A well wish.
This winter I was stuck. I knew it was temporary, but at the time I felt really suffocated. I spent those frustrating moments intensely focused on some basic design work that I thought might create a foundation for my portfolio.
Before I decided to fling my whole self back into knitwear design, I spent the earlier winter knitting a cashmere sweater for a really special human in my life. I played yarn chicken and lost by ten grams, which in the world of animal fiber, is quite a loss. In haste, I ordered two more hanks (I went a bit overboard) of the cashmere and prayed to Daron the god of dye lots that the new yarn would match the first bag I bought. I was lucky, Daron was kind. The lots matched. It was an expensive gamble, but I had no other option, aside from making the sleeves shorter, which really isn't a good look on a man.
The pattern was Michelle Wang's "Albion" published in Brooklyn Tweed. It's a modern take on the guernsey with inset sleeves, and chevrons.
I love a good chevron.
"Albion" knit in 510 g of Blue Sky eco cashmere
The day I sewed this together, it snowed thirty-five centimeters and we had temperatures of -45 degrees C. I shamelessly wore it around the house a bit, as, I'd have hated to hand it off to anyone without properly testing it first... also, I was cold.
Sweater tucked away, I looked down at the leftover cashmere that stared at me from my basket. I felt...guilty? How could I just let it sit there?
Snaffling up my kitchen scale, I sat down with my pencil and a few stitch dictionaries.
I'm terrible at maths, so simple seemed paramount. I had eighty-seven grams to play with, which meant I could easily eek out a hat, and possibly a slouch hat, which are my favorite.
What I came up with is mildly stupid and probably overdone, but, it's solid, classic, multi-purpose and good for spring, autumn and winter.
(Photography courtesy of @canyonmccartyphotography)
The yarn is Blue Sky fibers' "eco cashmere". It's manufactured in Italy and has the most spring and bounce that I've ever seen in a 100% cashmere yarn. I've never enjoyed working with limp luxury undercoat fibers until I met with this. Both the sweater, and the hat have a heavy,"favorite sweatshirt" feel to them, that I think is rare, and impossible to find anywhere, especially off the rack. I hope the new wearer finds as much comfort in wearing them both, as I did in knitting them.
The pattern is now available on Ravelry, and will shortly be available in the store here in both English and Japanese. The name has been turned into an odd acronym for ease of typing. I've knit it twice more now, and each time I gift it to a friend in need of a hat, I smile and say "Something to keep you warmer, I hope". It's a simple sentiment, but exactly the way I love to be loved.