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Archive entry for April 2008

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April 2008

Woolly Hats for Sailors

ThreeHats.jpg

This wasn't my intended pattern for April, but I received a leaflet through the post telling me about the Sailors' Society [**please see footnote at the end], who are launching their woolly hat campaign for 2008. The campaign's aim is to provide seafarers arriving in the UK, (from foreign climates and thus ill-prepared for our weather), with hand-knitted hats to keep warm. Also worth noting is that these sailors often spend many months at sea in harsh conditions, sometimes not even speaking the same language as their colleagues, and these gifts can give a feeling of belonging and overcome feelings of isolation.

Last year's Woolly Hat Campaign saw over 15,000 hats distributed to seafarers throughout the UK and to Russia, Antwerp and South America, with over 6,000 given as part of Christmas packages.
If this inspires you, here are some patterns.

If you don't like any of these three hat patterns I have given for this month, the Yarn Harlot has an excellent free pattern for a "seriously quick hat".

** Please note that the Sailors Society does seem to be a religious organisation, which I mention not through any disapproval on my part, but in case you would care to look at their website and ensure its aims do not go against anything you believe in.

Fisherman’s Rib Hat

FishermanHat.jpg

This is my favourite hat of the three this month. It's simple, warm, comfortable, and looks like a serious seafarer's hat! Even though I don't like knitting rib that much, and Fisherman's rib means you have to put in a lot more knitting to get the length you need.... it was nonetheless very satisfying.

Instructions

With No. 6 (5mm) circular needle cast on 68 stitches, and join into a round, and purl the first round. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.
Editor's note: Often when you cast on it tends to be tighter and have less give than the knitting, so with a hat band you need to make an effort to cast on loosely, especially if designed to fold back. Ravelry knitter kellyincville commented that it she would do the cast on and do the first row with a larger needle, which is excellent advice for this hat.
Now work in Fisherman's rib stitch as follows:

1st round: * K1B (knit one below, by knitting into the stitch below the next stitch, and slipping both sts off the needle together); p1. Repeat from * to end of round.
2nd round: * K1; P1B, (Purl one below). Repeat from * to end of round.

These 2 rounds form the pattern. Continue in pattern until work measures 9inches from the beginning, ending with round 2.

Shape Crown as follows, keeping continuity of the pattern:
Editor's note: Ravelry knitter kellyincville noted that when you get to the k1/p1 rib used for these decreases, the ribbing is noticeably tighter than the the fisherman's rib. I regarded this as part of the crown pattern, which is only just visible in the photo, but she points out that you could go up a size on the needles to compensate.

Next round: (K3tog; p1,k1,p1) 11 times; k2tog. [45 sts]
Next 3 rounds: K1, p1, rib to last st, k1. [45 sts]
Next round: (K3tog; p3tog) 7times; k3tog. [15 sts]
Next 3 rounds: K1, p1, rib to last st, k1. [15 sts]
Next round: (K3tog; p3tog) twice; k3tog. [5 sts]
Next round: K1, p1, k1, p1, k1. [5 sts]

Break yarn, thread through remaining sts; draw up and fasten off securely.

Making up:
Sew in all ends, and turn back brim as required.

Changing the hat size, or substituting the wool.

You may want to alter the size (circumference) of your hat, or compensate for a different gauge.

Simply work out how many sts you need to cast on according to your own gauge eg divide the number of sts by 16 and multiply by the number of sts you knit to 4 inches.
To work in Fisherman's rib, you need an even number of stitches.

A word on the wool.

If you work in pure wool you may need more than my stated quantities of yarn. Fisherman's rib is a very yarn-hungry stitch which produces a satisfying elasticated bulky fabric, by effectively knitting the yarn double, (nice and warm!).

Original pattern called for 3 x 50g balls Patons Husky Chunky, which is a pure wool chunky; the blend I used, no doubt, has a better yardage.
Patons Husky Chunky knitted to a tension of 7.5sts and 10 rows to 2 inches.

Materials

Example shown is knitted in 3 x 40g balls of vintage Argyll Ferndale Shetland Chunky (an acrylic and wool blend).

Size 6 (5mm) and circular needle - short length suitable for a hat.

