My inspiration for Parallu arrived before I received the yarn. The inspiration mood board evokes warmth and happiness with deep jewel colors, swirls, zigzags, trees, dots|stars, and oranges.
I honed in on the oranges and was delighted when the beautiful yarn arrived! In the Decembers of my childhood, I always looked forward to the arrival of the first crate of clementines to my house. I have fond memories of peeling them in different ways and toasting them near the fireplace.
I also wanted to play with the swirl that I feel is December. Even if you don’t celebrate a significant holiday this month, there are many year-end obligations that often cause you to pull in different directions. While I’m not a fan of pompoms, I like the whimsy they provide. They are a great reminder to remember to have fun and not everything needs to be perfect (more on that in a bit).
The first way I designed this hat is not the design you see today. As I knit the sample, I knitted my own instructions for the repeat incorrectly three times in a row. At that point I realized I needed to change the design a little and Parallu came into being. I hope you like it.
One other thing I really like about this design is that it could be easily modified to a cowl. Cast-on additional stitches in groups of 4 until desired cowl circumference based on your swatch gauge. After working the initial ribbing, repeat the stitch pattern until piece from cast-on to edge is desired width minus however long you worked the initial ribbing. Repeat the stitch pattern at the brim and bind off. What bind off would I use? Something stretchy, either a sewn bind-off (EZ’s sewn bind off) or something with some stretch (Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, Knitty (Fall 2009)). As a bonus, it’s reversible! A great gift for those family members who can’t seem to keep the right side of your hand knitted gifts straight.
As for not perfect, if you work the pompom in The Yarnbrary‘s Fantasy Worsted, make sure that you use way more yarn than you think you need and tie it super extra tight before cutting and forming the pom. Why? It’s a due the nature of the fiber combination in the yarn. While the alpaca is generally sticky, the 30% silk kept it slippery. Make sure to steam it which helps it have maximum … pom. If you really want a pompom and find making them stressful, another solution could be any of the faux fur poms that are appearing on many hats this season.