I have to admit that I, Like many of my fellow knitters out there, am a devoted anglophile. In college I spent six months living in Nottingham and had the opportunity to spend an incredible Christmas holiday traveling all over England, Ireland and Scotland with my equally British-obsessed father. I loved being in Scotland so much. The exquisitely wild countryside and the amazing culture made me so proud of my own Scottish heritage. (My husband feels similarly which is why we had a bagpiper play me down the isle at our wedding).
So when Isla came along and I started to develop the “Isla and Friends Collection” I saw a excellent opportunity to celebrate our shared Scottishness and to learn a little more about a culture and country that I already feel so connected with, and of course has such an incredible fiber-arts history.
The name Isla came from the name of a particular river in Scotland. So, as you will see in the coming months, there is a decided Scotch feel to many of the patterns in the “Isla and Friends” collection. The first of these is my newest pattern, released on Ravelry, and here on the website today…the “Thistle Blossom Beanie”
The thistle blossom is the national flower of Scotland and appears…well, basically on everything. It isn’t your average flower (see also: weed). The thistle’s deep purple prickles protect it from would-be nibblers (like sheep and hair-coos). The thistle embodies this blending of the rugged and the beautiful and (I think) symbolizes Scotland in a poignant way.
The beanie features a dense and dimensional fabric that is warm and cozy and provides some crazy insulation for your head (or the head of a little Isla-sized person). I original conceived of it has a hat for myself (to help me survive the miserable DC winters) but recently developed it in newborn, toddler, and child sizes too.
For the yarn I used one of my ABSOLUTE favorites, “Alpenrose Bulky” by Solstice, which is put out by the same brilliant minds behind Dublin Bay Knitting Co. I love this yarn so much! It’s so warm and the colors are so rich. My favorite color to wear is the “race car red” but the child size in the “Dutch Iris” is stunning (if I do say so myself) the rich purple captures the beauty of the hats name-sake perfectly.
However, the bulky size was a little much for newborn sized heads, so I modified it to be worked up in a worsted weight. I knit the sample in some Quince and Co. “Lark” that I had hiding in my stash.
For the grown up size and newborn size I had Isla her gorgeous Mommy do a little modeling for me. For the child and toddler sizes I co-opted the children of my dearest childhood friend. These little ones are so beautiful inside and out and it was SO much fun “working” with them (ie playing at the park).
The pattern is available on HERE ON RAVELRY
AND follow me on instagram to score a special discount code now through Sept. 1st!I hope you enjoy knitting this hat as much as I have enjoyed the process of developing it.
Happy knitting everyone!