Violetta kicked my ass

Mohair. Seriously. What was I thinking?!?

My grandma, like many Russian women, is not afraid to express her opinion. And when it comes to color, periwinkle is it. Not just any ol’ periwinkle… no, no! Periwinkle as dyed by Lorna’s Laces.

First I used the Shepherd Sock variety to knit her a pair of periwinkle socks. Next, I used Helen’s Lace to knit her a periwinkle shawl. This was followed by a third ‘periwinkle incident’ – I’ll tell you about it one day soon.

When grandma requested a periwinkle beret, I had no choice but to turn to Lorna’s Laces once again.

This time, it’s Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport.

I decided to follow Kate Gilbert’s Speckled Beret pattern (IK Winter 2005) even though my gauge is not even close. I just like the way it looks: not too slouchy.

I was intrigued by the speckles, naturally (love swirly motifs!), and wanted to knit them using something fuzzy so that they stand out against the plain wool background. Mohair and angora immediately came to mind, even though I’m allergic to both. Reasoning that it was only a few stitches, I decided to go for it and purchased a skein of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze in Violetta.

Well, Violetta kicked my ass. I lasted about 5 minutes before my face was so itchy, I had to toss the mohair straight into a Ziploc baggie, and hide it in the depths of my stash.

Should’ve known better.

Now I’m knitting the beret perfectly plain. Come to think of it, I’m guessing grandma would prefer it this way. Plus, without the mo-hairy tangle, it makes perfect travel knitting.

That’s right – travel. I’ll be away for about a week, and I don’t think I’ll be blogging from the road. As always, I’m anxious to pack just the right amount (and type!) of knitting, and not forget any important notions. Just in case I finish this beret on the road, I think I will bring my Brilliant Retro sweater. Hey! Same IK issue! Woohoo!

But first I have to squeeze each of my toiletries into a 3 oz. container. Because my shampoo is way more dangerous than an arsenal of pointy knitting needles :).


43 thoughts on “Violetta kicked my ass

  1. margaux

    that beret looks so comfy! i love that pattern too. i kinda like how she references Nancy Drew. have a safe trip! (funny about the shampoo!)

  2. Jomy

    Well, it certainly isn’t a mini UltraFemme, but I’m sure grandma will like the beret splendidly.

    I’m really curious as to how she expressed her opinion.

  3. jennie

    i’ll never understand why, on my last trip, they made me throw out a tube of Tom’s toothpaste and let me get on the plane with four pairs of sharp metal sock needles… Not that I’m complaining — I’d rather knit on the plane than brush my teeth. But still!

    Safe travels!

  4. Carrie

    I think we need to stop asking these questions. I fear that, instead of thinking, “You’re right, toothpaste isn’t toxic,” they’ll think, “You’re RIGHT! Knitting needles ARE extremely dangerous and must be banned!”

    I think there would be an immediate upswing in the number of train tickets purchased.

    Sweet hat. Your grandmother has excellent taste – periwinkle is my favorite too! She’s lucky to be so spoiled, knits-wise.

  5. nona

    Periwinkle Grandma is lucky to have a knitting granddaughter who listens to her color reqests. Have a good trip, filled with lots of knitting time.

  6. Tonia

    Love the baret. I am sure that your Grandma will love it no matter how you knit it. She sounds like she likes anything as long as you make it.

    Have a fun and safe trip. Yes travel knitting is very important. Yeah your shampoo is much more dangerous than your sharp knitting needles. 🙂

  7. Monica

    Ah, order is restored, the mohair is gone.

    Forget about packing “just the right amount” of knitting and make sure you don’t underpack. 😉

  8. Heather

    FYI, last time I traveled, the 3oz. containers had to be labeled product containers, not just run-of-the-mill camping containers like I was trying to get away with.

    And I’ve never had needles confiscated except entering the US from Europe.

    Good luck!

