One of the things I set out to do on my long trip is to knit more, and to actually work out some knitting designs of my own. Surprisingly or not, the day-to-day of traveling is actually quite time-consuming, and I find that I'm knitting only a little bit more than I used to.
My initial plan included lots of swatching, but I found that swatches just drove me nuts. I'd rather actually knit on something, even if it means lots of ripping out later on.
When we were at Mount Rainier, we experienced some temperature extremes, and I realized I hadn't packed any hats. I hadn't packed any winter accessories, for that matter, but I figured a hat would fall into the "quick and easy" category with big returns.
I'd picked up some Imperial Yarn at Knitkabob in Union, Oregon, without any plans as to what it would be. A hat on size 8 needles was a quick and easy project, and a perfect way to try out some new design work.
It started with the stitch pattern, which I modified from a stitch dictionary. I was going for a tree shape, and the hat has five trees around it. I found that I liked the reverse side better, so I flipped it inside out when finishing it. That way, the woven in ends aren't showing. I'm not entirely sure that I'm thrilled with every detail, so I'm getting ready to rework the pattern.
In the meantime, I needed something more interesting to work on. The first thing I thought of was colorwork. I'm using a very similar stitch pattern to the first hat, but instead of knit/purl, each dot in the pattern represents the main color of the pattern. For the main color, I'm using the leftover Spincycle from my Noro blanket, which means the colors will gradually shift as the hat grows in length. The background color is Brooklyn Tweed Loft in color Sap. At first, I didn't like the color combination at all - I'd wished the foreground and background colors were reversed - but after taking this picture, it's growing on me.
Who knows...maybe I'll make yet another hat!