A Winding Road to a Versatilde Headband

 

versatilde headband on 1

  

Hello! Life has just been a flood, a river of things lately, but this space has still been on my mind, and now seems like as good a time as any to share a somewhat long-lost project.

I took a workshop on Versatildes with Cat Bordhi in July of 2015. As you know if you’ve been reading here for a while, Cat is my knitting heroine—and Cat if you’re reading this I’d like to include a sincere and hearty thank you for all your warmth, humor, and love of knitting and of the world in general that shines through in your classes and projects!

I wanted to make something that I knew I would wear using the Versatilde ideas, and as usual I wanted to experiment, so I sketched this headband and started working on it during the workshop. It didn’t actually take that long to finish knitting it, and it was a fun journey. I’m usually a note-taking, think-it-through kind of person (as you might have noticed), but I really enjoyed Cat’s way of making these, which is much more about enjoying the process and not over-thinking decisions. There isn’t a chart, instead you decide things like when to make cable crossings and increase/decrease at the sides as you go, following a few suggestions to make it flow organically.

  

versatilde headband flat

  

I’m not sure if I over-thought it at the end. My original plan was to close it with buttons, but I couldn’t find any that went with the wool and the pattern without distracting from it, so eventually I just sewed it closed. Somehow, it took me the rest of the time until now to get photos of the finished thing and type this up … these things happen.

  

versatilde headband sewn 2

 

versatilde headband sewn 1

 

This yarn is semi-worsted spun Romney from Solitude Wool. I got it because I’m interested in single-breed wools, and I wanted to try some samples for another project, so it was already in my stash. I was also curious how I would feel about Romney next to my face, since it’s more of a “medium” wool, rather than a super fine one like Merino. It turns out it’s totally OK (at least for me, these things are individual of course). At first I could feel a little bit of a prickle, but certainly not enough to keep me from wearing it—if it’s cold I want my ears covered! And I was surprised to find that it softened more in the first wash, so that the prickle was less noticeable. I really like this yarn; it’s wooly, sturdy, and a little bit smooth/slick, and the finished fabric has both some drape and some spring. Also, whatever processing they use, it smells the best—sheepy and soft and clean. I wouldn’t choose this yarn for underwear, but other than it that it would be good for all kinds of things.

  

versatilde headband on 2

  

My plan worked; I’ve worn this headband quite a bit. It’s especially good for cross-country skiing and hiking when the weather’s cold, since it allows some heat to escape out of the top of my head while protecting my ears from the wind, which can be vicious around here. It stays on well too. And, you know, that art-deco-meets-rustic look is really big in the woods this year, right? But seriously, I’m really pleased with how this came out, and glad I’ll have it in my wardrobe for more cold seasons to come!

 

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Yarn as Jewelry

 

 

I bought this yarn at a tiny shop in Albuquerque’s Old Town years ago.  It’s hand spun, and there was such a tiny amount on the skein (which I didn’t realize at the time) not even enough for a whole hat!  I ended up using it in part of a hat for Bryan.

But, it’s totally gorgeous!  Just look at it, there are parts that are spun so tightly that it’s basically too much twist, but those parts also give it a bit of shine, and highlight the natural color variations.  I fell in love with it right away, and I was still in love with this little bit I had left.  At some point it occurred to me to wear it as jewelry.  To me this wool yarn is just as beautiful as anything else you might put around your wrist.  So . . .

 

 

If you’d like to make one too, it’s quite easy and quick, I made this one (including a small sample and pulling that out) while talking to friends and waiting for dinner!  Just be sure to use a very stretchy cast on and bind off, because the whole thing must stretch over your hand and still fit close around the wrist.  I like “Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On“, I’ve been using it for all kinds of things lately, as it looks good in addition to being super stretchy.  “Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off” is a little bulkier, but perfect for something like this, or the top cuff of a sock, etc.

I wanted mine to fit close, so I used my wrist measurement minus 10%.  Multiply your desired size by how many stitches per inch you are getting in your yarn, and that’s it!  Mine is 20 stitches around at about 3 sts/inch.  The pattern is purl 3, knit 1, repeat until desired length, or until you run out of yarn like I did.

Bryan called this my “warrior sheep woman cuff”.  I’m, um, calling that a compliment!

What unusual things do you think are beautiful?  Would you like to display or wear them somehow?