Thursday, July 27, 2017

Xcellent Adventure Hat

Xcellent Adventure Hat
Xcellent Adventure Hat
pictured in small size

What can I say about this hat? Well, I guess I could start by mentioning that I still had a skein of this yarn left over after finishing the Rainbow Rib Mitts, and I thought that the variegation of it might work well for a larger project (since the color sections are on the long side, I thought I would at least get one full round in each color gradient for a hat). And since I also love the look of long slipped stitches with color work, I decided to combine the yarn and slipped stitch pattern for a fun, textured design.

Sizes: Teen/Adult Small (Adult Large)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Novena Color (50% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 20% Nylon; 240 yards [220 meters]/50 grams); #0009 Rosa/Violet/Blue - one to two skeins (two skeins) (side note again: I completed my size small hat with one skein)

Xcellent Adventure Hat
A better look at the finish.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 6; one 16" circular needle in size US 8, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette 

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 6 circular needle, then, cast on 112 (128) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll do a simple ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p2, k1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row measures roughly 1.75" (2"). Transfer your work to your size US 8 needle and knit three rows around. Then we'll begin the pattern, as follows. Notice that your slipped stitches will seem short by the time you reach rows 11 & 23; simply tug them a bit when you work those rows to make them more pronounced. :)

Rows 1 - 4: * slip 1 stitch with yarn in back (sl1), k6, sl1, k8; rep from *

Row 5: * drop slipped stitch to front of work and slip next 3 stitches purlwise from left needle to right needle, pick up and place dropped stitch on left-hand needle, slip 3 stitches back to left-hand needle, and k4; then, slip next 3 stitches purlwise from left needle to right needle, drop next slipped stitch to front of work, slip the 3 stitches back to your left-hand needle and pick up and place dropped stitch on left hand needle, k12 *

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Zigzag Slouch Hat

Zigzag Slouch Hat
Zigzag Slouch Hat
Pictured in size small

This is another one of those designs that first appeared in my mind half-formed and hazy, and then solidified as soon as I bought the yarn. And while I know I'm reusing some concepts here (I used the same stitch pattern and combination of a solid yarn and a variegated yarn in the Zigazig Ah Scarf), I think that the finished result is pretty and novel, from the faux icords running up the seam to the notched back design.

Oh, and some notes on sizing and design here - first off, I know that there's a fairly significant size difference between the small size (which fits up to about a 23" head) and the large size (which fits bigger ones - up to 26.5" at least). This is for two reasons - one, the design suits either a close-fitting or a loose-fitting wear, so it's not too finicky, and if you're borderline on sizes you can choose based on whether or not you want your hat to fit tightly or slouch (you can also choose a size based on your volume of hair!). And two, the stitch pattern is 24 stitches long, and, though one could create a medium size by only working 12 of the final 24-stitch repeat, it would no longer be symmetrical in the back, which compromises some of the hat's appeal. All of that being said, if you'd like a truly medium sized hat, you could always work the design on needles that give you a slightly different gauge - for instance, work the large size with needles that give you 26 inches per 4" instead of the given 24.

Speaking of symmetry and sizing, I would also like to mention that I successfully worked my entire hat on size 4 needles. However, the icord cast on is a little tight, and required blocking to relax it. If you'd prefer, you could work your icord cast on in a needle one size larger than the needle with which you work the rest of your hat. Then you will avoid any too-tight brim issues entirely!

Sizes: Teen/Adult Small (Adult Large)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Cool Wool Melange (100% Virgin Wool; 175 yards [160 meters]/50 grams); #115 - one skein (two skeins) (color A) and Lana Grossa Cool Wool Degrade (100% Virgin Wool; 175 yards [160 meters]/50 grams); #6002 - one skein (one skein) (color B)

Zigzag Slouch Hat
A better look at the back,
faux icords and all!
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 4, one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 4 (optional: dpns in size US 5 for icord cast on or a 24" circular in size US 4 if you're making the larger size of the hat)

Notions: Tapestry needle, 36" of scrap yarn, stitch marker

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 4 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your color A yarn, and your size US 4 or 5 dpns, cast on 4 stitches loosely. Then we'll work an icord cast on, as follows:

Icord Row (always worked as a right-side row): kfb, k3; then, when you go to begin your next row, use your tapestry needle to thread the first of kfb stitches onto your piece of scrap yarn purlwise to hold for later

Knit this icord row until you're holding 127 (151) stitches on your scrap yarn. Kfb in your first stitch one final time, transfer the first stitch (of your kfb) to your scrap yarn, and then bind off your four icord stitches (which include the second stitch from your kfb). Then, transfer the 128 (152) held stitches from your scrap yarn and onto your circular needle (you can use a 24" if you're making the large size). Once you have all your stitches transferred, continue to use your color A yarn and work as follows. Note that you can pull the yarn tight behind your slipped stitches; this creates the icord look.