Winter Wonder Hat
This is a very flattering hat - speaking as one who has difficulty with hats, which always leads to sartorial dilemmas in weather such as we have in the UK at the moment. However, not only flattering and warm, but amazingly speedy to knit, which can be very useful at this time of year. I completed it in one afternoon.
The main part of the hat is a simple six-row pattern where you increase at the beginning and decrease at the end of every alternate row to create the diagonal effect. At the same time you alternate 3-row bands of stocking stitch and reverse sticking stitch.
Cast on 20sts.
1st row: Knit
These 6 rows form the pattern.
With right side facing, pick up and knit 72sts along one edge of the
side piece - that is 3 sts to each knit and purl stripe.
Work 10 rows in k1/p1 rib, and then cast off in rib.
Join side piece and brim neatly with a flat seam.
Press seam lightly.
Cast on 14sts, and work in stocking stitch, starting with a purl row (this is right side of work), and increasing at each end of the first and every alternate row until there are 28 sts.
Knit one row.
Then continue, decreasing at each end of next and every following alternate row until 14sts remain.
To Make Up
Pin crown in position to side of hat on wrong side, so that purl side
of crown is on the outside. Back stitch in position very neatly on wrong
side with a tailored seam
Fold ribbed brim in half to wrong side and slip stitch in position round lower edge.
Place on head.
Wrap in Christmas paper. Put under tree.
I bought some Spelsau
fleece at Woolfest in 2009; there was a workshop on knitting direct from
the fleece but I intended to spin my sample. I made a 2 ply yarn which
was softer than I had expected, but kempy (as I had not attempted to remove
the coarser fibres). There was only a small amount - I did not measure
the yardage, but I started with 100g, the yarn was chunky weight, and
I knitted 2 strands of yarn together by combining it with an aran-weight
handspun merino/silk blend to achive the bulky weight required. As you
can see, the fleece was a lovely combination of natural grey tones.
The description of the Spelsau fleece is as follows (taken from the reference above):
The Spaelsau is a direct ancestor to
the Old Norwegian Sheep.They were tough sheep supplying their masters
with meat, milk, wool, skin - even the sails that carried the ships over
the oceans were made of their wool. Today, a thousand years later, the
wool of the Spaelsau still consists of a rough cover to protect against
the wind and the rain, and under this a much softer layer close to the
skin as protection against the cold.