It had been a while since I had participated in a swap on Ravelry - the last one was a bag swap, I think. So, when I spotted a new group for swapping hats, with a quick turnaround (we had a month), I jumped on in! (There are a lot of Ravelry bound links in this post - if you don't belong yet, join! It's free, and a wonderful resource for any knitter or crocheter.)
To the right is the hat I made for my swap partner, Kathleen (IrishKPF on Ravelry). The pattern I used is Kaura Hat, by Mari Muinonen. I'd bought the pattern (and one for matching mitts) a while ago and had them queued up for a future project. When Kathleen mentioned she liked cables, I thought immediately of this pattern.
It was a really enoyable knit, with something interesting on every row, between the cables and bobbles and the alternating panels. The decreases in the pattern (which is charted) are very clever, worked in to the cables and the other panels. I absolutely intend to make another one for myself very soon!
The yarn is Treliske Organic Merino 8ply in the natural cream - I think it's nice to send something uniquely NZ overseas. The merino wool is lovely to knit with, and the hat took less than one and a half balls (I did do one less repeat as as not to have a slouchy hat). I included in the package a skein of Naturally Yarns Angora/Merino in a deep purple, and would have included a cute little kniting sheep NZ souviner magnet (they made me take it out of the package at the post office - who know you can't post magnets?)!
Cables featured in the hat Kathleen made for me, too. The pattern she used in the Irish Moss Toque, which she knit in Rowan Pure Wool DK. The different cables and moss stitch panels are fab, and the colour is perfect! She included in her package a skein of handdyed yarn in soft teals and purples which I'm sure will become something lovely.
I've signed up for another swap in the same group - this time it will be a slouchy hat I exchange. I don't have my partner assignment yet, but already I'm looking through my patterns and stash wondering at the possibilities.
I like the idea of a trading a hat - it's not a huge time commitment, or expenisve in terms of materials and postage, but there are so many possibilities. And for me, it's the perfect time of year to be getting hats (there is a summer swap going on too, but not for me)!
In the same vein, I've also signed up for a tea cosy swap, which is bound to be fun! Between these swaps and the travelling scarf group, and my other projects, I'm a busy knitter!