My mother in law (MiL) once told me that she always wanted an angora (bunny) hat, so come the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2019 (MDSW 2019) I was on the hunt for the perfect skein. I found "the one" at Mainely Yarns. A blend of Ramboulliet and angora, it is squishy, buttery smooth, soft, and has a muted halo. I expected a much more pronounced halo from working with it, but it never happened. It should fluff out with use, so I'll have to check with my MiL. Doing a lace hat was kind of risky as the halo may overtake the lacework, but this yarn was destined for the Ishbel Beret. The Ishbel Beret was written by Ysolda Teague and is available on Ravelry.
The beret has a fold-over hem so that it provides the hat band with some structure. With such a dainty yarn, this was important. It's also attractive, and a design element that I had not ever used before. I think more hats should implement this kind of hat band. The pattern is lovely, straightforward, and an easy knit if you're comfortable with lace work.
Never having used this blend of yarn, let alone Rambouillet OR angora, I was a bit anxious. Oh, and it should be noted that I *never* block anything. This wasn't a situation where I could get away with that, and the hat band was already the right circumference, so yeah, anxious. Now imagine Kim, already anxious, blocking this hat, watching it grow and grow in the warm water. My terror intensified, but I carried on, gently rolling it up in a towel, pressing water out with the towel, then blocking it around a large dinner plate. It stretched and stretched, the stitch definition finally coming through, and the band kept size as I situated it into position. In came out gorgeously. The pictures above are awful and give no credit to the beauty of the hat. I wish I had a photo of it on my MiL, but that'll have to happen maybe over Easter when I see her next. She notoriously hates photos, so we'll see what I can pull off.
Start: May 6 2019
Finish: May 24 2019