Deconstructing A Hat.

I’ve just finished knitting this hat:

HatDecon 015

This is the Spiral Knit Cap pattern from Head Huggers, knit in Plymouth Yarn’s worsted weight Suri Merino, a 55% alpaca, 45% merino wool blend. This yarn is soft like butterfly wings, soft like kitten tummies, soft soft soft.

And it doesn’t fit. So (being a big believer in relieving disappoint through liberal applications of sour grapes) I thought I would a do a photo heavy post talking about all the things I don’t like about how this hat went together, why I think it doesn’t fit, and what I think I can do about it the next time I knit it.

Which I’ll be doing with this:

HatDecon 035

Later this afternoon.

More below the fold.

The construction on this hat is really really cool. First you start with this:

HatDecon 006

A strip of stripes, cleverly increased on one edge and decreased on the other so it’s lozenge shaped. This is what gives the stripes in the finished hat the spiral look. Also – and here’s where I should have paid a little bit more attention to what I was doing – it means that you have a nice solid selvedge on each long side. A non-stretchy solid selvedge.

Then you pick up stitches along one of the selvedges, and knit yourself a ribbing. I did a sort of sloppy job picking up, as you can see.

From the right side And from the wrong side.

(this bit hidden by the brim)

HatDecon 023HatDecon 029

Then you pick up stitches along the other long selvedge, and knit a couple of decrease rows to close the crown of the hat. Being as I am actually happy with how I did that, there are no sour grapes photos of it to show you.

Then you seam it.

The inside of the seam – very neat, no? I used a slip stitch join.

HatDecon 028

The outside of the seam. Neat enough. But a little noticeable.

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Also in the above photo you can see the cast of edge of the ribbing for the brim of the hat. Another spot where I should have paid closer attention — the cast off brim is also not very stretchy.

So why doesn’t the hat fit? Because the selvedge edge that I picked up the ribbing on isn’t long enough, and isn’t stretchy enough to stretch to be long enough. I should have measured it, and knit an additional set of stripes.

The seam I can fix — this would be very easy to cast on with a rip-able cast on, then graft the last stripes live stitches to the live stitches from the cast on. That would get rid of the seam, and make it look as if I had knit in the bias on circulars, which would be cool.   And, if I did this,  I could pick up for the ribbing on circs, and avoid having to seam the brim, too.  Of course, the trade off there is needing to use dpn’s to close the crown then.

Picking up for the ribbing, I think I just need to practice doing. It might be easier to pick up on the side without the yarn ends from the stripes.


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