Undergrowth grew like a weed (har har) on my needles and I finished it within days.

small full

I used the pink as MC and the tan as CC, because I wanted dramatic blocks of pink where the leaves unfurl. I really like the result, although it’s a bit of a dissonance to read the chart since the CC there is a darker square.

small radiating

Now for the braid: I read the instructions too literally, and moved the yarns to the front to purl them one at a time resulting in total failure. Finally I hunted on the internet, read a couple of blogs, and then understood: the braids are basically stranded knitting worked inside out. You are purling, and carrying the floats in front, so both strands have to be brought to the front and kept there throughout. The floats become slanted because they are consistently twisted before each stitch. The direction of the twist determines the slant of the float. Two rows of stacked floats (twisted in opposite directions) give the impression of a braid. After that, it was easy.

I made a single braid since I wasn’t sure if my yarn would last. Of course it did, so I picked up stitches in alternate colours from the CO edge, worked a corrugated rib, then ended with another braid. I couldn’t find a suitable CO – all the stretchy ones made the bottom look sloppy – so I just stitched the live stitches down on the inside, one by one.

small flat

There was another reason for the ribbing: I loathe beanies, but the colourwork on this one was just to gorgeous to resist. With the extra length added by the ribbing, I blocked the hat over a plat to force it into a beret shape. It’s still not as slouchy as I’d love, but a definite improvement on the space helmet innerwear shape!

If there is a next time, I might keep the ribbing the same but increase enough stitches immediately before the colourwork starts for six pattern repeats (instead of the pattern’s five) to get a true slouchy beret. Or knit it with DK yarn, reducing needle size for the ribbing.

small braid

Pattern: Undergrowth from Knitty Winter 2011
Yarn: Nikke-Victor Neo Middle; 100% wool; 108m = 40g; sport weight; 1 skein each in MC and CC. I had small amounts left. Excellent quality yarn!
Needles: 3.5mm circular and dpn
Mods: Added ribbing, separated braids.


3 thoughts on “Undergrowth

  1. What a gorgeous hat! I love it
    That braiding looks like an Estonian textured knitting technique I just learned 🙂

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