Friday, 15 January 2021

The Soleil Knitted Headband (Yep, knitted!)

I hope you're sitting down, because you're in for a shock: today I'm dropping some knitting content!!! Honestly, I'm as shocked as you! This is the first item I have knitted (and finished) in about twenty years, and I'm thrilled with it. 

Just over a year ago, a casual IG scrolling session brought me to this fabulous Instagram post by @fortheloveofted_x. That in turn led me down a rabbit hole which landed at the Soleil earwarmer pattern (pictured below) by Debrosse. As I say, I hadn't knitted anything in an age, but my mum is an excellent knitter and she assured me it wouldn't be too tricky. Around the same time, my IRL sewing mate Paula was also giving knitting a whirl (winter will do that to a sewist, it would seem!). Paula was having a go at knitting a beanie hat, which encouraged me further still.

(image source: Debrosse)

Having bought the Soleil pattern, I then needed to acquire some circular needles (which I purchased very cheaply via eBay because my mum didn't have any), yarn and stitch holders. I know less than nothing about different types of yarn, except that you're meant to call it 'yarn' rather than 'wool' (unless it's actual wool, I guess) so I needed to get face to face with some experts. Remember being face to face with anyone that isn't in your immediate family? No, me neither, but anyway...

Yarn:

Paula and I went on a day trip to Brighton which included a visit to Yak. The incredibly helpful staff members showed me which yarns would be most suitable and told me how much I'd need. I picked this lovely teal colour yarn, and I'm still in love with it a year later. Annoyingly, I didn't save the label. However, having scoured their website, I think it was this one (pictured below). 

(image source: Yak)

Process:

My goodness, I learnt A LOT working on this project. It was really fun getting out of my comfort zone, and I was very grateful to have my mum at the end of the phone at a couple of points! Using the circular needles (which are like two short needles attached by a plastic cable) took some getting used to, and introducing the stitch holder felt risky! Seeing it coming together was very exciting, and I was even able to do a bit on a couple of train journeys (remember train journeys?!) which made me feel very industrious. 

However, I got stuck at the point of having to cast off. I got confused and decided to wait until my mum visited. Then the first lockdown happened and she was not able to visit. I got super extra busy and overwhelmed with the realities of the pandemic and having every one at home. Then the weather got warmer, and the headband got packed away and forgotten about. Until last week.

Just after Christmas, the weather got really chilly and I remembered how much I hate wearing my shop-bought beanie hat. I thought how awesome it would be if I could wear my knitted headband, so I got it out and finished it off. I added a few extra rows were required because my head is apparently bigger than the pattern is designed for. Then a call to my mum about casting off and a shout out on IG about weaving in the loose ends, and it was a wrap!

I bloody love this headband! Is it perfect? Hell no! But it's pretty good and very snuggly. My hair has got quite long and I prefer to wear it tied back in some way. This headband works far better than a hat with long, tied-back hair. At some point, when lockdown eases and we're allowed in shops again, I want to go back to Yak to find some more yarn to make another (let's face it, probably mustard yellow). One day I'd like to make a whole cardigan, but that seems too overwhelming to consider right now. Right now, I'm going to enjoy this headband, which I have worn every day since I finished it!

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