I picked up just a few special skeins at Knit Fit this year, including this gorgeous skein of YOTH Big Sister in the colorway Oyster. I had been on the search for a light neutral dk weight for a hat design that has been kicking around my head for a bit, and this misted grey hit all the right notes.
So the other day, I pulled out my stitch dictionaries, fired up my Excel charts, and grabbed a few leftovers to swatch.
My first swatch - the blue - was in leftover Hazel Knits Lively DK, and I started off with the Christmas Trees motif from Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (page 202-03, in case you want to take a peek). The stitch pattern as I charted it was huge, the ribbing didn't flow into the pattern, and I wasn't happy with the proportions of the center tree to the little trees. But the swatch gave me enough information to see what I wanted to change.
So, I tinkered with the chart, moved the trees together, shifted the ribbing, and voila! The second swatch - the pinkish purple - was done in a bit of Anzula Cricket, and as I saw the pattern emerging, it just made sense. Which, as weird as it is, is even more gratifying than making something that looks pretty: making a thing that, when you look at it, appears to have overturned something essential and correct in our dimensional space, simply by existing. It is the greatest feeling.
And it will be a good hat, I think.