Pyramid Hike Hat



Ranch 03: Campbell-Hansmire — sent straight from fiber heaven to my knitting needles! Before I ever held a skein, I loved this yarn for its origin story and progenitor, Julie Hansmire.  Not only is this yarn squishy and oh-so-soft, its 100% Merino wool was sourced from a woman-owned ranch — sadly a rarity in American wool production. And even better, it’s a ranch operated with an eye to sustainable practices, motivated by the twin goals of environmental preservation and holistic animal welfare. This is a ranch that compassionately tends both sheep and land. 


American Merino Sheep from Campbell-Hansmire Ranch
[One of these sheep is not like the other ones...]


In hunting for a sport-weight pattern for this special yarn, I immediately looked to designer Tressa Weidenaar (Tsin Bikéé on Ravelry and Instagram). Her aesthetic has always wowed me with the bold contrast and graphic motifs inspired by her Navajo + Dutch heritage and the stark beauty of the New Mexico landscape. Her Pyramid Hike Hat was just what I was looking for. 

I couldn’t shake the image of desert sunsets from my mind, so I did some stash-diving through my special hoard of Spincycle’s sport weight Dyed in the Wool to pair with Ranch 03. Another amazing woman-run business, Spincycle is owned and operated by a phenomenal team who mill and dye all their own yarns with a focus on maximizing their materials and leaving nothing to waste. You can shop their website here, but you’ll have your best luck if you subscribe to their newsletter and catch those exciting shop updates!


Fluffy dog Bjorn sneezes into a bowl of American Wool

[Bjorn always makes his opinion known during the color selection process. Sometimes a little emphatically.] 


Spincycle’s Ish-tints are a great example of their conservation-mindfulness. Available exclusively at Starlight Knitting Society (who is also a stockist of Ranch 03 — again with the amazing woman-owned businesses!) Ish-Tints echo their original colorways but are different enough to get their own label. The Ish-Tint I chose was a perfect sunset spectrum of reds and golds — a riff on the Devilish Grin colorway. 

I made sure to take a black-and-white photo of my Spincycle and Ranch 03 together to check for value. The colorwork motif is thinly sketched in this hat, so high contrast in my colors was a must. Brooklyn Tweed had a great resource on selecting colors and checking for value that helped me feel confident in my combo: Color Theory 101


Two skeins of American wool hand knitting yarn from Brooklyn Tweed and Spincycle Yarns

 [An Ish-Tint of Devilish Grin was the perfect pairing for my single skein of Ranch 03: Campbell-Hansmire in the Ink colorway.]


I cast on my hat using the 1x1 Ribbed Cable Cast On, which is my go-to for most hats with ribbed brims. I find the edge cleaner than the tubular cast on, while still being pleasantly elastic. I then rearranged the stitches into a 2x2 rib once the cast on was complete. The pattern was designed for a beanie, but I prefer a watchcap so I knit an extra 2” to get that plush foldover brim.

Designer Tressa Weidenaar’s colorwork chart is clean and easy to follow with no long floats, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that this pattern was such a fun knit that I completed it in a weekend! I just couldn’t put it down. And watching the contrast of the dark Ranch 03 with the shifting Spincycle kept my attention eagerly fixed on revealing more of this killer fabric (grin). 


Work in progress hand knit hat using two skeins of American wool in stranded colorwork

[The perfect sunset colors of these two skeins made for an incredibly compelling project. I barely stopped long enough to take this photo!] 


The combination of these two yarns is heavenly and formed a beautifully cohesive fabric after blocking. I used less than one skein of each yarn and could probably have made two identical hats with the leftover yardage from both skeins. Or you could reverse the colors for a completely fresh version!


Finished Pyramid Hike Hat by designer Tressa Weidenaar made from American wool hand knitting yarn

[Looking at this hat, I can almost feel the warm desert heat on my shoulder as I watch the sunset bloom over the canyons.]


The inspiration for this gorgeous design is rooted in the striking landscape of Red Rock Park, with its high desert canyons and layers of all different colors of rocks. Tressa shared: “The Pyramid Hike trail lands you on top of a rock formation that looks like a huge pyramid. It is very strenuous but the reward for reaching the top is worthwhile as the view is incredible. From there you can see the many, many layers that have been formed throughout the thousands of years which is what I tried to show in this hat.”


Pyramid Hike Trail in Red Rock Park, the inspiration for the Pyramid Hike Hat design by Tressa Weidenaar

[The illustrious Pyramid Hike summit in the Red Rock park — inspiration for the Tsin Bikéé pattern of the same name.]


You can shop her Pyramid Hike Hat pattern at a discount of 15% via Ravelry or Payhip using the code PYRAMID through April 10th. And don’t forget to browse Tressa’s other incredible designs while you’re there; they’re too good to miss. 


Marketing Coordinator Allison Ause models the Pyramid Hike Hat by Designer Tressa Weidenaar knit in Small batch Ranch 03 and Spincycle American Wool Yarns

[Wool, books, plants and a bold new FO? Color me content.]


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to walk Bjorn around my neighborhood while wearing my new hat and pretending that I’m adventuring on the majestic Pyramid Hike trail.


Exuberantly yours,

- Allison


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