Sunday, January 04, 2015

Grayscale Hat

Still jetlagging a bit from the trip home. I didn't have anything on the needles for the second half of our journey after finishing the cowl for my sister-in-law, but that was okay. We were so busy. But on the flight home I got fidgety. I felt stupid carrying knitting needles on a plane without any actual project on them
So when I got home, I got to digging through some odds and ends of yarn. I remembered that I had some leftover Shelter from the sweater I made for my brother last year (proudly, I can say that he wore it while I was there!) and figured I had enough to make a hat.
I found this four-stitch colorwork motif that I liked in Ravelry and figured I could adapt it. I've seen something similar in vintage ski sweater patterns from the 60s. I added an extra color change from the second color back to the original and had just enough. I'll put details in the notes at Ravelry later, but here are the basics:
I cast on 100 stitches. Originally, I tried 112, but that turned out too big -- you were right, Staci! She helped me unwind the colorwork I'd knit up so far. Which I think is the knitting equivalent of the sorority girl holding her sisters's hair back while she yaks. Or something like that. In any case, I appreciated the help.

I did eight rounds of 2x2 ribbing on size 6 needles, then switched to size 7 and knit two more rounds. Then I did the colorwork section, knitted two rounds plain, and then started the decreases. According to this neat hat decrease calculator I found, I needed 102 stitches to get six even sections of 17 stitches each, so I increased two stitches randomly just before decreasing. That kind of bugged me, but I'm trying to let that go.

The first time I tried the decreases, I neglected to note that I had to decrease on each side of the 6 markers. I only did it once. And despite my years of knitting experience, I didn't think it was weird that I had to draw the yarn through 54 stitches (!) to close the hat. But I sure thought it was weird when I had finished pulling the yarn all the way through. Plus the yarn snapped, which probably wouldn't surprise anyone who has worked with Shelter. It looked like the ribs on the top of a pumpkin. A quick instructional re-read set me straight, and I ripped it back and fixed it. Much better the second time around -- only 6 stitches to pull through! And it was perfect for the chilly dog walk this evening.
I like that I repurposed and re-used these scrap ends. I wonder what other little treasures might be lurking in bins, bags and boxes around here?


  1. Okay, I laughed out loud while imagining you drawing the yarn through 54 stitches. That must be a definitive sign of jet lag!! However, the final product is great!

  2. Super hat, that would have kept you warm in France and Germany!
    And I have some Shelter leftovers too... Tony

  3. Just goes to show that there's plenty still to learn, even on simple projects like a scrap hat. The result is great and I like that calculator. I tend to default to a crown decrease that swirls. I'll try this ribby one next time.

    I am drawn to the idea of only knitting from stash for a year but of course can never quite bring myself to do it. But it's nice to know that one could do it. (Well, maybe you couldn't... but I'll share when the zombie apocalypse comes!)