Ah the holidays! Unless you are desperately knitting some gift for someone, which I was, there is not a ton of time for handcraft in December. My unexpected trip to Washington, DC meant I needed a travel friendly project, and the gift I was knitting and my cowl I will never finish were both too bulky to take. I needed another option.
I’ve had this Zealana Rimu yarn for awhile now, and have been looking for the right project to make with it. Zealana uses brushtail possum fiber and combines it with merino wool to make a machine washable yarn. Yes, I have possum yarn. Also, the more I read about brushtail possum and the impacts the non-native animal has had on New Zealand’s ecosystem the more I’m pretty sure that I have dead possum fur in my yarn. I think that’s okay, even though one of the things I love most about yarn is that it’s made from renewable fibers from animals that aren’t killed. However, I’m helping New Zealand’s ecosystem by providing a market for dead possum, right? Regardless of the ethical implications of my yarn, the stitch definition is great, but the final fabric also has a really nice halo, thanks to the dead possum’s fur. The stuff’s not cheap either, so I hope I’m also financially helping out the New Zealand’s ecosystem.
My search led to a hat pattern I was dying to try – not literally dying like the possum – that matched up with the Rima yarn. The Bath Abbey Hat is adorable, and looked like the right level of challenge to take on a trip. I needed a cable needle – annoying – but I love knits that I look at and think, “how did they do that?!?!” Into my bag went two contrasting skeins of Rimu and the pattern.
I started the hat on my flight out to DC and by the time I got home had my first repeat of the dunes done (those are the rounded shapes that make up the majority of the hat.) Non-knitters can skip the next sentence. There is no fair-isle knitting here: the color work is all done with slipped stitches and cables. Welcome back non-knitters! Even through the holiday I managed to knit on it here and there. As I rang in 2017 on New Year’s Eve I finished the dunes then left my knitting beside the bed. Bad idea Afthead. New Year’s morning I found my bamboo needles thoroughly chewed by the tiny cat. While she has learned to respect the yarn and the knitting, the cat does not respect the knitting needles yet. This is the third set she’s ruined. She and I are going to have needle lessons soon. I continued stitching on a nice sturdy pair of metal needles, and finished the crown shaping today. I love this hat! I even snapped a couple pictures of my forehead to show off the loveliness.
The Ravelry details are posted, but my biggest modification is that I only did 5 rows of dunes, not 6. I just can’t get into the super slouchy hat trend, but if you do love slouchy the hat would be great with another repeat.
One final picture of me in my new hat with the obnoxious needle chewing kitty. Happy knew year!
Update: Additional pictures provided that show the full hat, unblocked, and the inside of the hat, so you can get a sense of the construction.