Yet more of that secret knitting stuff...

This is Trenza - a beanie type Hat with a wide sideways cable and lace brim, and vertical stocking stitch crown. These are all my own photos - I haven't seen the shots from the magazine yet. My step sister is my model, and I must say, I was rather chuffed with these when we took them back in the summer!

For the curious, Trenza is Spanish for braids or plaits.

The yarn used is The Natural Dye Studios' Dazzle, which is absolutely gorgeous to knit with! Although Dazzle is listed as a DK, I found I got gauge of 20sts/10cm with a nice fabric, and so Cascade 220 is listed as a substitute. Dazzle has the same kind of handle and drape as the 220 - a lovely, woolly yarn. The Cascade is ever so slightly heavier, but not much, and the Dazzle is on the softer side.

When I started designing this Hat, I knew the main feature of the Hat would be the wide sideways brim, with it's cables and lace. From there, I wanted vertical cables coming from the brim up towards the crown, basically using the brim pattern again turned through 90 degrees. But it looked clumsy, and no matter how I worked it, it just didn't look right.

Eventually I settled on the plain crown, and the Hat was much happier. The detail of the brim takes centre stage, and the stocking stitch provides a smooth finish. Sometimes, a design wants something simple to complete it.

The brim is knitted sideways first, then grafted, before the stitches are picked up for the body. There isn't a visible seam on the brim, as there often is on some sideways cable designs. The cleverness of this Hat is that the cables are stocking stitch based, there is no rev. stocking stitch between them, only lacey eyelets, which are also stocking stitch based! The graft replaces one of the plain/wrong side rows, and therefore blends in perfectly.

Being the technical knitter that I am, there's also a kitchener tutorial to go with this pattern in the magazine. So you've no excuse not to knit it now!

Issue 21 of Yarn Forward has already hit the shelves, or you can get a subscription from their website.

As with all of my patterns published in Yarn Forward, the rights revert back to me 6 months after they hit the shelves, so this one will be self published and added to my pattern line sometime next summer.


This week I've made a difficult decision, and have decided to go back on to medication. Part of me feels quite sad, because I was determined never again to rely on them and wanted to self manage my illness. The other part of me is relieved, and can't wait for the meds to start working. I've known for some time that I've been heading downwards into another cycle, and I haven't been coping very well.

Italy is a country with lots of red tape and I was a little wary of how I'd be treated. I was seen immediately, treated with respect and understanding (they realised quickly that I knew my own illness and symptoms and didn't make me jump through hoops to prove how ill I am) and offered a lot of support. On top of that, the treatment is all free. Even the medication. I had a good experience with the UK system - I think I got the best they could offer, which sadly most don't. Even still, so far, the Italian system has been equal to that, if not better.

Venlafaxine has a few funny start-up side effects, leaving me feeling spacey and tired, but it settles down quickly and starts taking effect after about 2 weeks. Roll on the next few weeks, I want my happy back.

AuthorWoolly Wormhead