A quick slouchy hat

I knit a quick slouchy hat last week, while a bad case of cold and cough got me bored out of my mind. Binge-watching serials didn’t help much, and I thought I could knit while watching. But then, I didn’t have the energy to tackle the larger projects that I’ve been working on, and decided to knit something small, just a few rows now and then. A hat would be perfect.

So I picked up this skein I had lying around since the vanilla and liquorice cardigan days. It’s a self-striping yarn anyway, and I wouldn’t have to do too much thinking. But I can’t really go without thinking either, so as a compromise, I added a bit of variety by changing the needle sizes every few rows — I used 4.5mm and 6.5mm ones, with appropriate increases and decreases in stitch count. I also added strategic eyelet rows. The needle size changes aren’t evident much in the end, but whatever… πŸ™‚

Slouchy hat

Slouchy hat

Pretty, isn’t it? My sis likes the amount of slouchiness in this one.

Slouchy hat

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An earflap hat for my sis

My sis asked me to knit a hat that’s not too tight, covers her ears well and also has functional ties that she can actually tie up. We decided on an earflap hat with ties. I was dying to try out and learn intarsia in the round, so I thought this project would be suitable. I had some amounts of yarn left over from past projects that would work well for some small colorwork detail in a hat, so I decided to use those with the main yarn. I started out with a garter stitch border, and then was ready for some colorwork.

I’d looked for in-the-round intarsia methods from time to time, and hadn’t found many foolproof ways. Tip #1 always seems to be “If possible, just don’t do it.” πŸ™‚ Well I did want to, so these are what I tried:

  • Slip color-2 stitches while working color-1 ones, turn work, then slip color-1 stitches while working color-2 ones. I was pretty hopeful about this method, but it didn’t work for me because it resulted in some overly loose columns just before the first slipped stitch of a color.
  • Flat knitting simulation — Finish the right side, turn work, add an extra ‘reverse’ yarn-over (that is, with left-arm facing me), go through all stitches on the reverse side, work that extra stitch with the last stitch of the row, turn work. This resulted in a bumpy column where the extra stitch was knit with the last stitch.

There were a couple of other methods that seemed to me similar to these. I stuck with method #2, and my sis was considerate enough to ignore the bumpy column, but I’m still going to figure out sometime how to make the first method work correctly for me.

Before starting with the earflaps, I first confirmed with my sis where she wanted the colorwork column to be positioned. πŸ™‚ After marking out the spots for the flaps, I started out with knitting them, but then decided to crochet instead because I thought they would do well to be thicker.

I then strung yarn into the crochet edges and made 5-strand braids for the ties.

Earflap hat

Both my sis and I love how it’s turned out!

Ridged sideways hat

I had this beautiful skein of yarn that I wanted to make into a hat, highlighting its colors.

Yarn

I’ve made a lot of hats the usual way (knit round and round), quite a few with variegated yarn, and the colors finally look all mixed and splotchy. Of course, some color combinations look good that way, but I didn’t think this was one such combo. So I decided to knit a sideways hat.

A sideways hat is made by knitting to and fro, where every row runs from the bottom of the hat to its top. Well, not every row; some rows have to be short so the hat curves towards the top. πŸ™‚ And when I think short rows, I must mention TECHknitter’s short row tutorial. She describes not one, not two, but five different methods of making short rows! And her instructions are just divine! As if they’re not already easy to read, she also provides wonderfully clear illustrations that make your day! I don’t usually make consecutive exclamations, but there you go… πŸ™‚ I’ve learned quite a bit of knitting techniques and tricks from TK, and not just short rows.

So anyway, I made a sideways hat with this skein. I started with a provisional cast on, with enough stitches to eventually span the required length. On every right-side row, I knit 4 stitches less than the previous row before wrapping and turning, until the last short row was about half the length of the hat. Then it was time for a full row on the right side, picking up and knitting the wraps. The next wrong-side row was full of knit stitches too, to give it those purly ridges on the right side. That completed one ‘wedge’. I repeated these steps until the hat was wide enough.

It was then time to join the last row on the needle with the first row (the provisional cast-on row.) For this, I grafted the two rows. Grafting helps join knit pieces seamlessly, or invisibly. The concept therein is to make another row between, and attached to, the two pieces to join; the yarn is threaded between the stitches of the two pieces, and it is threaded in just the manner it would lie if it were knit (or purled.) Since I needed to make the purly ridge for the join, I grafted in a purly manner. (I actually grafted in a knit manner from the wrong side — knit stitches just come easier while grafting.)

That completed the hat. I didn’t add an edging because it looks good as is. This is how it looks by itself —

Sideways hat

Sideways hat

And this is how it looks on a penguin doll —

Sideways hat, Penguin modelI’d originally intended for the ridges to be slanted, but in the course of figuring out the short rows, I forgot all about the slant. No matter, I love this version — how beautifully it shows the colors of the yarn. Penguin does too, evidently. πŸ˜‰ And you?

‘Ribersible’ hat — completed

So I had some free time over the end-of-year holidays, and I managed to complete the reversible ribbed hat, or ‘Ribersible’ hat, that I’d started making for my sister. She seems to be satisfied with it. (Phew! It’s always “(s)he likes it… (s)he likes it not…” when you make something that’s not for yourself…)

When I started knitting it, I had a different version in my head. Along the way, incorporating wishes and tweaks, it became something else altogether. Still good, but something else… πŸ™‚

The horizontal sections in this top-down hat are composed of alternating stripes of 1×2 ribs (which are 2×1 ribs on the other side) and seed stitches (or British moss stitches, as they are also called. There’s an American moss stitch, which is different — but I digress…) I ended it with a 3×3 ribbing using needles one size smaller.

This is how the hat looks inside out and outside in —

'Ribersible' hat

‘Ribersible’ hat

Though there’s no right or wrong side πŸ™‚ my sister and I each have our preference. How about you? Do you like one better than the other?

‘Ribersible’ hat

After that disappointment with the lacy cardigan that resulted in its being unraveled back into balls of yarn, my sister asked if I could make her a hat. We decided on another unraveling for that — I’d made a crocheted shrug a long while back with a lovely pink-and-white-and-red yarn, and none of us have worn it, so the poor yarn might better serve as a hat instead.

I intended to make the hat a ribbed, reversible one. (Heh, yeah, that’s why I called it Ribersible. πŸ’‘ ) I’ve already started on it, and have reached a respectable width. Now, I’ll add in my sister’s wish for horizontal stripes of some other stitch. Of course, that needs to be reversible too, or the point of the hat is lost. Here’s a sneak peek:

Ribersible hatI’ve been able to work on the hat only sporadically, and I’m just hoping that winter does not get over before I’m done with it… 😳