I shoulda started Cornucopia's companion gift socks, but I didn't; I started Christmas Balls socks, instead. In my defense, these will be gifts, too. And I shoulda waited until I finished The Queens Forest (48 inches!) before starting another scarf, but I didn't. My defense, your honors? Malabrigo.
Understandable, no? Ever since picking up some awesome variegated Manos del Uruguay at Rhinebeck, I've been mulling over a hat, scarf and glove winter set. The Manos winter set is meant for my work coat, a camel hair car coat. The rest of my coats, which I wear far more often, are almost all exclusively blue. Light blue, dark blue, navy blue, teal blue. The wish for a new winter set for my non work coats grew stronger as my indecision on what to do with the Manos grew. And then Hobbygasa knit her My So-Called Scarf in a very similar colorway. How could I improve on that?
Then after day in and out of looking at the fabulous colorway of Ripley's latest sweater, the whole delightful and astonishing truth* dawned on my thickset brain: I should knit a winter set in this colorway. And so, after a (constant and) vigilant effort to not acknowledge the inherent cheesiness of being all matchy matchy with my dog (yuck!), I decided I couldn't live without this yarn. And so I didn't.
All that was left was settling on a pattern, which is the hardest job in the world, isn't it? Especially after a December spent ogling Peaknit's** Koolhaas and Nell's Shedir and Odessa.
No, those fabulously cabled hats would not do for such a sharply variegated yarn. And even though I had a bag full of WIPs packed for our trek to the baby shower in Saratoga Springs, NY, I couldn't help but spend a few minutes Saturday morning browsing hat patterns on Ravelry. (Oh yes, roll your eyes, but you know you've done it too, haven't you?!?)
Once I happened upon the Foliage hat from the Fall 2007 Knitty I knew I had hit paydirt. Since my printer was out of ink ($#@&) I ferretted out my Harmony stitchionary. If I couldn't knit the hat, I could at least start on a scarf. Once I found the stitch pattern, knit in a fingering or sportweight gauge, I realized I had come across this stitch before. At the end of November I had even tried to incorporate it into a pair of socks I intended to gift:
The decreases were far too bumpy in the mediumweight STR. I was shortsighted, too, I just couldn't see my way past the uneven knit and so I frogged. But now, in the glory of the worsted weight merino (and with the assistance of a steam iron), it's looking fabulous. It is a might busy in the variegated Malabrigo, but after some initial hesitation, I'm completely in love with it.
*Fabulous Jane Austen quote. Anyone?
** In foraging Peaknits' blog for the Koolhaas link, I see she knit a Foliage hat, too. I think I was so in awe of her malabrigo Koolhaas, the Foliage hat didn't register. It's fabulous too. (Sorry to be such a suckup!)