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Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Monday, 1 December 2014

A real Aran hat....




I have a big bag of cream Aran wool that was donated to me by Joanne of the Cup On The Bus blog.   I was looking at it and enjoying a squish when I noticed that there were 2 different dye lots.  Even though they looked identical, I know from past experience that mixing dye lots in one project is just asking for trouble.  So I decided to make my squishing a bit more productive and sorted the wool into 2 smaller bags.

This wool is Emu Genuine Bainin Aran.  I was curious about the word "Bainin" and looked it up.  It comes from the Gaelic "ban" which means white and is used to describe undyed wool.  There must be some poetic licence involved as the dye lot numbers confirm that the wool has been dyed.

The labels on the wool made me laugh.  They are plastered with shamrocks to give the impression that the wool comes from Ireland.  But the small print says "Made in England".  Maybe the sheep lived in Ireland and the mill was in England.  I'll never know!

So I had 200g of one dye lot and realised that I could knit this up easily before my life becomes a bit too hectic.  One pattern sprang to mind instantly.  It is the free Nottingham hat pattern which I have knitted before.  Last time, I used a tweedy wool which looked lovely.  This plain Aran wool also suits the pattern perfectly, probably because of the cables.  I knitted the child size and was amazed that one 50g ball was almost enough.  It lasted until just before I started the crown decreases.  

I recommend this pattern to knitters with some experience.  The hat is knitted in the round and the cables require a bit of concentration....especially the first round.  But there are only 17 rounds of cable pattern and they are definitely worth doing.  The crown decreases are very neat, which always pleases me in hat patterns.  This hat will eventually go to Operation Orphan and will keep someone very warm.

I have already started a scarf to use up the remaining wool.  Watch this space.....


13 comments:

  1. It's a lovely hat Una looking forward to seeing the scarf. :)

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  2. Una, that hat is magnificent. I was amused by all the contradictions on the label, too. As to dye lots, though, I'm sure that refers to processing batches. The wool can shift from batch to batch, completely based on the breed and color of the sheep wool in the batch, the spinning oils, and any number of variables.

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    1. That's what I love about the blogging world....learning something new. That wool has traveled across the Atlantic at least twice. Amazing.

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  3. Lovely,lovely knitting but not for me . Knitting in the round literally has me going round in circles!!

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  4. What a gorgeous hat!! I love knitting cables and will definitely have to bookmark this pattern to give it a go. I've been thinking (selfishly) of knitting a hat for me, and this looks perfect. Looking forward to seeing the scarf next :) Wendy x

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    1. This is a great pattern. You have to be careful with the first cable row as the pattern is a bit confusing just for that row. Let me know if you have any problems with it.

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  5. What a wonderful hat! You have a gift for finding ways to use the yarn you are given. :-)

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  6. I really like your hat! It looks beautiful in the solid cream color. I know what you mean about the danger of dye lots; I had a bad experience with white cotton yarn once. One was nearly yellow! I was surprised they could be so different.

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  7. Una, the yarn was a perfect choice for that pattern, it shows off the details beautifully.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  8. Love the hat Una, I think we're all going to need one of those with the cold weather on its way.

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  9. Una, that is lovely! I admire knitters who do cables, something I've never attempted ... yet! I have a pattern for mock cables in crochet, not quite the same!

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    1. I'd say you should attempt cables. They are a bit fiddly. But if you take your time, the result is very impressive and worthwhile.

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