The Eshaness Hat from Wool Journey: Shetland is the perfect small project to try your hand at stranded colorwork--a classic Shetland technique. Stranded colorwork knitting creates warm garments perfect for moody Shetland weather and colorful patterns for vests, cardigans, mittens, and hats. The Eshaness Hat is a modern twist on this tradition, with simplified geometric patterning that is easy to remember as you work the pattern.
The pattern is written for two gauges, worsted (which is perfect for a quick knit or for colorwork beginners), and fingering weight (for a more traditional Shetland hat).
If you are new to colorwork knitting, don't feel intimidated. This is a great beginner project, espically if you follow along with our new video tutorial. In the video I teach the basics of stranded colorwork knitting with two yarns, give tips for proper tension and teach you how to tack your floats when knitting long runs.
After you have learned the basics of colorwork, one of the most daunting thing for many folks is choosing their colors, so I'd like to show you how your choices and placement of colors might affect the look of your finished hat.
Eshaness can be made with two or four colors. When choosing your colors it is good to think about value (the lightness or darkness), hue (the color) and saturation (how vibrant or muted the color is). Usually, the most important thing to consider is the value.
For my hat I chose four colors of Heirloom Romney, and tested them a few different ways:
Kale (a dark value, green), Gourd (a medium-dark value coppery brown), Spearmint (a light value, muted blue-green), Golden Beet (a medium-light value, vibrant yellow)
Kale and gourd are my dark values, and Spearmint and Golden Beet are my light values. I have a mix of warm hues and cool hues, too. A dark and light cool: Kale and Spearmint, and a dark and light warm: Gourd and Golden Beet.
In diagram A, the two dark colors are separated by the two light colors, making the triangles in the colorwork very defined. Diagram B shows what happens when the dark colors are next to each other, with the triangle bottoms touching. Visually it creates diamond shapes. Also notice that the warm colors are together as a stripe and the cool colors together as a stripe. In Diagram C the design becomes stripes, as the dark colors are worked next to each other, triangle points together.
In a two color version of the hat, playing with value and hue is just as fun. Diagram D shows a choice of similar hues of green in contrasting values. The triangles pop, but the overall color is pleasantly green. In diagram E, similar values have a subtler contrast. The muted light mint and saturated yellow doesn't pop quite as much, but I think it makes a very cute and unexpected pattern! Diagram F has contrast in both color and value, which could be jarring, but the saturation of both colors is muted and it softens this complimentary combo.
I hope this helps you with color ideas for Eshaness! The possibilities are endless and I can't wait to see what you make. Share your project with #eshanesshat.