Bakeapple: a knit design in progress

It is just a few short days until we reach the official start of autumn, but you wouldn’t know it around these parts. Calgary has been uncharacteristically cool, dreary, and wet and reminds me much more of living on the East Coast than nestled beside The Rockies. While so many folks around me groan about the chilly weather, I am thrilled about it because as a knitter, this is my time to shine! I love being able to layer all of my clothing, especially when so much of that clothing is me-made.

This weather also has me thinking about designing and making new things. While I have a pattern that is just about ready to be released on Ravelry (watch this space, friends!), I also have a new hat pattern in the works that has got me all heart eyes and I am excited to share some progress with you!

 In the foreground, Lichen and Lace Matte Sock in the Orchid colourway.

In the foreground, Lichen and Lace Matte Sock in the Orchid colourway.

First, let me tell you about the yarn. I have had this skein of Lichen and Lace Matte Sock in Orchid in my stash for well over a year. I had intended to use it for a shawl at one point but it ended up getting frogged and was tucked away until I could figure something else to do with it. When I got the idea to work up a hat in mohair and fingering weight yarn, I knew that the subtle pink speckling of this mostly cream yarn would pair so nicely with the hot pink silk mohair from Rico Designs.

 Rico Designs Mohair Silk in a brilliant hot fuchsia.

Rico Designs Mohair Silk in a brilliant hot fuchsia.

This silk mohair is so lovely. I highly recommend it for these kinds of projects not only because of the quality (it is SOO soft) but also the price point. In Canada, this yarn is a fraction of what other indie dyed silk mohairs can be. Plus, the yardage is pretty generous at 219 yards per 25 grams and it is available in a wide range of colours.

When this mohair is held together with the lovely hand dyed fingering weight from Lichen and Lace, the fabric is almost too much for me to handle! The mohair tends to take over, giving the fabric a overall pinkness that totally makes my heart sing. Plus, the halo. Oh, Lord! The halo mohair will give any and every project can make the dullest project feel super luxurious!

 Bakeapple in progress - I mean, just look at that  squish !

Bakeapple in progress - I mean, just look at that squish!

Speaking of fabric, I decided that this toque needed to full of texture. I was flipping through a few of my stitch dictionaries and settled on this all-over alternating welt pattern that is deceptively easy to execute. As I was working it, I couldn’t help myself from constantly squishing the fabric with my hand, my fingers fitting perfectly into each little dimple that makes the resulting hat super slouchy and warm. While I think the pattern could be worked without mohair and still have a great effect, that fuzziness just adds something super special and I am obsessed.

 I mean really. LOOK AT THIS.

I mean really. LOOK AT THIS.

 And here is the “wrong” side, which seems all sorts of  right  to me!

And here is the “wrong” side, which seems all sorts of right to me!

The really cool thing about this stitch pattern is that it creates a highly textured surface on both sides of the fabric. The inside (or “wrong” side) shown above has an almost honeycomb appearance and is just as lovely as those welts on the right side. This means, in theory, the hat is completely reversible and will give you two completely different looks. Have two hats with the effort of knitting one - brilliant!

Now maybe you’re wondering about why I chose the name Bakeapple for this pattern. Bakeapples are a type of berry found in Newfoundland, as well as other northern parts of the world. They also go by other names like bog berry, or its most common name: cloudberry. These berries kind of look like a very large raspberry but they taste a little like an apricot dipped in honey. Bakeapples are pretty common where I grew up and foodstuff with bakeapples in them were also super common. Bakeapple tea. Bakeapple wine. Bakeapple tarts. Bakeapple jam. I have many childhood memories of seeing folks selling bakeapple jam on the side of the road, mason jars lining the hood of a parked car as the golden berries glowed in the sun.

The texture of this knit reminds me so much of a bakeapple - those welts and dimples. And given that all my knitting patterns are inspired by my childhood in Newfoundland, it seemed quite fitting to name this unusual hat after an equally unusual berry.

I am currently working up some more samples of this pattern, experimenting with colour choice and different textures of fingering weight yarn. You can expect more from Bakeapple real soon!