Elisa McLaughlin’s Reversible Smocked Hat is such a beautiful pattern. I started it about two weeks ago, then put it down to finish some other projects. When I picked it back up last night to do some late night knitting, I couldn’t help but wonder why I hadn’t wanted to finish it right then and there two weeks ago. I’m looking forward to finishing this today, and then wearing it in Boston this weekend when I drive up to visit one of my best friends, Hannah.
I’m using Rowan Creative Focus Worsted, a wool & alpaca blend, in the colorway Lavender Heather. You can slightly see the color variations in the photo, but the yarn is multi-ply with mostly lavender, but also some deep pinks and blues. It really is a beautiful combination of shades, and it’s knitting up really nicely.
The yarn itself tends to shed - which, in my experience, is typical of alpaca and alpaca-blend yarns - so I’ll look down to my lap while knitting, and it’s as if I just rolled around on the floor with an alpaca. The multiple plies of the yarn can also sometimes cause the ever-annoying split stitches situation when you accidentally knit between the plies. (Is there an actual name for this? Is it just escaping me right now?) BUT, I love the color and softness of the yarn, so I’m ignoring all of this, which I’ve realized I’ve been doing a lot of lately. For me, as long as the end product looks wonderful, I’m okay with a few annoyances here and there while knitting it. (Though, I don’t think I can say the same for many other knitters!)
The designer suggested a single-ply merino as the best yarn choice for the hat, and with the smocking and tight stitches that come with it, I can understand why. But when I bought this yarn at one of my local yarn shops a few months ago, it screamed HAT to me - though, honestly, that’s not saying much, since pretty much every yarn does that when I go yarn shopping - but I couldn’t find one I liked enough. After buying this pattern and shuffling through my huge stash, I knew that this yarn was the one. Fate!