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A Tale of Two Toques

I finished my Chelsea Market Hat this past weekend using Madelinetosh Chunky in Reindeer.  This was a fun project.  I had originally queued this hat up to use with a different yarn, Canon Hand Dyes Gustave MCN Aran in Frank Wolverton Randall, the first shipment in the Among Friends Outlander Club.  This skein was rich and buttery, but with 180 yards, my garment selection would be limited to either a hat or a pair of mitts.  I wanted something with texture, and cables captured the Celtic, Outlander theme.

I came across Caryl Pierre’s Chelsea Market pattern first.  I particularly liked the slouch effect and the chunky cable combined with the garter rows.  But after seeing a post in another Ravelry forum, I decided to use Justyna Lorkowska’s Sand Bank.  The reason for the change?  Cables.  I need more cables (said in my best Christopher Walken voice - pathetic, I know).

Sand Bank Hat
That left the Chelsea Market Hat for a reindeery day.  When I learned this color was being discontinued, I just had to have it.  I love the kettle-dyed taupe color.  The only downside to this project was I had a monster of a knot in my yarn.  It was impossible to unravel, and even if I had cut it, I would have had to tink back about three or four rows to break the yarn and start a new tail.  I was concerned about the effect that would have during blocking.  The directions in the pattern were specific, and I didn't want to compromise the slouch effect or the brim.  Luckily I was able to hide the knot on the wrong side.  But other than that, I love the hat and the pattern; another Chelsea is in my future. 

Chelsea Market Hat
I’m a little less enamored with Madelinetosh right now, but only because this has happened several times.  All three were different weights (one sock, one DK, and now bulky) and came from different stores.  It’s disappointing when manufacturers sell yarn like this.  And honestly, I think it’s a large part of the reason that I’ve turned to indie dyers, because although updates can be crazy, the scale of their output is smaller ensuring better quality.

And I don’t want to single out Madelinetosh.  I’ve had similar experiences with Noro yarns too, but when those knots happen, a completely different color is tied into the break - disrupting the color shift.  Anyway, I know knots happen, and most times I can adapt.  But I sure wish I had better luck with these pesky skeins.
So there you go – my toasty new toques.  I have another hat pattern I plan to gauge this week.  One of the things I’m proudest of is I’m using yarn from the deep stash.  More to come about that project later, but until them, bon tricot


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