21 January 2013

Better to walk forth in the frozen air

Some of you might remember, if vaguely, that sometimes I knit things.

Lo, a thing I knitted:

A woolly spangenhelm!

Valkyrie Spangenhelm Cosy

Pattern: Dwarven Battle Bonnet 2
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool XL
US 7 / 4.5 mm needles

This is modified from the original design, obviously.  People already tend to think I'm strange; I do not need to add a balaclava with yarn beard braids to that perception.  I added beads (6/0 clear glass seed beads), deleted bobbles, and ended at the "headband" portion of the helmet.  Full details are on Ravelry for the knitters among us, should you want to duplicate my mods.

I like this pattern; it is thoughtfully written, lends itself easily to modifications -- witness my work! -- and while it is easy enough for adventurous beginners, it also offers more experienced knitters opportunities for challenges.  I learned a whole new bind-off for this cap.

The yarn I like almost in spite of itself.  It's 80% wool 20% silk, but the silk must be a noil, because it is distinctly slubby and has no sheen.  It does add an interesting depth to the colour (since it absorbs dye differently than the wool does) and the finished fabric has a tweedy quality without the beat-you-over-the-head 'tweediness' of many yarns that are marketed as tweeds.  I did find it a little stiff while I was knitting it but it's certainly soft enough to wear against the skin.

A quick knit, finished just in time.  The temperatures are supposed to fall into the 'bitter' range in the next couple of days.

John Crowe Ransom

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