Making the Arctic Berry Hat

Seeing as wet and windy weather seems to be staying with us well into Spring, I decided to knit up another warm and cosy bobble hat. Using the maroon colourway that I named this pattern after, I cast on the stitches whilst tucked up next to the fire with the sound of lashing rain outside.

Rib brim of Arctic Berry hat.

Using our Aran weight yarn, a super soft Merino wool, means this pattern really glides off the needles fast! I have written it for x4 different sizes, from 6-10 years to adult, so you can make one for different friends and family members. I have also included instructions and tips for pom pom making, and a notes page on the back for your own amendments and thoughts.

100% wool makes this hat really warm and cosy, and is perfect for those that can’t handle rough yarns on their forehead- I can’t so need something really soft and luxurious, and save my lovely rustic yarns for jumpers and cardigans.

Dyed up, this colourway takes it inspiration from the wild, slow-growing arctic bramble and its fruit found in arctic and alpine regions of Alaska, northern United States and Canada, northern Scandinavia and Finland, Russia, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Mongolia and northeastern China, amongst others. The bramble belongs to the Rose family and the dark red fruit is considered a delicacy. This ethically sourced and mulesing-free hand-dyed yarn can be purchased in the shop on our website, and the pattern is available in our Ravelry store and linked below!

The hat worked up quickly and each evening as I sat next to the fire to knit, the days became noticeably longer and birds louder. Spring is definitely on it’s way but there is still cold showers and winds to battle before the long, hazy days of summer.

I have been journaling the progress on my hat and other projects in our leather journals, available in the shop. In the meantime, I will be wrapping up warm in hand knit woollies and injecting some colour into my wardrobe and the surrounding landscape when out on my walks!

For Arctic Berry Hat pattern sales on Ravelry, click here- buy now

Nettle Fibre at London Fashion Week 2019

http://www.vinandomi.com/ss20-sting/4594719998

After recently having the pleasure of an introduction to nettle fibre and the process undertaken to create this by Allan Brown earlier in the summer, I am fully aware of the time and skill involved in creating this interesting fabric.I was equally stunned at the quality of drape and sheen the final cloth can achieve.

http://www.vinandomi.com/ss20-sting/4594719998

So I was pleasantly surprised to find this fibre a main talking point of London Fashion Week this year, as the designers VIN + OMI decided to show off nettle fibre fabrics as the showstopper to their Spring 2020 collection fashion show, entitled “Sting”. To help them garner publicity for their eco-friendly design ethos, they specifically used nettles gathered from Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate, as well as wood that was shaped into handles for handbags in the collection.

The designers also chose to use natural dyes madder and woad, which I had recently heard more about during a talk by author and natural dyer, Judy Hardman. 

http://www.vinandomi.com/ss20-sting/4594719998

The press releases for the show struck me as particularly fun, as the pair attached biodegradable and plastic free plasters to their card invitations, with seeds of wildflowers tucked into the plaster. Recipients of the invitations could then put the entire thing in their garden in order to plant the seeds.

Other eco-friendly fabric related antics include using recycled plastic from The Savoy hotel in London to create printed scarves that the hotel has sold in their gift shop, but the VIN + OMI website gives a lot of detail on the myriad projects and design inspiration that they have been involved with, and is well worth checking out. 

It is great to see alternative, environmentally friendly and sustainable fibres, fabrics and dyes penetrating couture fashion and hope to see more instances of this making its way onto the highstreet.