Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nightmare Yarn Hat

Nightmare Yarn Hat
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 

Nightmare Yarn Hat
A better look at the finish,
the cable, and those pesky big
stitches.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10, one set of double pointed needles, also in size US 10, one cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling, and one needle in size US 11 for provisional cast-on

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! :) 

Nightmare Yarn Hat
Nightmare Yarn Hat
Nightmare Yarn Hat
Nightmare Yarn Hat
Nightmare Yarn Hat
Nightmare Yarn Hat

20 comments:

  1. Super cute as usual. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Let me tell you, the struggle was real with this one. I thought this yarn would be super easy to work with and got a great idea immediately, and then the whole thing went to you-know-what. And it didn't help that my 2 year-old stole one of the balls and ripped it into about 8 separate pieces!!!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you!!! I was very happy to tease something pretty out of the yarn, since I knew it had the potential!!! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you!!! I was very happy to tease something pretty out of the yarn, since I knew it had the potential!!! :)

      Delete
  3. This looks amazing, determined to make it for my friend. Is this the yarn you used? It doesn't look so uneven in the picture. http://www.ebay.de/itm/361351879730

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's the yarn! And I totally agree it doesn't look uneven - that's why I didn't realize it until I got it home!!! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you! Can't wait to give this a go!

      Delete
    3. Great! Let me know if you have any questions!!!

      Delete
  4. 2 adult sizes, but Size measurement? My head is big & I hate making something & having it be too small. Same goes for sewn clothing.

    Love the style & need a hat, even in FL sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      The finished (unstretched) circumference the small is 20" and the large is 22". Because the band is knit flat and seamed, however, it has more stretch than a hat knit completely in the round, which is why I would recommend the small up to about 22.5" around and the large up to 24". That's assuming a wool-based fiber, however, since anything else will stretch more and end up looser! :)

      Delete
  5. I like those pesky bulkier stitches! I think they make the fabric interesting. Thank you for sharing this. I think I'll give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, ultimately I think this turned out well... it was just all the trying (and failing!) that led up to it that wore me out!!! :)

      Delete
  6. What weight is the nightmare yarn? Love this hat and am interested in making it with a different yarn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn!

      It's bulky weight. :) And, just for future reference, I tag all of my posts with the yarn weight (you can find those labels below the last picture, but above the comments).

      Delete
  7. Thanks, Gretchen. I love so many of your patterns! Just beautiful! … and so many have unique details and twists. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying my work! I'm also really excited about a few of my upcoming designs... :)

      Delete
  8. No matter what I do I can't get the decreases to come out right. I am starting with 80 stitches and if I do the SSK and then knit 16 and two together and keep going I end up with 10 left before I hit the marker

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Leslie!

    If you're knitting the size large then the math should work as follows:

    If you start with 80 and subtract the first repeat of the decrease (ssk, k16, k2tog) then you should have 60 left to work in the row, 18 already worked (since you decrease by two stitches during these first twenty). Then after the second repeat you'll have 40 left, 36 worked, after the third you'll have 20 left, 54 worked, and after the fourth and final you'll have 0 left, 72 worked. My best guess is that you're forgetting to work either your ssk or your k2tog in subsequent repeats of the pattern - remember that the k2tog will be followed directly by the ssk from the next repeat of the decrease. Anyway, I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. When starting a new ball of yarn, it is best to work it in at the edge of the garment instead of in the middle because of its bulky nature. When planning a knitting project, one must take into account room for stretching and shrinkage due to the nature of the fiber. Wrap Reel

    ReplyDelete