I am ridiculously excited this week, because this silly hat I made won the Purl City yarns design competition accessories category and customers' choice award!
It's called Northern Skies, with apologies to I am Kloot, it can't do much for your rock'n'roll street cred to have a song commemorated in knitwear. I designed and made it in January to enter the Purl City 'Inspired by Manchester' design compo. I couldn't think of anything more typically Manc than a row of terraced houses, and I liked the idea of having them go all the way round a hat in a continuous circle. I also liked the idea of having stars in the sky, people always say you can't see them in a city, but it's not truuuuue, I should know I spend a lot of time in the gutter looking up at them.
It was a little daunting to knit, the houses are all done in stranded colourwork so there's not a lot of stretch, but fortunately the fit around the head is pretty spot on. (Fits my head too, the model above has a pretty much adult sized head now!) The bit with the windows was fun, I just went for a random pattern with some lights on and some off. As a rule there aren't more than two windows next to each other in the same lighting state, as this makes for tricky long float/weaving in issues, which I prefer to avoid as much as possible. All my fingers were occupied by coping with three colours at once anyway. Yikes! Turns out it's quite doable, but a pretty immersive task. Good job I managed to get through those few rows without needing to answer the phone / scratch / point at anything.
The sky is Fyberspates Sparklesock in Midnight, which is dark blue with little silver spangles in, so it's just perfect. I embroidered a few extra stars on with this Drops Metallised silver thread, and also backstitched up and down between the houses in grey to outline them a bit. The grey is a slightly heavier weight, it's King Cole baby alpaca dk, and the brickwork is Lang Jawoll sock, but I quite like the way this gives the houses a strong, cartoonish outline. The roofs are purled to make them stand out a bit against the sky.
I might get round to writing up the pattern some time soon, but I am quite bad at finding the time to do this, and tbh I'm not sure anyone else would be daft enough to make such a thing anyway. Rubbishknitterjunior likes it a lot though.
Thanks everyone who voted for my hat, and Purl City for the awesomely generous prize! :)