Thick Stitches — Hat Finished!

Originally Posted 12 28 2010:

First post and “recently finished” posts are out of the way. So are the dishes. Now for what I aim to be standard fare for the blog: the work in progress.

This is gonna be a hat. I love that!

I recently received a custom order request through Etsy for an adult-sized version of my Child’s Spiral Ridges hat. The child-sized version was actually a newer attempt at a very old hat pattern I made up when I first started knitting hats on shoelaces. I didn’t anticipate the lack of significant vertical stretch, so it didn’t even make it down over my ears. It could go around the head well enough, but wasn’t nearly tall enough to really be reasonable. Still, the look caught somebody’s eye, and here I am making another, with some modifications, of course.

I snuck in a few increases above the brim to give it a more pleasing shape, and it will certainly be tall enough to fit an adult’s head. This one is in black yarn, making it nearly identical to the aforementioned hat knit on shoelaces that I’d made for my sister in 2008. In fact, I’m fairly certain I used the same type of yarn. Here’s what I have so far:

Look at the cat!

It’s really hard to get this yarn to show its details without any natural light, and I’m never home early enough for that. I’ll probably finish this by Saturday, and I’ll append some macro shots of the thing. What I like about this hat is the ridges. I’m sure the idea’s been done somewhere out there, but I’ll always be secretly pleased with how I accidentally stumbled onto the technique. The picture really doesn’t show much of anything (I swear, I’m gonna get some better photography for this blog! I’m out of practice? [Insert half-hearted excuse]), but the Etsy item might give you a better idea; it’s six immense spirals of stitches going up around a basic stockinette hat. Imagine cornrows and you’re getting there.

I almost want to to a posting for the technique, but it’s really too simple to warrant that. If you can knit 3 into 1 and knit 3 together, you can do it. When the ridges start, simply knit 3 into one at each spot you’d like a ridge to go up. When you come to the next row, knit those 3 stitches together and simultaneously knit 3 into them. What you get is a column of stiches perpetually increasing and being re-gathered, which produces a stacked effect. And that is basically all it is. Three stitches stacked on top of one another every row. If you do it, just remember to make the stitches looser than you think you need to. Seriously. The next row will be unbearable tight if you don’t. My hands sincerely ache after just an hour of working these mothers.

Also, Ginger says hello. She’s the cat. Updates later when more progress is made.
Update 12/29/10:

How does this always happen? No amount of meticulous counting and attention paid seems to avoid it, but I’ve lost count of something somewhere. What began as a simple decrease at 6 evenly spaced points around the hat has changed somehow. Between ridges I counted 6 stitches, then 5, then 4… then 5. I remember seeing the 4 and thinking with excitement how much faster my knitting was going, but it turns out that was a fluke and I had somehow decreased twice in one section without realizing it. I could explain how especially on this design, such a thing would seem next to impossible, but it just happens, and there you go.

I already fixed the mistake; even had I continued working in spite of the thing, it really would not have been too crucial, and I’m sure I’m the only one who would have known. I’m just continually surprised at my ability to do something that escapes my own attention. So sneaky.

Update 10/30/10:

I finished! Well, I actually finished the thing yesterday, but I didn’t have any decent light for photos until this morning. But the design modifications worked like a charm!

The slight increase above the brim gives the body of the hat more room, which is great for those with lots of hair. The height of the hat is perfect, too, ending just below the ears, with a decently snug brim.Finally got the macro function to work!
The point, though. That’s what I’m particularly proud of. On the original hat, the point came up off the head, leaving the very top of the scalp feeling like it wasn’t as covered as the rest of the head. This point is still pronounced, but only when you look at it from the outside. On the inside of the hat, you’d never know it was any different from a regular cap. What I did: at the point when the only stitches left were each ridge and a single stitch between them (totaling 12), I put the ridges off on separate needles and knit the in-betweens into eachother and closed them off. Then I picked the ridges back up and knit them together and crocheted a tight close. Effectively, this created two tops of the hat. A ceiling and a roof, if you will. The “ceiling” is inside, flush with the rest of the hat, giving the head an all-around feeling of coverage. The “roof” is outside, coming to a defined, swirling point.

Order complete! I’m very satisfied with how it turned out.

If you are the buyer: I don't have lice, and my hair is always in pristine conditions of cleanliness.

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