In front of our new home in Texas there are several autumn sage plants planted. They seem to mostly thrive despite the relentless sun and lack of water that accompanies summertime here. They have pretty little magenta-red blooms that attract hummingbirds and bees long into the fall season. In the driest days of the summer, though, they finally began to give up and I had to offer the poor things some extra waterings. Mostly they came back, but one of the plants had it worse than others because about half of it remained dry and bloomless. As I was breaking off some of the dead branches, I noticed just how much texture there was to the bark and that there were endless twigs branching off from the main stem of the plant.
And so an idea began to form in my head of a textured fabric with branching stitches. I did some swatching and some research on plant anatomy and came across the word bifurcation. It seemed like a bit of a mouthful but I do love interesting words as well as some alliteration! And so it stuck. And I think I like it better than the twiggy hat, ha ha, which was the word I started with!
The yarn I used for my swatching was actually leftover from the Marl the Spectrum Cowl sample I made for Kim Russo of Kim Dyes Yarn (she still has a couple kits left!) and it worked so beautifully that I crossed my fingers that there would be enough for the prototype - and there was! Just barely, though - it's a good thing I have a small head! The yarn base is called Napoleon Sock and it's 80% superwash merino and 20% silk and it is absolutely scrumptious! The colorway is Starstone, a richly tonal gray that was a wonderful match with the autumn sage bark.
This delightfully textured hat is worked in a spiral without joining rounds throughout the body and then in joined rounds for the brim. The pattern shifts along with the natural spiral of working in a continuous round to create a fluidly connected and branching texture.
The pattern itself includes color coded rounds in the body to help track repeats of rounds with the same stitch sequence as well as photos and a link to an informal video tutorial to help illustrate the post stitches. There is also a detailed size chart to help estimate finished size when substituting a variety of yarns and yarn weights. This pattern has been professionally tech edited by James Bartley and tested in Yarnpond.
Take a look at some of the results from my pattern testers!
Please feel free to share coupon code BBlaunch with all of your fiber friends to help me celebrate the pattern launch with 10% off the purchase of the Bifurcation Beanie pattern in my Ravelry shop now through December 23rd.
Happy crocheting, y'all!