01 January 2008

New Year, New Hat

This hat was made for my half-Norwegian husband, Doug. He is rarely cold, even in winter. His hair is thinning, so he does need a little something to cover his head, especially when he is out on the flight line looking at the instrumentation for the next test on the airplane. This hat answers his request for something warm but aerospace-engineering appropriate. For those seeking a little knitting excitement, the hat features Lily Chin ribbles and decreases in pattern all the way to the top.

This is also an excuse for me to play with Manos del Uruguay. The thick & thin yarn reminds me, oddly enough, of Berroco Hip Hop. If you are looking for interesting yarn substitution possibilities, this could be a workable pairing.

I worked the hat mostly on a circular needle. Typically, I'll use the Magic Loop technique. (If you are unfamiliar with the technique, you can see a short video here.) I've acquired the Knit Picks nickel-plated dpns in the range of sizes, and I just couldn't resist using those for the top of the hat. I can definitely recommend these needles. The metal is smooth enough to allow the yarn to slide slickly along, but there is something about the finish that seems to give a hint of traction. It feels a little like static electricity, but I doubt that's it. The needles are pleasantly pointy as well -- not sure the TSA would fully appreciate them. I bought these partly because they come in large sizes. I didn't realize how useful a size 11 dpn would be until I wanted to work an i-cord strap for a felted bag. The sock set of sizes 0-3 in metric is wonderful. If you use small dpns and don't have a nice set, ask Cupid for Valentine's Day.

Hat pattern short & slick version:
Tubular cast-on at band.
Establish pattern, 6 pattern multiples around hat.
Work 8 full pattern row repeats or until length desired.
Decrease in pattern for top.
Cut and weave in ends.

Fits a 24” circumference head
Finished hat size: Hat is about 11” long & about 20” around at brim.

Materials:
1½ skeins Manos del Uruguay (100% wool, 126 m/138 yd to 100 g/3.5 oz)
Size 8 circular or dp needles or size to get gauge
Gauge: 18 sts x 22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st; One pattern repeat is approx. 2.5”.

Main pattern:
Multiple of 16 stitches
Rounds 1-5 (plain in pattern): *p2, k4, p2, (k1, p1)4x; repeat from * 6x.
Round 6 (cable round): *p2, k4, p2, R4F, p2, k4, p2, R4B; repeat from * 6x.

R4F = Ribble 4 sts front: i.e. a reversible cable worked over 8 sts and crossing left:
Place the group of (k1, p1, k1, p1) on a cable needle and move to front. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 in next 4 sts on the left needle. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 across the 4 stitches on the cable needle.
R4B = Ribble 4 sts back: i.e. a reversible cable worked over 8 sts and crossing right:
Place the group of (k1, p1, k1, p1) on a cable needle and move to back. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 in the next 4 sts on the left needle. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 across the 4 stitches on the cable needle.

I'll post more, including the decreases, another day.

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