With temperatures climbing into the 80s here in Bristol, I can’t believe I’ve chosen such a hot day in May to post these pics of the winter hat and cowl combo I began back in January. It’s just like me to talk about a winter knitting project in this kind of heat.

Even so, this variation on the simple knitted hat with rim (kind of like this one by Deborah Anne, only I knitted mine in the round) is stylish and cozy enough to make even the most vitamin D-starved sun-worshipper long for those winter months when they can pull this cap down over their ears.  Knitted with Araucania’s lush Azapa wool, hand-dyed by fairly-compensated local women in the mountains of Chile, this earthy moss color can dress up a drap outfit or blend in with other neutral colors.  And did I mention this wool is super soft? It’s the perfect Christmas gift or late fall birthday present, and now’s the time to start knitting up a whole slew of them.

First, let me just say, I adore this yarn.  It’s soft, multi-toned and complex, and it’s the perfec choice for a chunky wool that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a sheep on your head. However, this yarn likes its static electricity. So as a novice knitter it was a bit tricky trying to tame the hairy, clingy bits, especially when I had to tink a few times (first time using circular needles).  I probably wouldn’t use this yarn for a more complicated pattern with several repeats, because I had to be careful when frogging not to let it get knotted up. Of course, having said that I have a friend who’s knitting a shell lace stitch scarf with this yarn and hasn’t had any problems. So it must just be me. I like easy knitting jobs that use nice, tractable yarns.

Still, I will definitely be using this yarn again for simple patterns. The beauty of Araucania is that a simple pattern compliments the lovely tone and textures of the wool, while a complicated pattern could detract from it.

I made the cowl neck out of the leftover yarn from the hat (150grams for both) and sewed on a couple giant buttons for detail.  I didn’t follow a pattern, just knitted a simple rectangular piece on #13s.  Since these pictures were taken, I’ve added a second button, lending more versatility to the piece. I wear the pair together or each on its own.  Actually, I rarely get to wear the hat at all, since the boy keeps nabbing it!

Ignore the red eyes! 😛

And here it is on the boy on Hadrian’s wall.