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… ;)