  9. Adam

    Just don’t put your blunti stumpos too close to the 3 oz of liquids in the bag, or you might have a shampoo scented beret!

  10. trek

    I had to divest my entire stash of mohair this past year after I developed an allergy to it. Nasty stuff. Pretty halo, nasty itchy, sneezies. Ditto on angora – no bunnies here….

  11. minnie

    ya know, if it makes you that itchy, maybe you should destash it. *waves hand & volunteers*. lol! actually, i do use a lot of mohair to make warm hats, etc for dulaan.

  12. Tally

    I suppose knitting with latex gloves on is just TOO much? lol. Wait, are you allergic to latex? Might be a bad idea if that is the case.

    The beret looks lovely, as do all of your projects.

    I believe I started reading your blog back when you chopped up the orange sweater. You consistently amaze me.

  13. Daphne

    Maybe someone can duplicate stitch them on for you later? Or you can, in 4-minute increments. 🙂 I’m sorry you’re allergic to mohair, for I do love it so and want to share the love!

  14. denise in c'ville, va

    you may want to read MasonDixon re: ann’s needle issues while traveling over holiday. I think they confiscated her needles like mad – even knit picks options (which, can’t they be taken apart and rendered useless?)

    wouldn’t want your travels ruined with these kinds of issues.

  15. Karen

    What a pity about the Violetta! I’ve just made a scarf in it, and it’s a deeply glorious colour. Best wishes for your trip.

  16. Randi

    It is so enoying. I react to several yarn types myself. Alpacca, Lama’wool. It’s so soft and beautiful, but not for me I guess.

    Oh well!

  17. ThreadBndr (Karla)

    LOL My son spent a good ten minutes in the airport waiting room the last time I visited him examining my needles and notions and telling me about 20 ways I could use them to kill somebody! After that the airport guy kind of looked at me funny, but that could have been the tee shirt that said, “I may look harmless…. but I raised a US Marine.” *G*

  18. Mary K. in Rockport

    In my mind’s eye, I see a short, opinionated elderly lady dressed toe to tip in periwinkle.

  19. Isanou


    This is not a comment about this entry but I need to thank you for the tutorial for cabling without a cable needle. I knew this has to be possible I just never tried! Thanks this will be really useful!

  20. Mitz

    I LOVE Perivinkle, violett, purple and lila.

    Your granny has good taste, 🙂 and are lucky to have a grand daughter to knit for her.

  21. Cathy

    The periwinkle is beautiful. Sorry about the mohair. Although it doesn’t itch me, I’ve been kicked in the butt too by it!!!

  22. frecklegirl jess

    You have to get a picture of your grandmother in that beret… I mean, the cuteness would probably kill all your readers!

    I meant to write you before about the Brilliant Retro cardigan. I knit it a the beginning of the year and loved the pattern… but I haven’t worn it since I knit it. It does look snug in the picture and I should have known better but it is way too small. I usually knit 34s but should have done the 37 in this pattern. Also, you are right, the bra does help it look better but does not help with the sizing issue. 😉

    Anyway, you are such a good knitter that you have probably figured all this stuff out already but here is a link to some flickr pics of my finished Retro, if it helps:

  23. Sheila

    Be careful with your allergy to mohair and angora! You want to keep breathing. The beret is beautiful.

  24. Molly Huggins

    I don’t know whether it has been mentioned before, but my mom found out about a way to get rid of the itchy-sneezy qualities of mohair… I bought a mohair sweater a few months ago, and having only worn it for about 5 minutes, it made me cough… So my mom remembered something she had read…she put my sweater in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for a day… I’ve been wearing the sweater loads of times since then and…no coughing or itching or anything! I don’t know why it worked, but maybe it’ll work for you too 🙂

  25. Eva

    Sorry to hear about the reaction to the mohair. That’s a bummer, especially when the color is that gorgeous! Now I’m totally jonesin’ for that yarn… Must. Not. Buy. More. Yarn.

Comments are closed.