There’s nothing like writing 3/4 of a post on the wrong form and losing it completely when you try to transfer it to the correct form to make you get to the point.  Yesterday I knitted and this is what I made:lilaccashmerecap.jpg                         mosscashmerecapearflaps.jpg  Both caps are knit from Karabella Supercashmere (moan, drool) and I was totally taken with the finished products.The lilac cap is 65 stitches cast on very loosely to size 5, 40 cm long circular needles.  It is intended to work for women receiving chemotherapy, so it is a little more snug than I’d make an outdoor cap; loss of hair does decrease your hat size a good bit.  Starting at the brim, join your stitches to knit in the round, making sure not to twist them, and knit about 2 inches in stockinette stitch.  On circular needles this means knit every stitch of each round.  I don’t use markers to mark the joining because I can see the yarn tail there.  After you have 2 inches of stockinette (give or take – don’t obsess about this), make one complete round of purl.  Then we start the spiraling purl ridge pattern. Row 1:  (Purl 2 knit 11) repeat this 5 times and you’ve finished the rowRow 2:  Knit 1, (purl 2 knit 11) 4 times, then purl 2 knit 10 and you’ve finished the row.Row 3:  Knit 2, (purl 2 knit 11) 4 times, then purl 2 knit 9Row 4:  Knit 3, (purl 2 knit 11) 4 times, then purl 2 knit 8and so on.  You get the idea:  each row you move your purl stitches over by 1 stitch, so that they spiral up the hat instead of stacking right on top of each other.  You are making 5 evenly spaced spirals.  After 16 rows, it’s time to start decreasing to form the crown of the hat.  You will need to decrease 5 stitches every round, evenly spaced.  You have many choices on how to do that.  You can switch back to stockinette and do your evenly spaced decreases, you can continue your spirals and take the decrease either before or after each spiral purl ridge, you can switch to reverse stockinette stitch and take the decreases by purling 2 together five evenly spaced times…just have fun with it.  I continued to spiral but widened my ridge to purl 3 and took the decreases in or close to the ridge:  lilaccashmerecapc.jpgOf course at some point you will need to switch to double-pointed needles.  When there are about 10 stitches left on your needles, cut your yarn leaving an 8-inch tail, thread it through the remaining stitches, and pull tight.  Weave in the crown and brim tails and you’re done.  If you’re giving this for a Christmas gift, don’t forget to include a little note about the washing instructions:  hand wash gently in cool water, dry flat.For the moss hat you need size 6 straight needles.  I used Takumi (Clover) bamboo, and the blunter tip didn’t split this loosely-spun, many-plied yarn very readily.  The hat is knit from the brim up.  Cast on 70 stitches and work a knit 2, purl 2 rib for about an inch.  Keep the ribbing loose – it’s not meant to cinch the hat to the head, but just to keep the edge flat.  After the ribbing, we’re going to use a double seed stitch.  For our number of stitches, it consists of a four-row pattern:Row 1:  (Knit 2, purl 2) repeat across the rowRow 2:  (Purl 2, knit 2) repeat across the rowRow 3:  (Purl 2, knit 2) repeat across the rowRow 4:  (Knit 2, purl 2) repeat across the rowYou are making little four-stitch blocks of knit stitches next to four-stitch blocks of purl stitches, but in blocks this small they look less geometric and more rounded and lacy. mosscashmerecapearflapsc.jpgJust ignore those earflaps for now, we’re not there yet.  After your 28 rows of double seed stitch, switch to seed stitch, doing (knit 1, purl 1) across every other row alternating with (purl 1, knit 1) across the inbetween rows.  You are also ready to start decreasing for the crown of the hat.  You make your decreases evenly spaced, in every other row.  I planned to decrease 10 stitches in every decrease row.  To keep in the seed stitch pattern, make your decreases in pairs:  Knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 2 together, purl 2 together, knit 1, purl 1…etc.  At some point you’ll need your double-pointed needles.  When you get to about 10 stitches left on the needles, cut your yarn leaving an 18 inch tail.  Thread the tail through the 10 stitches and pull tight.  Use the same tail to seam up the back of the hat.Now we’re ready for ear flaps.  Most ears sit slightly closer to the center back seam than to the center front of the hat.  Turn your hat inside out.  Your ear flaps are going to connect to the junction of the ribbing and body of the hat.  Starting 4 inches from the center back seam, pick up and knit eight stitches.  Knit these in stockinette stitch for 8 rows.  Remember your stockinette needs to face out toward the right side of the cap.  On the 9th row, knit 2 together across, leaving 4 stitches.  Turn and purl 2 together, leaving 2 stitches.  Turn, knit the last 2 stitches together, cut the yarn and pull through.  Now, get out your size H (8) crochet hook.  Putting it through the edge of your brim ribbing at the spot where the ribbing and earflap overlap, pull your yarn through and chain 1.  Work a single crochet stitch all the way around the earflap, connecting it at the end to the edge of the hat ribbing with a slip stitch, then cutting the yarnwith a 6-inch tail.  Create an ear flap on the other side of the hat, again starting 4 inches from the center back seam.  Weave in all the earflap tails and the center back tail and you’re done. These two hats required the following skills:  cast on, bind off, decrease by knitting or purling 2 stitches together, using circular needles and double points to knit in the round, knit and purl stitches, and basic finishing work.  Next time I’ll show you a very simple hat using all basic techniques.  Just because you use a sophisticated luxury yarn doesn’t mean your patterns have to be complicated. Peace!

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One Response

  1. Love your hats and such beautiful colors. Also, your piece on music. There is power and beauty in music. Like you I can have music all around me, but just listen in the car. I should try to listen more at home. Debbie

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