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Archive entry for October 2012

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October 2012

Cloche Cap


Charming retro hat with decorative band and buckle.

I learned from the Debbie Bliss Magazine Autumn/Winter 2012 that one of my favourite designers, Louisa Harding, has been facing up, with her husband, to his challenge of being treated for lymphoma. In appreciation for the help of Macmillan nurses, Louisa is taking part in Macmillan's Nepal Hiking Challenge and seems well on her way to raising her goal of £5000.
To help achieve the target She has put together a series of seven knitting patterns called 'Himalayan Hiking Hats'. She will have her photo taken wearing each one of the hats on the first 6 days of the trek. The seventh hat pattern in the series will be knitted 'en route' and photographed on the 7th (last) trekking day.
Download the hat patterns from her site and show your support by sending a donation.


The main hat is knitted in reverse stocking stitch, with the band in garter stitch. The design is intended for a textured yarn.


Using the 5 No 10 needles, cast on 8 stitches, placing 2 stitches on each of 4 needles.

1st (and every alternate) round: purl
2nd round: knit twice into every stitch. [16 sts]
4th round: * k1 knit twice in next stitch; repeat from * all round. [24 sts]
Mark end of round with a contrast thread, or stitch marker.

6th round: * k2, knit twice in next stitch; repeat from * all round. [32 sts]
8th round: * k3, knit twice in next stitch; repeat from * all round. [40 sts]

Continue increasing 8 stitches thus on every alternate round until there are 36 stitches on each needle. [144 stitches]
Work 7 rounds straight.

Next round: * k16, k2tog; repeat from * all round. [136 sts]
Work 2 rounds straight.
Next round: * k15, k2tog; repeat from * all round. [128 sts]
Work 2 rounds straight.
Next round: * k14, k2tog; repeat from * all round. [120 sts]
Work 2 rounds straight.
Next round: * k13, k2tog; repeat from * all round. [112 sts]
Work 5 rounds straight.

Cast off.


Cast on 16 stitches, and work a strip in garter-stitch (every row knit) 22 inches long - or length required to fit round head with 3 inches to spare. Now decrease 1 stitch at each end of the next and every alternate row until 2 stitches remain; k2tog and fasten off. This forms a point.
Using the wool double, crochet all round the outer edge of the buckle to cover.
[Editor's note: I think this might be trickier than it sounds - either due to the bouclé nature of the yarn or the thickness of the hook you'd need to use. I might be tempted to try a blanket or button-hole stitch around the buckle using the yarn single and a large-eyed darning needle.]

Stitch the cast-on edge of the band to the buckle, then slot the shaped end through the buckle pulling it through until the band fits round the head snugly.
[Editor's note: Again a slight inconsistency in the instructions and the photo here. I don't think it matters if you have a buckle with or without a tongue. If the latter, arrange the size you need and just push the tongue through the knitting. You should catch stitch the band in place, ensuring that it looks as though the end is free, that is, as if you had not stitched it.]

To Make Up

Pin band in position evenly all round crown noting that the purl side of the crown is the right side.
Sew neatly in position stretching band slightly.
Press seam and crown very lightly under a damp cloth using a rolled towel inside hat to keep the shape.


3 ozs Patons Rimple double knitting in colour Harlequin 1572.

A set of five of No 10 (3¼mm) needles, pointed at both ends.

A 2½ inch buckle.

Crochet hook.


24 sts to 4 inches.

Size matters

An average hat size.


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.

A word on the wool.

Patons Rimple was a softly textured bouclé yarn, (97% wool, 3% nylon), which knitted to a double knitting tension.

This hat is knitted on finer needles than usual so the knitted fabric will be denser and stiffer, giving the hat more body.

There are a few double knitting bouclé yarns available though many tend to be chunky weight. Debbie Bliss seems to have discontinued the Cashmerino Astrakhan but you can still obtain it at some outlets on the internet (and often discounted). Rowan have recently brought out a British Sheep Breeds "fine" bouclé but this still seems to knit up to a chunkier tension. You can try and obtain the right tension with finer needles - and I think this would produce an excellent knitted fabric for the hat - but be warned that knitting bouclé tightly on small needles is very hard work.

I cannot supply the yardage of Rimple, and can only guess that "Harlequin" was a multi-coloured tweed.

© Christina Coutts 2007

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