Knitting has been an important part of Rachel Horsting’s life since she was a little girl. Rachel’s mother taught her the basics when she was four and by the time she finished college, Rachel was coming up with her own designs. She continued knitting while she pursuing her master’s degree, working as a high school teacher and raising a family. She even continued knitting as her family traveled abroad for her husband’s research.
For the past two years, Rachel has been knitting in Italy, which is where she designed the Mixology hat and mitts knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The hat is an interesting combination of texture and colorwork, in a slouchy style that fits securely with a ribbed brim. The mitts are fingerless, with the same texture knit in only one color from the hat, so they coordinate without matching. As a nod to her current cultural influences, Rachel included a classic Italian cast-on in the pattern, which she demonstrates in a tutorial on her website.
How did you come up with this design?
This design is the fruit of a personal design challenge I set for myself – to use texture and color together. I was a bit apprehensive about putting the stripes into the ribbed stitch, but I think it really makes the design.
I started with the stitch pattern. I wanted to make something that looked interesting without getting hidden by the slightly fuzzy yarn, or too complicated to knit. I tried a few ways of combining different ribbing patterns, and ended up joining them by two stitch cables.
Did you make it for anyone in particular?
This set started with a request for mitts from my husband. He was working a lot in our very cold, damp, apartment this winter and wanted something very fitted. I decided to make a coordinating hat afterwards.
What’s your favorite thing about knitting?
I love that it can be about so many things. It can be about fashion, relaxation, complexity, mathematical structure, the pleasure of touching soft yarn, customization, solitude or society. There is a project and a yarn for every mood. I also like that it’s portable.