If you know anything about me, you know I love Fall and I love cables, and I think the two go together like peanut butter and jelly. So in plotting out the Fringe Hatalong Series patterns, naturally I wanted the October hat to be cabled. This month’s pattern been written just for us by one of my favorite designers, and while it’s striking and incredible and intricate-looking, it’s doable even if you’ve never done cables before. I promise! We’ll be working from a chart, so if you’re new to charts take a minute to read through my notes about that from the Hermaness Worsted intro.
I’ll reveal the hat and post the pattern here next Thursday, October 29th. Meanwhile, let’s gather our yarn!
Recommended yarn: The pattern is written for The Fibre Co’s new Cumbria, which is a really special yarn. It’s a worsted-weight blend of 60% Merino, 30% Masham and 10% Mohair. Merino, of course, is incredibly soft. Masham is a British longwool that’s a natural light grey, which creates really beautiful, muted colors when it’s overdyed. And the Mohair gives it a nice bloom when it’s blocked. So it’s a yarn with loads of touchability as well as great stitch definition. I really recommend trying to get your hands on a skein of Cumbria for this if you can. Ask for it at your local yarn shop.
Suggested substitutions: Cumbria is 238 yards per skein, and the hat does use most of that (allowing enough for swatching if you’re into it), so if you’re substituting, make sure you’ve got equivalent yardage. Cumbria’s recommended gauge is given as 18-20 sts per 4 inches in stockinette stitch on US6-8 needles. Because cables knit up more tightly, this pattern’s gauge is 20 sts per 2.75 inches on US6. But you want to start with a yarn with a similar base stockinette gauge to Cumbria in order to get similar results, so consult the ball band on whatever yarn you’re considering and look for that 18-20 sts on US6-8 range. Any nice lofty, neatly-plied, worsted-weight yarn will give you good stitch definition for the cables, but the fabric will be a little bit different from Cumbria’s fiber blend, depending on what you choose. Some good alternatives suggested by the pattern designer — if you’re stash-diving or can’t get Cumbria — would be Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Worsted, Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair, Fancy Tiger’s Heirloom Romney or Istex’s Lett Lopi.
I do recommend sticking with solids/heathers/tweeds to allow the cable pattern to really shine; variegated yarns will compete with or even blot out the appearance of the cables.
So get your yarn lined up and be ready for the big reveal next Thursday! And keep those #fringehatalong posts coming.
PREVIOUSLY in the Fringe Hatalong Series: Laurus by Dianna Walla