I seriously love the aesthetic of Knitting from the North, and I wanted to knit everything in the book, so I decided to start with the hat that was featured on the cover. I like the way the geometric colorwork seamlessly transitions from one color to another as it works its way up the hat, finishing with a tidy pom pom at the top.
Pattern: Barley Hat from Knitting from the North
Materials: Madelinetoshtosh Merino Light in Pink Clay, Smokestack, and Antler , and US Size 2, 16” circular needles
I’ve knitted quite a few projects with colorwork before, like the Pixel Stitch socks from Purl Soho, but this is definitely the most advanced colorwork I’ve ever done. The floats are longer than I’m used to, and it took an inch or two of knitting the pattern before I got the tension quite right. Luckily, the pattern was written clearly and concisely, and the chart for the colorwork was simple to understand. As soon as I felt like I had my tension under control, the hat became easier and easier to knit as I went along.
I usually knit English style, flicking the yarn over my needles with my right index finger. To work two colors at the same time on this hat, I held one color on my index finger and the other on my middle finger and flicked with both fingers. Although this pattern uses three colors of yarn, it never calls for working with more than two colors at a time, which makes the colorwork easier than it looks.
My version of the Barley Hat turned out a bit more slouchy than the hat on the cover of Knitting from the North, partially because I knitted mine a bit loosely and partially because I made my pom pom significantly bigger than theirs. I adore pom poms, and the bigger they are, the more I like them, so I didn’t hold back with this one. Consequently, it’s pretty heavy and it pulls the top of the hat down in the back, adding to the slouch-factor. I like it slouchy.
I’m hoping to make several other accessories from Knitting from the North, particularly the Barley Twist Headband because I’ve never tried double knitting before, and I think it would be a good choice for a first try because it’s such a small project. I would also love to make the Wave Circle Scarf, because I think the colorwork on it is stunning. This book is so beautiful, it’s really difficult to choose which pattern to knit next!