Way back in the summer I met with Catherine Sclater of Travelling Yarns. We discussed the possibility of a knitting/yarn/pattern collaboration. Catherine has been working with the new Uist Wool Spinning Mill and has developed her own artisan hand dyed yarn. She is using fleece from a breed of sheep called Zwartbles and it has a rich dark brown/black colour. Catherine has named this yarn Black Beauly, a reference to the area where the fleece was sourced. Some of the dark yarn is spun with white Cheviot fibre which takes up the dye. The result is a lovely rich two tone colour effect, this hand dyed yarn she has named Machair.
The image shows sample skeins of the Machair hand dyed with one skein of Black Beauly. My brief was to design a hat pattern using one skein of the dark yarn and one of the hand dyed. Also there was to be a Fair Isle influence to bring out the contrast between the two yarns.
I came up with, 'Stellar', a beanie style hat, suitable for men or women, with a Fair Isle style design made up of intersecting triangles and a solid colour crown with an optional tassel. I made the first sample using the yellow colour element forming the pattern and the darker contrast on the crown. This is shown in Catherine's Autumn Yellow hand dyed. Stellar hat pattern is now available via Ravelry.
Modelled here (reluctantly) by Mr Hand Knitted. He likes the hat but not being photographed.
Catherine will be exhibiting her Black Beauly and Machair yarn, 'Stellar' hat knitting kits and a vast range of other knitting yarns at the Highland Wool and Textile Fair, Bishop's Palace at Eden Court, Inverness, on 18th October 10am - 4pm.