Tension

Approx. 8st to 2 inches on No 6 (5mm) needles.

Size matters

There is a lot of give in the ribbed stitch, making the sizing very flexible.

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

Moss and Blackberry Stitch Hat

MossHat.jpg

A 1970s hat using blackberry stitch, with a moss stitch brim. George did not think this was very "manly", but I leave that artistic decision to you, [George has also had experience of "life on the ocean wave" and says that as long as it's warm it will be welcome].

Instructions

With No. 6 (5mm) circular needle cast on 89 stitches, and work in rounds of k1, p1, moss stitch for 3 inches. Increase 7sts evenly across the last row. [96 sts]

Change to No. 4 (6mm) circular needle and work pattern as follows:

[Editor's note: this pattern (blackberry stitch) is worked over groups of 4 sts, and the hat is knitted up from the wrong side throughout.]

1st round: (wrong side) Knit.
2nd round: * P3tog; (k1,p1,k1) into the next st. Repeat from * to end of round.
3rd round: as first
4th round: * (k1,p1,k1) into the next st; p3tog. Repeat from * to end of round.

These 4 rows form the pattern. Continue in pattern until work measures 8½ inches from the beginning, ending with round 4.

Shape Top as follows, keeping continuity of the pattern:

Next round: K1 *k2, k2tog. Repeat from * to last st., k1. [72 sts]
Work 3 pattern rounds 2, 3 and 4.
[Editor's note: You can't keep the pattern bobbles in line with the previous work during the decreasings; just make the bobbles evenly across the rounds as before.]

Next round: *K2tog, k1. Repeat from * to end of round. [48 sts]
Work 3 pattern rounds.
Next round: *K2tog. Repeat from * to end of round. [24 sts]
Work 3 pattern rounds.
Next round: *K2tog. Repeat from * to end of round. [12 sts]
Work 1 round.

Break yarn, thread through remaining sts; draw up and fasten off securely.

Making up:
Sew in all ends.

Changing the hat size, or substituting the wool.

You may want to alter the size (circumference) of your hat, or compensate for a different gauge.

Simply work out how many sts you need to cast on according to your own gauge eg divide the number of sts by 18 and multiply by the number of sts you knit to 4 inches.
To work in moss stitch, you need to use an odd number of sts and work k1,p1 on every round.

Do the same calculation when increasing for the blackberry stitch, taking note that your number of sts needs to be divisible by 4.

Example: I have a gauge of 18 sts to 4 inches on no UK 6 (5mm) needles.
You have a gauge of, say, 15 sts to 4 inches (that is: your wool is thicker than mine).

Cast on 89 sts becomes 89/18*15 = 74, and you cast on 75, as it needs to be an odd number.

Increase evenly to 96 sts becomes 96/18*15 = 80.
For this hat, you need the number of stitches picked up to be divisible by 4, and 80 is exactly divisible by 4 so you are OK.
If not add or subtract a couple of sts until you get a number divisible by 4.

Materials

Example shown is knitted in 2x 50g balls of vintage Richard Poppleton Emmerdale Chunky Tweed (an acrylic and wool blend).

Size 6 (5mm) and size 4 (6mm) circular needles - short length suitable for a hat.

Tension

Approx. 9st to 2 inches on No 6 needles.

Size matters

This hat worked out to about 22 inches head circumference. My estimate is that "to fit an average sized head" means 22/23 inches for a man's size and 20-22 inches for a woman's size.
See "altering the size" below.

A word on the wool.

Original pattern called for Patons Husky Chunky, which was, I think a pure wool chunky, somewhat bulkier than the one I used.
It knitted to a tension of 7.5sts and 10 rows to 2 inches. However, the implied hat size was very large, so I have not altered the original pattern sts according to my gauge, but have allowed the hat to knit up slightly smaller than the original.

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

 

Cable Band Hat

CableBandHat.jpg

This 1970s style hat is constructed by knitting a cabled band and then picking up stitches to knit the rest of the hat - which in this example is ribbed. This version is is not intended to have a turned back brim; if you want one, then you must knit the rib section longer; you will not have to reverse any workings as the rib section is reversible, so could be worn either way out. The single layer construction is very economic on yarn; For my wool/acrylic blend, I used 58g.

