Kind of a hat…

Have you seen Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot)’s An Unoriginal Hat pattern? It’s so cute and looked like a fun, instant gratification knit.

I ordered a skein of Bernat Softee Chunky in the color Nature’s Way, and I’ve been trying to think of why I love the color of this yarn so much. I don’t think its resemblance to some of my favorite pajamas is coincidental.

The pattern is fabulous and it was great fun to knit. Interesting cabling, but enough stretches of easy knit and purl that it was relaxing while watching TV with my mother. I started the hat late Wednesday evening on size 10.5 DPNs (adding 4 rows of 2×2 ribbing at the bottom), and it was finished on Thanksgiving afternoon. Fast, easy, and a blast.

Trouble is, it just doesn’t fit my head. Whoops.

I don’t think I have an exceptionally large head, but I used slightly smaller than the called-for needles, I didn’t check gauge, and I ignored my misgivings when trying it on.

Unless I find a child who might like this hat, I think I’m going to frog it and use the yarn to make a zig-zag pattern similar to a hat worn by Jennifer Love Hewitt on Ghost Whisperer this evening (episode 309 “All Ghosts Lead to Grandview” – if anyone has a photo I’d really appreciate it).

I think that will take advantage of the stripes that form in this yarn and look quite cute. But you can bet I’m checking gauge this time!

I made a hat!

I’ve been knitting merrily along on the hat for the Cabled Baby Set (the mother was due Monday, and I haven’t heard news yet). As I approached the shaping for the crown, it occurred to me that I’ve never made a hat before!

The instructions said to decrease 6 stitches evenly spaced over every other row, 6 times. Of course, I had to figure out how to space the decreases, so this is the math that I did:

Decreasing 6 stitches over a row of 80 stitches involves 6 x k2tog=12 stitches. 80-12=68. I then divided 68 by 6, figuring that I should put 11 stitches between each decreasing pair, splitting the remaining 13 stitches at each end, as follows:

7 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 -(2) – 6

where the 2 in parentheses indicates a k2tog and the regular numbers indicate knit stitches.

For each subsequent decrease row, I then had to reduce one stitch from one of the ends (I alternated these), then one stitch from each middle section. The next decrease rows went like this:

6 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 6
5 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 6
5 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 5
4 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 5
4 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 4

Then I was to decrease 6 stitches evenly spaced over the next 6 rows, every row. I used almost the exact same pattern, though because I was turning the work between the rows, I alternated back and forth on how I decreased, reading through the lines as if it were a snake.

3 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 4
3 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 3
2 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3
2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2
1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 2
1 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 1

The last row basically involved knitting a stitch, then 6 k2tog’s, then knitting the last stitch.

Really rather elegant I think.

It made a lovely set of decreases with a sort of scalloped look before I sewed it together, a snowflake-like expanding shape once seamed.

Seaming it was a little tricky, and I was a bit unhappy with the first go at it. As I was weaving in ends, I decided to reinforce the seam, and that made it a lot neater. I was hesitant about a baby hat that had a seam running up the back, thinking it would be uncomfortable, but it’s a 12 month size hat, so in theory by then, our baby should be able to hold his head up without trouble.

Next up, seaming the sweater and knitting some booties!