New Knit Hat Pattern

 

A couple days ago, folks in my area woke up to -5 degree weather. It turned out to be a mostly sunny day…but also, no cloud cover means even colder temperatures because there’s nothing to trap the heat. So it was a pretty cold day.

 

I made my way northward to Middlebury because yet another yarn shop is closing in the state, and the store was having massive sales in order to get rid of stock. I made out like a bandit. But frankly, I’d rather not have made out like a bandit and would rather have had the store stay open as a local option for me to be able to buy yarn, knitting supplies, and so it could continue to serve as a local gathering place for knitters and fiber artists—a kind of third place for aficionados.

 

There have been a veritable slew of yarn shop closings in my southern and mid-Vermont region over the past year… Yarn shop closings occurred in Poultney, White River Junction, Middlebury, Manchester, and now my nearest independent yarn shop in Rutland is trying to find a buyer and will likely close if an interested buyer is not found. It’s a tough entrepreneurial market out there. Each of these stores seemed to have a regular clientele, but sometimes that isn’t enough. And yarn ain’t cheap…making a sweater is often ten-times more expensive than simply purchasing one at the local department store. I can condemn Donald Trump from here until tomorrow for using overseas manufacturers to make his products, but he really doesn’t do anything differently than most corporations when it comes to cutting costs. Buying local sometimes stings…even though the quality can be much finer and resource-friendly. Independent yarn shops by nature offer only a very narrow-band sales commodity—for those who can afford it—in a market that undercuts them constantly through bigger chain store markets and globalization. So no one can fault them for hedging their losses, and getting out of the biz…but it sure will suck not being able to run to a local shop for some emergency stash, and being able to physically touch what you’re purchasing, and being able to converse with the local shop owners… Sigh.

 

Anyway… it was a cold damn day. I stopped in Brandon to get a breakfast pastry at my favorite Vermont French bakery, tucked in a little corner brick shop that literally sits over the Neshobe River. I took a quick snapshot of the old mill falls that drop just next to the bakery where there’s a little park overlook. The falls were mostly frozen with ice, and the local garden club had decorated some half-barrel planters with holiday greenery…

 

Mill Falls, Neshobe River, Brandon, Vermont

 

Flower planter, Brandon, Vermont

 

I won’t show you any pictures of the yarn stash that I bought because I embarrassingly got a lot…and it always makes me feel even more guilty when I make those kind of purchases during the holiday season (when I ought to spending money on other people…not that the yarn couldn’t very likely get knit into something for those people later, but none-the-less…)

 

Later that day I also finished a second hat yesterday from a new motif pattern I’ve been working on. I’ve been trying to come up with some knit items using this interweaving leaf pattern, and hats were the first thing that have come off the assembly line… Here’s a few pictures:

 

Leaf-pattern knit hats

 

My styrofoam headform is a little smaller than a normal-sized head, so I pulled the hat down farther so you can see the pattern work better…

 

Leaf pattern knit hat_purple

 

Leaf pattern knit hat_moss green

 

The shape came out pretty nice. I’m gonna try to invent a cowl using the pattern, and I’ve been experimenting with the leaves terminating at full length along the edges…but I’m still working on it. For personal wear, I still like the slouchy hat I knit for myself in regular stockinette stitch…which I will likely be wearing later today, as the snow has been falling steadily and it looks like I’ll be shoveling the driveway later…

 

snowfall mid-December 2016

 

 

 

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