Katara and Opal share a key feature, and that is is that it's not the short row forms that create the details, but the lines around them. It'll become evident more going forward, but the types of short row forms used in these patterns (i.e. the shapes created by the short rows) are generally used as the detail, the colour that stands out. With these two Hats, those forms sit back and shape the lines around them.
Katara was the first Hat I designed this way, thinking about line, and the effect on the line by the short rows. It took a little juggling at first but once I'd got to grips with it, I rather enjoyed looking at the short rows differently. The easiest way to manage this would be to have the lines run the full length of the Hat (which you'll see later in the final design) but doing it this way affects the balance of the fabric quite differently.
The effect is that of gentle waves, or lightly drifting sea plants, being directed by the ebb and flow of the water. I'm really pleased with this deign, it has a strong yet gentle effect; striking but not overpowering.
I'd say we photographed this one Hat more than any of the others. We shot it against three different murals, in different lights. Tom shot these and had us use the reflectors, as the light was still so strong at 8pm. I don't like reflectors, I don't like the result of flat light on the face, and we shot extras to give us more choice. The best photos of the Hat with the best light (in my opinion!) had a large mural that ended up looking very odd within the frame, so they got ditched. My absolute favourite shots were taken inside one of the old structures with the most amazing graffiti, but the shots are too grainy and not so sharp, even if the mood, light and environment were perfect. I've settled on these now, though - they show the Hat off well which is the most important thing.
One of the things that strikes me as I look through all of the Hat photographs together is the way Beth lends her mood so well and yet so differently to each. There's something so gentle and natural about these, yet strong and powerful at the same time.
The crown is softly gathered leaning towards flat, and the longest lines from the body reach in towards the centre like tentacles. Did I mention already that I really like the way the lines dance around the body of this one?
Katara is a water bending master, and one of the original characters in Avatar. Infact, the very first scene opens with her, and the story unfolds around her and her brother. She's arguably one of the more mature characters with a strong sense of what needs to be done. Kind brave and passionate, she's an early heroine of the series.
Shape wise, you're looking at slightly slouchy - a little longer in the body and not so roomy in the circumference, but just enough room not to squash the head. The crown isn't mathematically a flat circle, but it's close-ish (there's only so far you can push those short rows at gauge, y'know!)
Yarn wise, this one uses a skein of Bloomsbury DK in Surf and a few yards in Sand. And like all the others, it's graded through gauge, so you'll want to check your needle size and gauge before starting. The sideways knit garter stitch makes for an incredibly stretchy rib, and the not-so-rabid short rows don't really tighten up the fabric (the same can't be said for Azula) so there's definitely some forgiveness in the fabric.