|Nightmare Yarn Hat|
Pictured in Adult Large
Okay, first and foremost, let's get this straight: I'm not actually saying that this yarn (Lana Grossa Colorato Nodo) is a nightmare - I mean, heck, I picked it out, and was pretty darn excited when I saw it! However, as you can clearly see in every picture, this yarn has one peculiarity that makes it difficult to work with - the significant size changes of the fiber, which make roughly 1/10 of the stitches look like they gorged on cured ham until they become monstrously swollen. And because this is not a peculiarity that I noticed until I got the yarn home, my original plan for this yarn was a total disaster - this stuff doesn't take ribbing (who knew ribbing could look terrible!?!?), and looks even worse as a rolled brim (unless you want to look like an incompetent knitter). So, basically, I had to punt. Therefore, I went with the most fool-proof design I could think of, and one that you, too, can put to work for that almost-novelty yarn you accidentally bought and then realized swallows every pattern you put near it (or that you bought on purpose! hi there! no shame, we'll start a club!). (Of course, this pattern is perfectly good for non-nightmarish yarns too!)
Oh, and a quick word on sizing - usually, of course, when you're sizing your hat the biggest concern is head size. That doesn't work quite as well with the nightmare yarn conundrum. And in fact, if you're working with a fiber that isn't predominately wool, you may want to veer in the adult small direction just to accommodate the inevitable stretching.
Sizes: Adult Small (Adult Large)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Colorato Nodo (90% Virgin Wool, 10% Polyamide; 120 yards [110 meters]/50 grams); #109 - two skeins
|A better look at the finish,|
the cable, and those pesky big
Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker, scrap yarn for provisional cast-on
Gauge: 15 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette
So let's make a cute hat from some difficult yarn! Using your size US 11 needle, cast on 18 stitches provisionally. Then, transfer the stitches to either one of your dpns or your size US 10 circular (you can use either since we're starting by knitting flat). Then we'll work the cabled bottom edge of the hat as you'll find below. To do this, you'll need the following notation. And remember you can always cable without a cable needle!
back cross (bc): transfer next 2 stitches to your cn and hold in back; k2, k2 from cn
front cross (fc): transfer next 2 stitches to your cn and hold in front; k2, k2 from cn
And once we've gotten that straight, let's proceed as follows:
Row 1 (right side): slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in back (sl1 wyib), k4, bc, fc, k5
Row 2: slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front (sl1 wyif), p17
Row 3: sl1 wyib, k2, bc, k4, fc, k3
Row 4: sl1 wyif, p17
Row 5: sl1 wyib, bc, k8, fc, k1
Row 6: sl1 wyif, p17
Knit rows 1 - 6 until piece measures roughly 20" for size small, and 21" for size large when stretched very lightly, and you've just finished row 5 of the pattern (if your gauge works out like mine then you'll probably repeat the pattern 20 times for the small, and 21 for the large). Transfer your held provisional stitches to a dpn and use the Kitchener stitch to seam the ends of the band together.
Now that your band is joined, it's time to finish the rest of the hat! With that in mind, then, pick up 76 (80) stitches evenly along one edge of the band (put whichever side looks prettiest towards the bottom), place marker, and join in round. Knit in stockinette until hat measures between 7" and 8" in total (depending on desired slouch and size - mine measures 8"). Then, we'll begin the decreases as follows. Notice that the first row will be different for the two sizes, but will then be the same for the rest of the decrease.
Decrease Row 1 (size small): * k17, k2tog; rep from * (72 stitches)
Decrease Row 1 (size large): * ssk, k16, k2tog; rep from * (72 stitches)
Decrease Row 2: * ssk, k14, k2tog * (64 stitches)
You'll probably want to transfer your work to your dpns about now...
Decrease Row 3: * ssk, k12, k2tog * (56 stitches)
Decrease Row 4: * ssk, k10, k2tog * (48 stitches)
Decrease Row 5: * ssk, k8, k2tog * (40 stitches)
Decrease Row 6: * ssk, k6, k2tog * (32 stitches)
Decrease Row 7: * ssk, k4, k2tog * (24 stitches)
Decrease Row 8: * ssk, k2, k2tog * (16 stitches)
Decrease Row 9: * ssk, k2tog * (8 stitches)
Complete decrease rows 1 - 9. Then, clip yarn tail, thread to tapestry needle, thread through final 8 stitches and pull tight. Thread to inside of hat and knot. Tuck in ends, and enjoyed your rescued yarn! :)