Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hat details

At long last I have tracked down the missing ball bands and can now post the pattern details for the Overdue hat. Again, it is kind of appropriate that this has taken a while to get finished since the original plan had me knitting the hat for Christmas and we know how that turned out.

Pattern: Ragamuffin Ear flap Hat from Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop

Yarn: 2.5 balls of Jo Sharp's Silkroad DK Tweed for the main colour and then bits of my Shetland hand spun (white), Jo Sharp's Pure wool DK (dark blue), a mystery merino (burgundy) and some wool that I experimented dyeing with coffee (gold).

Needles: 4 mm DPNs for the majority of the hat and 3.25 mm needles for the crown and ear flaps.

Errors in the pattern: There are two mistakes in the pattern:
1. Round 5 should read: knit 3, *C6B, repeat from * to last 3 sts; work C6B over last 3 and first 3 sts of round.
2. The pattern says: " will discover that by adding color to the first or second set of 3 sts of the cable, the contrast color will appear to be woven to the right or to the left..." This isn't quite right. If you add it to the wrong set of stitches it ends up being cabled under and so mostly invisible. It is the row that you add the color on that determines which way it leans.

Modifications: The main modification was to turn this child's hat into a large adult's hat. Instead of casting on the 132 stitches I cast on 180, which is the main reason it took so long to knit this hat. Because I was knitting a larger hat and wanted to forgo the fringes on top I needed to modify the way the top of the hat decreased. When I was finished cabling the body of the hat I switched to smaller needles (to maintain the stitch density and keep the fabric from ballooning out) and decreased 8 times every row until I had only a handful of stitches left and could draw the yarn through. I kept adding bits of colour so that the top would match the body. The ear flaps I Knit as written only I chose to do them in the round rather than knitting the insides and outsides separately.

The most valuable lesson I learned in knitting this hat is that not everyone wants a hat to fit in the same way. Bumming around on line I learned that hats should have about 10% negative ease to fit properly. I decided that this was the flaw in the other hats that I had made and that didn't fit. It turns out that this was just one flaw. The other major problem was the way I was making the hats fit at the top of the head. I like hats that are snug at the top so that the top of my head is touching the top the hat when the brim is over my ears. After some trial fittings I leaned that this type of hat feels too tight on some people and that some hats need to be knit so that there is some clearance at the top. This was a valuable lesson and one that I will try to remember next time I knit a hat for someone who isn't me.


Joan said...

And winter stayed long enough for a good picture!


Meredith said...

The hat looks awesome! I have to say that it really is an interesting and attractive design. Beautiful colour work as always, too! I never realized that not everyone likes their hats tight on their head. I'll have to keep that in mind next time I gift a hat. Thanks for the head's up! :D

knitty_kat said...

I hear ya! Hats really are a personal thing. Me, I have lots of hair and a big head so I tend to prefer hats that have a little room in them and cover my ears. No mini hats for this girl!

Your hat turned out really well!