The Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hat KAL

It’s no secret that Blue Sky Alpacas produce some of the most luxurious yarns out there. From their Skinny & Worsted Cottons to their infamous staple, Sport Weight to their newest addition, Extra which I got to try out this summer (and am currently addicted to the Fractal Cowl I made with it as we freeze away here in our early winter) to their super bulky beauty, the aptly named Bulky. Blue Sky Alpacas makes beautiful, high quality yarns in a classic palette for which I think is hard not to be overwhelmingly smitten.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was excited to join the Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hat KAL, which runs from November 15 to December 15. This is perhaps one of the simplest KALs I’ve seen since the projects literally take just a couple hours to complete and you need only complete one to be entered to win this fantastic prize…

And let me tell you, since getting some serious wear out of my Fractal Cowl in Extra, this looks pretty darn amazing to me. It was all I could do not to just pick up the yarn and pattern and knit it up right away!

But alas, I focused on the KAL at hand…

bsa kalThe Bear Hat in Azalea for my daughter.

I’m not going to lie. This took me a week to complete, but it didn’t have to. I could have easily completed this is a night.

But that yarn…

IMG_7070That beautiful, beautiful yarn. I dragged the process out as long as I possibly could. I actually gave myself little allowances…

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Like I can do the first 3inches and then I have to stop…

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Then just to the crown decreases and then I have to stop…

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Then I can just finish up the hat…

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Then the ears. And at this point, my little lady got anxious and wanted to wear this. Oh, and somewhere along the line she informed me that she wanted the fox ears, not the bear ears. At first I was reluctant, but it’s her hat. So I went with it.

fox hatAnd it turned out about a million times cuter than I ever could have imagined.

I also had quite a bit of yarn leftover (for exact amounts, you can check my Ravelry project pages listed at the end of this post), so I decided to knit up a little matching cowl for my daughter.

foxy cowlI made a note on my project page that cowls are one of those things you don’t generally make for kids because they really shouldn’t wear them without supervision considering the inherent risk of putting a loop around a child’s neck. I opted to make this for my daughter because I know she will never be out of sight with it on — I think that’s important to point out. In any case, I used Jane Richmond’s Marian as my guide for a simple seed stitch cowl. I just adjusted the number of cast-on stitches to match the circumference I wanted for my daughter. The results are of course a wonderful squishy cowl you see above and the set?

fox hat & cowlI could never have predicted how much I would love this set on my girl. We drove to the dentist today and we always turn up the music a bit and sing and in the review mirror all I see are ears bopping along to the beat. It is just beyond adorable. I can hardly stand it!

I’d  like to also point out that I got to use some pretty fantastic needles for this KAL. Normally when I get over a US size 15 needles I end up defaulting to whatever I can find — usually some cheap plastic needles which is kind of a drag. No longer!novaplatinachunkyKnitter’s Pride actually has an Interchangeable Chunky Set in their Nova Platina line. I had no idea! It comes with US size 13, 15, & 17 needles along with a 24″ & 32″ cord. I used the 24″ cord to knit the cowl & they were awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever knit on that big of a needle that comfortably. For the start of the hat, I actually put the needles on a 16″ cord from a different Knitter’s Pride kit. I don’t know that I would recommend this as it was pretty tight. The shafts of the needles aren’t really meant to work on a cord that short (if they were, I’m pretty sure they’d include that cord in the kit) so there is stress on the cord/joins a bit, but in a pinch I thought they worked fine. Mostly I just wanted to see if it was possible and it was.

For the crown shaping, instead of magic looping I got to switch to the Knitter’s Pride Basix.

basixI don’t use a lot of non-metal needles, but when I do I definitely prefer those made from birch, the material used to make Basix. They are a bit lighter than bamboo in my hands and in my experience they’ve been a bit more durable. Plus, it’s one of those personal preference things — I just prefer the feel of birch. The Basix are great as they come in large sizes — US 11, 13, 15, 17, & 19 — just perfect for these bulky projects. As an added bonus, they save me from having to default to those cheap plastic needles that I’ve come to loath when working with super bulky yarn. This knitter is a happy knitter!

All in all, I think the Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hat KAL has been a huge success for me. I learned about some sweet needles, I worked with some amazingly beautiful yarn, and I have a very happy daughter to show for it. With these quick projects, there is still plenty of time to join the KAL and get a project done so you can get your chance to win that fabulous prize. For all the information you need to join, you can visit the Blue Sky Alpacas Ravelry thread here. Hope to see you over there!

For more information on my Fox Hat, head on over to my Ravelry project page here.

For more information on my Marian Spin-Off Cowl, check out my Ravelry project page here.

14 responses to “The Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hat KAL

    • LOL! This collection was kind of hard for me to visualize on my daughter, but it is just insane how much she (and I!) love it! I’m definitely contemplating a cowl at least for me — that baby is warm and wonderful!

  1. That hat set is truly adorable. I’ve never tried Blue Sky yarn, but it’s on my bucket list. On the other hand, I love Knitters Pride needles and use them all the time!

    • I think I first used Blue Sky Alpacas Sport weight for some colorwork mittens — they are still my favorite! I love that they have ample pattern options that are one or two skeins projects — perfect for a little test drive of their yarn!

  2. On your ravelry page, you said that you came in under the yardage requirements. Any idea how much under? I scored some of the yarn on sale but there was only one skein….

    • I have the exact yardages listed on the Ravelry page in the “Needles and Yarn” section — I always try to remember to do that. I believe it was something like 1.25skeins for the hat & 1.33 for the cowl (or thereabouts), so not quite one skein. You might be able to make the hat minus the ears though…

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