Instructions

With No. 5 (5½mm) needles cast on 11 stitches, and work in cable pattern as follows:
[Editor's note: I cast on with waste wool, so I could remove it later and graft the ends of the band together.]

1st row: (wrong side) K3, p6, k2.
2nd row: P2, k6, p1, k2.
Repeat 1st and second rows twice more, then the 1st row again.

8th row: (right side facing) P2, cable 6 (slip the first 3 sts onto a cable needle and leave at the front of the work; k3, then k3 from cable needle); p1, k2.

9th - 14th rows: Repeat 1st and second rows 3 times.

Repeat 1st - 14th rows 8 times more (9 patterns in all) ending with row 13. Graft the sts to the cast-on edge to form a circular band, [or cast off the 11 sts and sew the cast-on to the cast-off edge].

[Editor's note: If you want to alter the size (circumference) of your hat, now is the time to do it. Lengthen or shorten this band to the circumference you want to achieve. See "altering the size" below.]

One edge of the band has a neat "finished" garter st edging and the other has a reverse stocking stitch edge, which you will use to continue knitting the hat in the round.
Change to number 6 (5mm) circular needle and, with right side of work facing, pick up 92 sts evenly around the reverse stocking stitch edge.

Work in rounds of k2, p2 rib for 5 inches (about 28) rows.

Shape Crown as follows:

1st round: *K2tog, p2. Repeat from * to end of round.
2nd round: *K1, p2. Repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat rounds 2 five times more.

8th round: *K1, p2tog. Repeat from * to end of round.
9th round: *slip1, k2tog, pass the slipped st over; p1. Repeat from * to end of round.

Break yarn, thread through remaining sts; draw up and fasten off securely.

Making up:
Sew in all ends.

Changing the hat size, or substituting the wool.

You may want to alter the size (circumference) of your hat, or compensate for a different gauge.

This pattern relies on making an even number of cables around the hat, so to lengthen or shorten the band, you can either add in whole or partial pattern repeats, or, if you feel up to it, you could alter the number of rows in the pattern repeat of the cable.

Test your gauge before you start and work out how many rows you need to make your chosen head circumference size. Start by dividing the number of rows you calculate by 14, and then try some other numbers, eg 12, 16, 13, or 15, until you are close to getting an exact number of patterns. [Note that if you choose to work to an uneven number of rows in the repeat, then you will end up doing your cable operations on purl rows, which is quite feasible, but approach with caution if your are a beginner in this field!]

If the above all sounds hopeless to you, then just knit until the band is the length you require, and just sew the ends of the band together rather than trying to graft it. You could even work the hat on two needles instead of in the round, by picking up the stitches from the band before you sew it up, - and then, when you have finished, you sew a side seam into the hat, including the band.

Finally if you are altering the size, or compensating for a different gauge, you will probably need to pick up a different number of stitches from the band. I usually pick up a number of stitches equal to three quarters of the number of rows I have knitted.
Example: I knitted 9 pattern repeats of 14 rows which equals 126 rows in total. Then 126*3/4 = 94.5.
For this hat, you need the number of stitches picked up to be divisible by 4, and I chose to pick up 92sts. I could equally have chosen 96.

Materials

Example shown is knitted in 2x 50g balls of vintage Richard Poppleton Emmerdale Chunky Tweed (an acrylic and wool blend).

Two size 5 (5½mm) needles and a size 6 (5mm) circular needle - short length suitable for a hat.

Tension

Approx. 9st to 2 inches on No 6 needles.

Size matters

This hat worked out to about 22 inches head circumference. My estimate is that "to fit an average sized head" means 22/23 inches for a man's size and 20-22 inches for a woman's size.
See "altering the size" below.

A word on the wool.

Original pattern called for Patons Double plus, which was a double knitting wool, and the instructions were to knit the yarn double, producing a tension of 7.5sts and 10 rows to 2 inches.
The hat was "unisex" but shown modelled on a woman.
I have compensated for changing the wool, and made the hat slightly larger - my own version is printed here, not the original.
The original instructions were to knit 8 pattern repeats for the band, and to pick up 86 sts for the hat, which was not knitted in the round.

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

 

© Christina Coutts 2007

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