia knitting is not complicated once you get the hang of it. You may need a lot longer than usually to knit one row as you need to twist every crossing of two colours, but it does not get more complicated. The hard part comes when you have finished knitting and start to sew in a gazillion of loose ends. And that may be the reason why I finished knitting the pieces in January and finished the sweater as a whole in April.
I have to admit, I like the technique of intarsia knitting but I do not plan to knit such a large size in fingering weight ever again. However, I already have cast on the next large intarsia project, but this time a sweater for myself in a heavier yarn weight. At least, this time all pieces will have colourwork. I am already curious to see how much I will regret it.
I recently have been interested in intarsia knits, particularly the complex ones featuring a lot of colours or even landscape views. As this technique was quite popular in the 1980s, I am currently looking for some old pattern books to get a deeper understanding of what others already have done. My research so far has led me to Kaffe Fassett (of course), Patricia Roberts and Sweaterscapes. Do you have any other good suggestions?