FO: Norie

The Norie hat called to me most loudly from The Shetland Trader’s recent book release. I didn’t find enough in the book to merit buying it but, luckily for me, the Norie is available as a single purchase.

The pattern is written for DK weight, and this is something that I tend not to have in my stash… so I went over the top and bought some alpaca especially to make this hat. I thought  that I deserved a little luxury.

Sadly, there was little luxurious about this yarn. It was like knitting with string.  Not the nice soft pliable string that one uses for parcels, but the rough hairy twine with which one ties up ones roses… it stained my hands green while I was knitting with it, dye debris scattered over my desk as I knitted (can’t have done my keyboard much good!) and the very loose ply made knitting difficult as I tended to split the stitches and create two from one. Think really old-fashioned electric cable. When I washed the hat for blocking, the colour simply flooded out of it. It even stained my dark grey towel, on which I placed the hat to dry, green.

Must make a mental note not to wear this hat out in the rain…

Pattern: Norie by Gudrun Johnston, The Shetland Trader $5
Pattern from The Shetland Trader Book $20/$22.95

Yarn: Superfine Alpaca Double Knitting from Violet Green, colour: “Evergreen”
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) 248 yards (227 meters)/100 grams (3.53 ounces) £8.99
I bought the yarn on offer at £7.99 and this offer remains current at the time of writing.
(If you would like it in orange, it will set you back just £5.99)

Notes: I used 4mm needles as I did not have the right length in a 3.75mm.
The pattern calls for 260 yards – the alpaca is 248 yards per 100g skein, so I bought two.
In the event, I used only 93 grams – which works out at 230 yards.

It is not all bad. As you can see, the alpaca gives the required degree of drape and slouch. If I can find a model, we can see how it looks on a human rather than a too-small polystyrene head.

On reflection, and reading the Ravelry description of the yarn – “Waxy Soft, slightly fluffy“,  I think we may reasonably assume that the harsh texture of the yarn was due to the over abundance of dye residue. The hat itself, while not overly soft and cushy, is acceptable in texture now that it is washed. It certainly does not scream alpaca! when handled.

I actually knitted my Norie twice. Norie is sized for a smaller head than mine, so I added a few stitches the first time around (on 3.75mm needles) but the hat came out grossly large. Re-knitted with the correct number of stitches, and on 4mm needles, it fits just perfectly but has perhaps rather more length in the slouch than it should.

Norie is not a quick knit hat – that extra slouch adds many rows – but the cats paws are quick and easy to do and do not slow the job considerably.

I’ll probably make mittens with the remaining yarn. Or maybe another Norie, for a gift.

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