Rising up the mountain, lighting up the valley below


Pattern: The Proverbial Cap (rav link) by Meg Swansen (IK Fall 2010)
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Kettle Dyed (100% Peruvian highland wool), colorway Gold
Needles: US 4 (3.5mm) Harmony wood Options 16″ circular needle (magic loop)

We knitters are more in thrall to our visual sense than we would like to admit. Why do we fall in love with a pattern? Because we see it in a certain color, a certain styling, a certain environment. All that has as much to do with our enamoured state as our good judgment about whether it fits our needs or the occasion.


One of the most senseless instances of this phenomenon is the influence of models. Take this hat. I wanted to knit a gift for my teaching assistant. I browsed hats. The magazine spread for this hat featured a model that reminded me of my teaching assistant. (You can see that photo at the Ravelry link I included with the pattern name, above.) Bam, I decided this was the hat I wanted to make.


Besides, it looked like fun. All this beautiful texture. I didn’t quite appreciate, though I should have from the pattern’s role as a demonstration project for a pages-long explication of twisted-stitches technique, that it would be so painstaking. Twisted stitches are no problem, I thought. I’ve got those down, I thought. Well, these are twisted stitches in bewildering variety and with entirely new methods of twisting than I ever encountered before. On a good night’s knitting I got three rounds done. The hat grew so slowly. But the effect was transcendent. I persevered.


Blocking was necessary, that was clear from Meg’s comprehensive article. I procrastinated until just a couple of days before the final exam period was over, my last chance to get the hat to its intended recipient. On the day I gave it to her, she brought her own first crocheted hat for me to see. It was beautiful. I hope she has room for two handmade hats in her life.

holly hat

Considering how beautifully she wears a hat, she should make herself a closet full of them. Or maybe become a hat model. Then she could inspire other knitters the way that Interweave model (can you see the resemblence?) inspired me.

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One Comment on “Rising up the mountain, lighting up the valley below”

  1. Libby Smith Says:

    Definitely worth persevering. It’s lovely.

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