Romney Hat

When I went to Unravel this year I bought some Romney Sheep yarn to make a penguin hat from – I made a start on the hat and very quickly decided the yarn was wrong. I knew little about judging the weight of yarn by sight at the time (spinning has changed that) and I mistakenly thought this would be OK for a pattern that called for an aran.

The penguin hat before it got frogged.
The penguin hat before it got frogged.

I frogged the hat last weekend, an extremely cathartic process as it had been weighing on my mind a lot, and started again.

Romney Hat

This will be a Christmas present. I’m just not sure who for yet – the person who I originally intended it for may not be into this style, and I hadn’t realised the pattern I picked out would come out as a ‘cloche’ type hat.

Halfway through the hat and knitting on the bus.
Halfway through the hat and knitting on the bus.

The pattern is “keep your head to the sky“, free from Ravelry and designed by Annalisa Dione. I wanted something simple and quick. This certainly fits the bill, and I expect I will finish it tonight, having started on Monday.

I just have to decide who to give it to now!

Romney Hat yarn

I did want to talk about the yarn, which is Classic Romney Aragon Yarn. Romney wool is important to me as it is the sheep native to the Romney Marshes, an area of Kent. As I lived in Kent for a while and my better half is from there, it feels like I’m knitting with a piece of home.

The yarn is clearly organic, and it sheds bits of fluff and organic matter as you knit with it. I have been reading a book as I knit and I have to blow before I turn each page to get the bits out of it. This is fine, I don’t mind and it is a good reminder of where wool comes from.

What I can’t cope with is the dye. I don’t know what they have done to the wool when dying it black, but it is not colourfast. Even as I knit my hands come out absolutely covered in black, and if I was knitting anything bigger than a hat I would have given up by now and probably sent the yarn back.

Hat is nearly done!
Hat is nearly done!

I don’t know what I’m going to do to try ensure the recipient doesn’t get black water running down their face every time it rains – probably soak the heck out of the hat once I’ve finished in the hopes that the excess dye will come out.

It has totally ruined my experience of this yarn and I’ve let them know in case they weren’t aware that this is a problem.

Do you or anyone you know have experience of this yarn?

Much love,

Corrie xx

WIP Wednesday's with Tami's Amis

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9 Responses to Romney Hat

  1. Nancy says:

    Wow. What an unpleasant experience with black. I will say that after three washings (by hand and in the sink), Madelintosh is still bleeding blue. Now if that nice tosh yarn does it, it is no big surprise that the black would bleed too. But, yuck, on your hands??? sorry about THAT experience !

  2. Michelle says:

    Ugh. I’ve never had problems like this as of yet (cheap acrylic blends ftw) but reading all the horror stories has made me super paranoid. I’m forever soaking new yarn and staring at it disconcertingly, daring the water to change colour.

    Hope a good soak helps your hat, fingers crossed for you!

  3. Thuri Jons says:

    oh sorry to hear about the yarn :( that truly is disapointing. But you are almost through.

    After your hat is finished you can fix the colour, by washing it with white vinegar and cold water which should stablize the color, then rinse, and rinse to get the vinegar smell out.

    Maybe there are other methods, but this is what I have heard people do when they are dying their own yarn or having problems like this.

    good luck and your hat will look amazing :)

  4. Evelyn says:

    Ick about the leaking, have you tried soaking it in vinegar? You could even try vinegar and then stick it in the microwave for a bit to heat it and try to set the dye a bit more.

    The penguin hat is awesome! I like the other one too though :)

  5. not with that yarn, but with Rowan denim (which I LOVE, although it’s been discontinued after years and years as one of their signature yarns)….the darkest blue did the same thing to me–my hands AND my wooden needles. Surprisingly, though, it didn’t run when I washed it. Never could figure that out.

    I would definitely soak the hat….and maybe set the color with a little white vinegar in the soak???

  6. Carolyn says:

    I am especially happy that I came upon Your blog today for a couple of reasons. I know now that if ever I run into the Aragon yarn to pass it up. When the dye continues to fill the water even after dunking it two times I just freak out. I let it dry and never bother it again. How frustrating. Also, I had never seen that pattern before and Thank You for that as I have loads of bulky yarn hanging around with no pattern-home. I see quick-knitting holiday gifts in my near future. Your hat is quite lovely though.

  7. Oh, how awful! Perhaps it needs a warm bath?

  8. Alicia says:

    If you didn’t want the hat to be slouchy you could just start the decreases a couple of inches sooner (as an option). And definitely give it a nice long soak with vinegar, that should help.

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