There are times my fingers itch to take up fine yarn and small needles and make something knitterly where stitch details and color work are refined and precious. Other times, I like the proverbial quick knit, something that’s chunky, fatout theresuch as Cecily Glowik’s quick cap with a seed stitch border and its matching small scarflet.
Cecily made the cap first. She chose soft gray because she wanted a “goes-with-everything” hat. When she’d finished the hat, she made the little scarf with shaped ends to leave on after she takes off her coat. The hat is knitted flat and seamedgood for beginnersbut it could easily be worked in the round. The shaping takes place four times on decrease rows (or rounds) and begins right after the seed stitch border.
You can start and finish both projects in a few hours. Friends of Cecily will be happy to know that she’s planning to make several hat-and-scarf sets this year for gifts.
Cecily’s tips for working small projects in Aspen or other super-bulky yarns: Keep the stitch patterns and project shapes simple.
Aspen 50% alpaca, 50% wool
Aspen is a single-ply, soft-spun yarn that’s half alpaca and half wool. We know that wool is warm because it traps warm air in its fluffiness. But alpaca is even warmer. Its hollow core stores heat. Just what you want in a cold-weather hata heat bank.
Aspen’s structure, barely more than a roving, means that it knits up into full, rounded stitches. Great for popping simple knit-and-purl patterns. Cables, too, become something different when they’re worked on a grand scale.
One of the things I love about Aspen is the palette. Most of the thirteen colors are heatheredlike the gray used in this project. To make a heathered yarn, the mill blends fibers of different colors in the pre-spinning process. In this case, undyed fiber in the natural colors of sheep and alpaca are combined to make a soft, heathery gray. In Aspen’s other colorsteals, mossy green, chianti red, dusty grape, etc.the blended fibers turn out rich, textury colors that have depth and mystery.
Where to buy Aspen.
The variety of knit-and-purl stitch combinations is endless. They’re simple to work and make wonderful textures alone, or mixed together. When a yarn is as dramatic as Aspen, you don’t need to do much to make an interesting garment. Even the simplest stitches worked (automatically) on a grand scale are eye-catching. Try seed stitch, ribs, even simple cables in a narrow scarf, say, 6” or 7” wide.