- It's Been a Long Time
- Ashley Van Etten
I didn't make it to Wicked Tulips last year but this year I've managed to go twice...so far. If you haven't heard of it, Wicked Tulips is in Johnston, RI and is a u-pick tulip farm that is open for about 6 weeks every spring. Bulbs can be purchased in the fall.
With an affinity for tulips and my Dutch roots and wellies, I happily set off in the rain undeterred for my first visit. The upper field was beautiful and after wandering around for a bit I set my sights on an array of blooms, picking 3 each of 7 varieties, plus a bunch of 10 purple tulips similar to ones in my wedding bouquet.
My second visit to the lower field, which had just opened, followed hot weather and torrential rain the night before. The show garden was spectacular and in the picking field, though the hot weather had led to some tulips opening rapidly, I was able to fill my basket with a wonderful selection of red and white parrot tulips and several that looked more like peonies than tulips.
If you'd like to visit, purchase tickets in advance and visit their website at Wicked Tulips.
Beginning a new year feels great. It's a fresh start and a time to access my work, successes and failures, and choosing which way to move forward. I like setting goals and finding new challenges, which is the best part of working independently. The freedom to create has always been a driving force for me.
I have an exhibit to prepare for in June at the Coogan Farm in Mystic, CT. Some of that work will spill over into new textile designs. I'd like to put some of my patterns into repeat, paint more, source new textiles, and work on my new press.
That's just the short list for the start of something new.
I'm spending the first few weeks of the year cleaning the studio and working on schedules but I've found time for knitting a few of my favorite hats.
This is a close fitting hat, simple in shape and easy to knit. You could make it taller and add a tassel or pom pom but I like this one because you can fit it under a hood or ski helmet. I prefer using a wool/acrylic blend which makes it warm but not too scratchy. Also, using a variegated yarn makes it look cool.
Worsted Weight Yarn - medium weight (I used Coats & Clark, Moda Dea, Vision, one 100g, 3.5oz, 155yd skein). It took me about 4-5 hours to knit. My head is about 23". For Joe's hat, he's got a bigger head, I added 10 stitches and made the facing 2 1/2" wide and the hat 5 1/4 - 5 1/2 inches tall before I started to decrease).
Size 7 needles, circular and double-end
Cast on 90 stitches on circular needles, Place a marker at beginning of row.
Knit 1 1/2" for facing
Purl 1 row (this makes the facing turn inside easily and is the bottom of the hat edge)
Knit 4 1/2 - 5" (depending on how far you like it to cover your ears)
Decrease - switch to double ended needles when necessary
K2 tog, *K8, K2 tog, repeat from * to end of row.
K2 tog, *K7, K2 tog, repeat from * to end of row
K2 tog, *K6, K2 tog, repeat from * to end of row....
Continue in this pattern, decreasing the number of *K stitches every other row, until 9 stitches remain and cast off, knot. Flip facing and sew loosely to inside with matching yarn.
Inside facing, sewn to hat with matching yarn: