I am now the proud owner of the perfect winter hat. Casey was kind enough to take me up on the hat for art swap and I couldn't be more thrilled. And holly cow, was she fast! We e-mailed a bit trying to decide on the perfect yarn and color blue and ended up deciding ivory was the best choice in Debbie Bliss 100% merino wool which is lovely and soft and showcases the stitch pattern so well. Look at how similar it looks to the hat I posted! Incredible. She seems to have a bit of pom-pom insecurities, but I love the pom-pom, and don't know what she is talking about.
on my head keeping my ears toasty. . .
The generous, very funny, and talented Casey gave me the pattern to post. She said it was a bit by the seat of her pants. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it makes sense. if you have questions, just post a comment and Casey and I can help you (I may not be much help) Thank so much Casey! **and I know I do have a pretty small head. Pete's is even smaller and the doctors have really noticed the girls tiny heads. hmmm.
balls Debbie Bliss merino aran (100% merino wool, color 101, 78m/50g,
24 rows and 18 sts to 10cm) Note: manufacturer recommends 5mm/US 8
needles. I used 5.5 mm as the pattern stitch is dense. I do not know
what my gauge was but I believe it was 6 st/inch.
is knit flat (because I could not figure out how to make the pattern
stitch work in the round!), using the plaited basket stitch from
Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Requires an odd
number of stitches.
1 (right side): K2 * insert needle from back to front between first and
second stitches on the left-hand needle, knit the second stitch, then
knit the first stitch, then slip both stitches from the needle
together; repeat from *, end K1
2: P2, *skip next stitch and purl the second stitch, then purl the
skipped stitch, then slip both stitches from the needle together;
repeat from *, end P1
made the ear flaps first, starting by casting on three stitches then
increasing two (on each ear flap) on each knit row. I made them at the
same time, using both balls of yarn, mainly because I didn't know what
I was doing and knew I wouldn't be able to repeat it. I increased every
other row until I had 19 stitches for each ear flap, which was
conveniently almost 3 inches long (had it not been, I would have ripped
it out and increased every third or fourth row). The flaps were knit in
the pattern stitch as best as I could accommodate the increases. Next I
did something stupid: I tried to use a cable cast-on to cast on the
body of the hat while the ear flaps were still on the needles. I
probably should have cast-off both flaps, then cast on the body of the
hat and picked up stitches along the top of each. But, whatever, it
mostly worked. I picked up stitches like this:
CO 21---[PU 19 ear flap]---CO 42---[PU 19 ear flap]---CO 22
totaled 123 stitches, which worked for me because I like a snug hat
(123 stitches at 6 st/inch (which I am pretty sure was my gauge) is
just under 21 inches—Amy told me her head was 23" (and I tried not to
dwell for too long on how gigantic my melon is by compare), so I
figured around 21 inches was good, given the stretch of the wool and
the flexibility I found in my pattern swatch).
then I knit the hat flat in the pattern stitch for about six inches or
so. The cast-off was another adventure, since I wanted to try to keep
the decreases in the pattern stitch as best as I could. So I did two
K2tog on the last row before the decreases, to get down to 121 stitches
(I figured I needed an odd number for the pattern stitch, but that was
very close to 120, which is divisible by six). Then, I did K1, then
*K4, K2tog and repeated from the * around. I did a normal purl row (no
deceases) but had to fudge a little to get into the pattern stitch (
i.e. I think I started with one purl stitch instead of two or
something). On the next knit row, I did K1, *K3, Ktog, etc. I went on
in this vein until I was just doing K2togs, and had about 10 left. I
cut the yarn, threaded it through, tied it off, etc. I made the braids,
a (lousy) pompom, and finished it up with a study mattress seam. I
blocked the bottom edges of the hat, to keep them from curling up.