Maud Hat Set
Cowl – Lower edge circumference 80cm. length 18.5cm.
Beret – Circumference 60cm. Brim to crown 25cm.
Hand warmers & Gloves – Width around knuckles 19.3[20.7,22]cm.
Maud is an accessory set guaranteed to turn heads. I used nine shades of my Hebridean 2 Ply to create the rich patterned colour scheme, all worked in the stranded circular technique. If you are a beginner in the technique then there is a graded progression you can follow, starting with the very easy cowl. Then make the beret which introduces double decrease shaping. Follow with the hand warmers and you will learn how to make thumb gussets. Finally you will graduate to the intricacies of the gloves where each digit is worked in a patterned circular fashion. You will be an expert by the time you have finished the set.
This kit includes a colour-printed patterncard with full instructions and all the yarn required to make Maud. Enough yarn is included to make an extra glove and hand warmer should you lose one. The cowl and beret comes in one size and instructions for the hand warmers and gloves are provided in three sizes. Enough yarn is provided in the kit to make the largest size of hand warmers and gloves.
Some design ideas demand rapid expression while others may float around for months or years, before they finally see the light of day. As a designer I am used to this, but it came as a surprise to realise that some of my ideas have been waiting in the wings for half a century. Here is how they came about.
The year is 1967 and in the middle of double-English my teacher is droning on and on. Mr Macaskill is a nice man, but his voice is a featureless monotone and he has an unfortunate obsession with iambic quadrameters – di-dah, di-dah, di-dah, di-dah – that can drive even the most studious class into a state of narcolepsy. I am on the back row, fifteen years of age, and bored witless. Outside the classroom the sun is shining and the times they are a’changin’. The Beatles are in the studio recording Sergeant Pepper and the pop charts and air waves are buzzing with excitement. There is a whole brand-new world unfolding out there, but I am stuck in a classroom with di-dah, di-dah, di-dah, di-dah …
But then something quietly wonderful happens. I am listlessly flicking through my crusty, fusty poetry textbook and suddenly something sparkles out at me: a stanza from Tennyson’s Maud.
She is coming, my own, my sweet; Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat, Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat, Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet, And blossom in purple and red.
A pleasant tingle of surprise dispels my boredom. I feel as if I have been rummaging through the attic of a dusty old house and have suddenly spied a precious jewel amidst the junk and jumble. Tennyson’s words cause colours to flow in my mind, and an idea is born. Being of a curious disposition, I wonder if there are any more jewels hidden in the attic, and over the subsequent months I discover that, yes, there are many such gems, each with the power to inspire moods and ideas.
So maybe the monotone Mr Macaskill was more canny than I thought, and his tedious di-dah-di-dahs were all part of a ploy to make moiling adolescents self-dose on classic verse. Whether by accident or design, I left school with a love of poetry that has never faded since. As for those ideas engendered on the back row of the classroom – well, they were just not part of my teenage agenda back in the late 1960s and they were jostled aside by far more pressing concerns. But good ideas have a habit of coming back, albeit decades later, so here is Maud – a jewel from the attic of my tattered, old school poetry book. And watch this space; there may be more jewels to follow.