When I was a kid, I loved Neapolitan ice cream. I eat my foods one kind at a time. I work my way round any plate, eating one thing after another, so Neapolitan ice cream was perfect. Eat the strawberry first. I am not really fond of strawberry, but it is still ice cream. Next comes the vanilla, which I quite liked, but the chocolate was the pinnacle. Alan, on the other hand, can be a bit glass half empty. I asked him if he liked Neapolitan ice cream when he was a kid and he said no because 2/3 of it was not chocolate. Heather, also not a fan, says “who wants strawberry ice cream getting in the way of enjoying your chocolate and vanilla”. She says they had the same tub of strawberry ice cream for 6 months when she worked at Baskin and Robbins. My sister Melanie also mentioned the anathema of the strawberry ice cream in her dislike of Neapolitan ice cream. So there you have it. I think it is just there for the pretty colour.
I cast on 120 stitches and used Organ-Pipes pattern, pg 23 as the ribbing, then switched to Chain Stripes, pg 66. In this case, I decreased in the second of the two plain knit brown rows between the coloured chains. The first time I did k2, k2tog around (90 st left). I switched the pattern from k6 slip 2 to k4, slip 2 at this point. Next time i did k1, k2 together around (60 st left) and stayed with the k4, slip 2 on the pattern rows. The third time I did k2 tog around (30 st left). After the final chain rows, I just got rid of the rest of the stitches in 6 rows.
I originally had two repeats of the Organ-Pipes Pattern , but I thought it was visually too heavy with the Chain Stripes, so I hemmed one repeat under.
I am sure Alan is happy I am finished this hat because I kept humming and singing snippets of America the Beautiful as I knit it. They sang it during the 7th inning stretch in the ALCS playoffs between the KC Royals and the Toronto Bluejays and it kind of got into my head. You gotta hand it to the Americans they have some catchy patriotic songs. I even secretly like their national anthem.
It has been a long time since I knit alpaca. When I was a young adult, my Uncle Robert was friends with a yarn wholesaler in England. He brought Mum a suitcase full of mohair and one of alpaca. If I remember correctly, it was the first time alpaca knitting yarn started to become available. The alpacas themselves were still unavailable outside South America as breeding animals and the yarn was just starting to be marketed in England, I had never seen it in small town Canada before. The alpaca yarn we got was about a fingering weight and mum and I knit sweaters galore out of it that year, lots and lots of stitches per sweater. My sister Phil gave one to Heather when she cleaned out her closet last year. We made the mohair into sweaters and afghans. It took both of us ages to knit it all up. My sister Penny pitched in and crocheted at least a couple of afghans.
As soon as I saw the Star Tweed pattern on pg 67, this hat jumped into my head. I decided to use the stripes to take care of a few extra patterns, so each stripe has a different stitch. Sometimes when I look forward too far in The Book, I get scared by the magnitude of the project and panic a little bit, then I load a couple of hats with stitches before I calm down again. I don’t actually think this makes necessarily bad hats. I kind of like the rich texture it gives them. I cast on 120 stitches. Starting from the bottom, I used Single Woven Rib and Woven Stitch from page 95. then Mock Ribbing from pg 97. I finished with a stripe of Double Woven Stitch from pg 95 before doing the Star Tweed pattern. I am not sure how much this is cheating, but I tried to do the stitch as it stands and found the white stars to be too close together for the flag effect, so I ripped back and added an extra blue row in between (two knit rounds instead of one). I could do something else with the pattern stitch, but I think I will go with this. My house, my rules and all that.