Pair of antelopes

This is Kellly McClure’s Antelope Hat. It’s a free pattern available on McClure’s blog and on Ravelry. It’s shown here in the beanie version, knit in seriously soft Mirasol Miski. It’s 100% llama and 100% great to work with. My two modifications for this version were an extra knit row between the colors, to avoid having two-color stitches facing forward, and a traditional sewn picot edge replacing McClure’s no-sew version. The hat even has interesting crown decreases that emphasize the yarn over placement.

This is the slouch version of antelope knitted in Malabrigo merino worsted in the azul profundo colorway. The slouch uses three sets of the pattern repeat instead of the beanie’s two.

A quick, satisfying knit. I completed both of these in a weekend. This version uses McClure’s no-sew picot. You knit a few rounds, knit a knit two together, yarn over, round. Then you reach down basically to the first round, on the inside, and knit a purl bump in with the knit stitches on the needle to create what I know as a “welt” and what now is often called a “tuck.” This technique has a tendency to curl when used on an edge. My curl mostly steamed out.

Now for the naming question that I habitually ponder. Why is this the antelope hat? According to Wikipedia, Antelopes are all the members of the Bovidae family that aren’t sheep, cattle or goats. My hat isn’t a sheep, a cow or a goat so that must explain why my hat is like an antelope. Most antelope are native to Africa. Perhaps this extra warm hat would be a good one to pack for my next safari. Antelope have well-developed molar teeth on account of being cud-chewers. Maybe the very regular pattern of holes looks a bit like strong teeth have bitten through the hat in nice even rows. Or could it be that we are seeing hoofprints in the snow where the antelopes have galloped through?

I really like this hat! Great pattern and so generous of McClure to release it free. I would not poke fun at the hat even one teensy bit. But, it is an odd name and it is fun to contemplate the whys of oddly named patterns.

Azul profundo keyhole shawl

This little gem is a free pattern from Cheryl Oberle’s website: Carol’s Clever Little Shawl. It is Carol Sanders’s adaptation of a historic shawl from the 1800’s. You will find the story of the shawl, and a link to a PDF with the pattern, at the link I’ve supplied.

I’ve knitted mine of Malabrigo worsted, in the azul profundo colorway. It is a nicely mottled dark-but-not-really-navy-blue and I am very pleased with myself for chosing this yarn to knit this pattern. The pattern calls for worsted weight on size 10.5 needles. That wasn’t going to work with Malabrigo, so mine is knit on a size 9. I am short, at 5’3″, and for me this is a full-sized shawl.

The pattern has just enough lacework to keep it interesting. There is a bit of short row shaping every 18 rows. One especially appreciated feature is the keyhole. Just tuck the ends through the keyhole and there is no need for pesky shawl pins. This shawl stays put on its own. Casting off, all it needed was a bit of steaming on the points. Here’s another I knit a few years ago, of Brown Sheep worsted.

I’ve already worn my azul profundo (deep blue) shawl on two chilly evenings this week.  But today it was in the high 80’s, and muggy, so all wool shawls will soon be packed away. That’s Michigan weather for you!