After drooling over many gorgeous colour combinations on Instagram, the Lotus Flower Beanie pattern made me realize that was time to get my knit back on, and try my hand this gorgeous pattern by BKnits. It seemed a perfect vehicle for my Jumbo Xanadu Merino and Jumbo Handspun yarns. And I was not disappointed.
What I first noticed when I went to download the pattern on Ravelry was the chatter surrounding the price. $11.00 for a pattern?!? As someone who started out making use of free patterns only, I have slowly come to appreciate that you get what you pay for. This pattern provides instructions for bulky and jumbo yarns, and for sizes ranging from toddler to adult. With pictures. And allows for sale of finished items. Yes, the instructions left me a bit confused initially, but have you ever tried writing a pattern? I have. It's hard.
The fun part was selecting a main colour and complimentary colour from my collections of jumbo ends. Although I knew I wanted to use the last bit of Sea Glass pictured above, I decided to spin up a little braid of my Coral Reef Merino combed top that has been patiently waiting for my attention in my spinning basket. It had been awhile since I'd spun anything, and I wanted to see if I could still do it. I used my handspun for the first three rows of the flower stitch and Sea Glass for the remainder.
Sleepy Sheepy & Wintersleep
This pattern ended up inspiring me to dye the Sleepy Sheep colourway (also pictured above), the closest thing to a "neutral" that I have made so far. I really love it. I am dyeing more of it as I write this. I am also trying out a darker colour that I am calling Wintersleep, that is a much darker solid that compliments Sleepy Sheepy perfectly. And reminds me of the beautiful snow storms we experience in Alberta in the winter.
(I have to say that Holly Aamot was my inspiration for this subtle hue, so if you like the Sleepy Sheepy colourway, you should check out her hand dyed and hand spun yarns also).
After one false start (I was yarning over before slipping a stitch purl-wise, creating a line between the flower stitches), I moved on to the body of the beanie. It was then that I learned that I am a "tight knitter." I struggled to knit three together (k3tog) for every flower stitch. I was also a bit confused by the end of the row instructions. If you decide to try your hand at this pattern, just know that you put your stitch marker between the first and second stitches in the flower stitch at the end of the row. Confusing at first, but it ends up staggering the flowers perfectly.
(What a grumpy model! I can't blame him, it was -30something that day and he hasn't been able to get outside and shake his sillies out lately).
Once I started cursing every flower stitch row, I reached out to the interwebs for help, and other more experienced knitters suggested I use a larger needle size, which is my plan for the next Lotus Flower Beanie I make. Because there will be more. This is a fast and beautiful project that makes me happy and willing to brave the -39 degree weather we are experiencing in Edmonton today.
Angela, Neatnik Yarns