Opus Spicatum

Opus Spicatum, by Kate Gagnon Osborn, was one of the first patterns I discovered when I started discovering patterns online. I printed it out immediately, in colour, and put it on my mental queue. Then I started learning a thing or two about knitting and realized that colourwork may not be the best place to start… So the pattern waited… and waited… and waited. It waited so long that Kate went from Gagnon to Gagnon Osborn in the meantime! Hahaha, if the designer manages to get engaged and married all in the time that their pattern has been in your queue, it may be a sign that you’re waiting too long! So, the other day, I finally picked up my needles and decided to check if I can manage colourwork.

And I think it went pretty well! :) The pattern is written for an Aran weight, and I think that is brilliant for a first colourwork project. It makes it easier to sustain tension and avoid fabric scrunching, and the project is done relatively quickly, great for inspiring the enthusiastic beginner. The other great thing for beginners is that there are only three or four spots in the pattern where one colour goes on for more than three stitches, which means you don’t have to worry about ‘floating’ the colour you’re not using at regular intervals. Finally, for the most part the pattern follows a rhythm that is very easy to memorize, with two different rounds constantly alternating. All these things worked to my advantage, and I am proud to say that my first proper colourwork project looks pretty damn tidy on the wrong side!

A word on the choice of colours: The effect this pattern achieves is, to my eye at least, pretty crazy. If you look at it intently, it resembles an optical illusion which seems to pulsate and hypnotize. Having had the pattern in my queue for a long time, I’ve seen many colour combinations used on it, and while some people manage to pull off really wonderful stark-contrast combinations, it seemed to me like those can easily accentuate the pulsating effect to dizzying proportions. A tonal contrast (between a darker and lighter shade of the same colour), on the other hand, seems to calm it down a bit, and that’s what I chose. And since the colours were so positively evergreen, I had no choice but to photograph them with their tree relatives :)

Following the general theme, I took it upon myself to become green as well – what a great excuse to wear green eyeshadow! :)

As you can tell, the hat has quite a bit of slouch – which was achieved simply by doing one extra repeat of the four rounds that make up the basic pattern. And it is incredibly warm, a proper winter hat (two layers of Aran weight, just think!).

One of my favourite details is the very bottom of the brim, which is done in a contrast colour to the rest of the ribbing. It adds that perfect touch which takes the hat a step further!

All in all, I LOVE this little thing. I said goodbye to it today, but judging by the reactions of the recipient, I submitted it into good hands (and onto a good head, hehe)!

Many thanks to the pine trees for helping out with the photography! I couldn’t have had better helpers… ;)

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

33 thoughts on “Opus Spicatum

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Well done – can hardly believe it’s a first colourwork. I must say you are the most unselfish knitter, parting with all these gorgeous creations. I hope your friends appreciate you. :)

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! Both inside and out. Love the row in the different colour at the bottom of the ribbing, very nice!
    And many congratulations on your first colour work project – if you hadn’t said, I wouldn’t have known! Well done.

  3. That is quite a nice hat. :) I love colourwork chevron patterns. They seem like the right balance of complicated and simple, to me, and always appealing to the eye.

    • But I would end up with so much stuff if I kept it all! :P Not that I would mind, but I prefer to give them away and know that they are loved and used frequently, whereas with me they would get their turn in the rotation :D once a month maybe…

  4. I goooot the hat laa la la la laaaa la.. :) Having no clue about knitting all I can say is that it’s veeeeery prrrrrettyyy, and soooooft, and warrrrrrrmmmm.. Thank you Fridica!!!! :)

    ps. I opened Večernji list today, and there was an advertisement for NAMA, and a picture of Nika.. Too funny :)

  5. Brilliant!

    I’ve had this in my favourites for ages but I’m rubbish at colourwork so I keep procrastinating about knitting it.

    I really LOVE the colours you’ve chosen. They’re beautiful together.

  6. That hat looks amazing!! I’ve done a few colourwork pieces, but I don’t feel confident with my stranding abilities- I feel like I could use some work on that, for sure. Maybe this hat would help!

  7. Fantastic!! I have never seen this pattern before, but I’m putting it in my queue. You have some lucky friends to be the recipients of these fabulous hats you keep churning out!

    • That’s gotta be the nicest thing I’ve read in a while :) By the way, thanks for speaking up, I hadn’t seen your blog before and just from a few glances I can tell there’s plenty of interest to me there! :)

  8. It turned out really great! And it suits you perfectly

    Congrats on finishing such pretty hat and on winning a giweaway, too – cannot wait to see what colour will you choose

  9. Pingback: colour challenge « fridica

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