Fair Isle knitting has always seemed too daunting to attempt, but on a recent trip to Norway I couldn’t help falling in love with all the amazing knitted colorwork patterns I saw there. For the first time, I knew I had to jump in and give it a try. So I began swatching circles, then diamonds, and it was only a matter of time before I made my way to snowflakes--the elegant, timeless symbol of the complexity and uniqueness of nature. The snowflake won my heart!
After designing the motif, next up was the color palette. The colors I chose came together over a long period of timeFresco’s color palette offers so many possibilities. Finally I came to realize that the hat should have the soft, subtle feel of pale blues and cream, with a touch of orange warmth. To draw the colors together, I off-set the sophisticated snowflakes with playful stripes, using two similar shades of blue to create a subtleyet interestingcombination. I topped the cap off with a crescendo of orange pom-pom. I hope you have as much fun knitting this as I did!
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Fresco 60% wool, 30% baby alpaca, 10% angora
We created Fresco to be the perfect colorwork yarn. Fresco is a 3-ply yarn; plied yarns are good for colorwork because they’re smooth and even. The plies are twisted together tightly enough to make a firm, springy yarn, but not so tightly that the yarn looses its lofty, soft hand. Fresco knits up between six and seven stitches per inch so it shows off the detail in traditional and other small-scale colorwork patterns. The fiber blendwool, alpaca, and a bit of angoramakes a yarn that’s warm, soft, and slightly fuzzedgreat for helping stitches worked in separate colors to cling to each other. And, finally, Fresco comes in 35 pretty colorslots of options for good color combinations.
Getting a good, fat, puffy pom-pom is a challenge. And sometimes a little purchased help makes all the difference. At CEY, we particularly love Clover’s pom-pom maker. Available in several sizes, Clover’s little machine makes especially full and even pom-poms.
However, if you don’t want to leave home to search for the Clover gadget, here are instructions for a homemade cardboard pom-pom maker. With a little patience and diligence, you’ll be able to make pom-poms that are quite respectable. Here are instructions.
Here is the free downloadable Fresco Snowflake Hat pattern.
View some alternate suggested colors.
If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try these:
page 1, page 2