Feasel & the Bear

I am not sure when Mark started calling me Feasel* or when I started calling Mark Bear, but time has consolidated the myth of Feasel & the Bear into several drawings, many little stories, and finally, a piece of knitwear.

Exhibit # 1 – a drawing by me

Exhibit # 2 – a drawing by Mark

Exhibit # 3 – an item of knitwear

This is Mark’s Christmas Present from this year – a Feasel & Bear hat – knit according to the excellent Turn a Square pattern by Jared Flood, and fully lined with what is essentially a second hat knit inside the first. Before I digress into my tiny niggles with this project (lining a little small, purl turning row tends to roll back in under itself etc.) let us swiftly move on to a discussion of the lovely brown shades in which it is knit.

The yarn is 100% shetland in DK weight, purchased from my trusty go-to source for UK yarns, Blacker Designs. Originally oatmeal in shade, various experiments in soaking times and dyeing with black walnuts produced these distinctly feaselish and bearlike shades.

I hope this photo shows off the lovely, chocolatey, semi-solid nature of the dark brown; I am so happy with this colour! The mid-brown shade was created by using the same dark brown dyebath, but by leaving the yarn in it for a much shorter time. The almost white colour is the natural, oatmealy colour of the shetland fleece from which this lovely wool originally came.

I would like to develop this colourwork a bit more; the walnuts are abundant enough that I could dye in large batches next year, and I would like to even out the motifs so my Bears are less ‘blocky’ and my Feasels more ‘prancing.’ In the meantime, I think Mark likes his Christmas present, and that is the main thing.

There is more Christmas knitting to blog, as well as the rest of the walk where these FO photos were taken, but today I am preparing for a trip Southwards to meet with Heather of niftyknits to discuss knitted meerkats and editing my first I SPY/I HEAR radio feature for The Hub.

I hope you all have had the most amazing New Year and Christmas; I have been loving reading everyone else’s festive blog-posts and am excited about what 2010 will bring! I hope you are too, and that you have some silliness of your own – like Feasels & Bears – to make you laugh in these very cold days!

*a feasel is a mythical creature which is created by mixing Felix with Weasel.

Specs:

Pattern design: Jared Flood’s Turn a Square hat patten, but with my own fairisle motifs and a double-lining idea, taken from Quanah’s Double-knitted hat tutorial
Yarn: DK in 100% Shetland in Oatmeal colourway and purchased at Blacker Designs
Needles: 4.5mm
Ravelled: here

7 Responses to Feasel & the Bear

  1. Liz T. says:

    Hee! Had a daft moment in which I wondered why you’d asterisked “feasel” – surely (I thought) everyone knows what a feasel is without need for any explanation.

  2. Julia says:

    What an incredibly personal and sweet gift! You did a fabulous job – it looks wonderful. Who wouldn’t be pleased?

  3. jane says:

    WONDERFUL hat! That is so amazingly sweet and funny and lovely and all of the other positive adjectives and superlative words you can think of. What a brilliant gift- I’m quite sure he loves it. Bravo you!

  4. AuntieFred says:

    Love your beautiful Bear & Feasle hat.

  5. tinebeest says:

    Hehe, that is a wonderful hat with a wonderful story behind it. That dye-job came out lovely, didn’ it? (and I sort of guessed what a feasel is, but it’s nice to see my guess confirmed)

  6. Lara says:

    heeeee! I love it! It is gorgeous, I love the colours, the motifs, what it represents, the silliness and also the skill involved. So impressed with the dying and the hat within a hat. I can’t wait to see how the feasel and bear knitwear range develops. (Also its lovely that you have the tradition of knitting a hat for Mark each year, its three in a row right?)
    Hope you and Mark had a lovely christmas and that I see you both very soon. (Also very excited by your Mark and Mark’s blog!)

  7. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » Putney - Guildford Bestiary

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