Posted by: mick | February 3, 2010

FO: Garter Ridge Hat

Pattern: My own!  Garter Ridge Hat

Yarn:  My own handspun Wensleydale in Christopher Robin colorway, from fiber from Sheepish Creations; scraps of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in colorway 43

Needles: US 3 Addi circulars

Began: January 24, 2010 ; Completed:  January 29, 2010 (Raveled here.)

Notes:  I bought this fiber a few months ago with J in mind; I love the richness of the yellow and the way it makes the other browns, blues, creams, and purples pop.  I spun it up the last week of break into a DK weight two-ply, and I like it even more as yarn.  Then, I made J a Botanic Hat, and it was a mess.  The pattern is wonderful, but my yarn just didn’t work well: the color runs are too long to show up well, and the bumpiness that makes handspun so charming looked terrible when alternated with a more evenly spun, commercial yarn.  I’ll definitely knit that pattern again, but in two commercial yarns.  So that’s waiting to be frogged, and I set about to find the perfect pattern for my yarn.

The problem is that I couldn’t find any.  I wanted something with garter stitch, because garter stitch + handspun = wonderful, but everything I found ended up looking bulky.  I looked and looked to no avail, and then it hit me: just make something up!  So one night I sketched a basic pattern, one that would have garter bumps every few rows and have a knitted hem to keep J’s ears warm without bulk and to protect him from the itchiness of Wensleydale.  This hat is what I got.

I’m so happy with this hat and think that the pattern would work well in a variety of yarns:  it would be easy to customize the size and/or change the gauge, the hem would be great for scraps of soft yarn, and the bumps really show off the color changes in handspun and self-striping commercial yarns.  So, I’m thinking I’m going to write this up and publish it here, for free.  What do you think, folks?  I’ve never done this before, so I’m really nervous that I’ll screw up.  Those of you who’ve done this, do you have any words of advice?



  1. The hat is lovely, Mick! I like the striping of the yarn.

    I think it would be really fun (and cool!) to publish your own pattern. (Since it’s your own work, how could you screw up? It’s your thing, and it will turn out great!) I’m looking forward to seeing your published pattern – maybe it will inspire me to play with patterns more. 🙂

  2. i have no advice about pattern writing and publishing — but yes! do it! and i will test-knit it for you if you want.

    i think this is perfect for handspun!

  3. i think writing your own pattern sounds great and i would love to test knit it for you! good luck!

  4. go for it! You already did the hard part – you designed it. And I happily volunteer to be a test knitter!

  5. Your own pattern AND your own handspun? You’re a regular Laura Ingalls Wilder 🙂 I think the pattern works perfectly with the yarn. It’s rustic in a way that chunky, homemade soup is rustic.

    I say go for writing up the pattern! It looks like you have plenty of willing test knitters, too.

  6. […] chilly as autumn progressed.  He requested some handknitted fingerless mitts, preferably to match his favorite hat, so that he could grip the leash and pick up poo (gross reality) but still keep his fingers […]

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