The month is less than a week old and already has both meowed and roared. Perhaps in harmony with that seasonal split personality, Malabrigo March is reminding me of how much I love fancy texture stitches. I also hate the same stitches, but right now it's all good. The Amanda Hat by Gina House is finished and she is lovable perfection, if I do say so myself. I'm particularly happy with the way the Diagonal Demi-Brioche stitch and the color pooling work together.
Amanda as written is a bit too deep for my head, so I set out to omit one repeat of brioche stitches, four rounds, half below the garter band and half above. Apparently I can't count to two, because somehow the omitted rounds are all above the garter band. Ah well, I rather like the subtle asymmetry. I also added an extra set of decreases on top for a better fit.
Consistent gauge is extra important when working brioche stitches. The fabric has a strong propensity to pull in, which causes many knitters to tighten their gauge, which causes the fabric to pull in more, ad infinitum (– and beyond!) in a spiral as inexorable as a gravity sink or an economic depression. Happily, it's generally a virtue if a hat tapers toward the top, which makes Amanda a forgiving project for the first-time brioche knitter.
The next Malabrigo March project on the needles is Chevalier Mittens by Tikru. I'm a great admirer of her Suomi style and this pattern is no exception. Alas, my poor digicam seems unable to capture the richly ombréd red-violet of the Pagoda colorway; indeed, what it does register seems to obscure the beautiful cables. So I dabbled in some special effects to convey a better sense of the luscious texture.
Chevalier as written has a cuff that reaches almost to my elbow – a magnificent gauntlet for a knight of yore, but too much of a good thing for my taste. I've shortened the cuff. I'm working the m1 increases for the offset thumb gusset so that they lean away from the thumb instead of the more usual lean toward the thumb, resulting in soft organic curves on the palm side that showcase the yarn and contrast with the embossed relief on the back of the hand. Sorry, no pix of the thumb gusset this time, I got obsessed with the color balance problem.
Red-violet does seem to be a challenge for my digicam, cf this splendid dendrobium orchid from last year's Flower Show. I'm off to Philly tomorrow to chatter in botanic Latin, walk and gawk 'til my feet fall off, and stock up on goods, garden and otherwise. (Thanks, Alotta.Knittin, for the advance review. I'll look for those Flying Monkey cupcakes!) As I mentioned to blogless Kelli, I'll be the one inhaling – all the fresh flowers and plants are such a breath of spring.