Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Kim Hat

To celebrate the new year, the husband unit and I went up to Denver to our friend's brand spanky new loft apartment. It is super-swanky, all original 1940's pipes and molding and ceilings that go up for miles. It almost made me want to be a city girl, but I'm pretty sure the honking light rail at 3 am gets old fast.

So obviously this was a New Year's Eve Party, so naturally I spent it with my face in yarn. I believe there were salsa dancing lessons happening at one point, and I know there was Rock Band because I helped carry the drums, Xbox and other accoutrements up the parking garage stairs, which underlines the point somewhat.

But I worked on and finished a hat just minutes before midnight, because I promised this hat to my friend Kim at the Guy Fawkes Day party on the 5th of November, and it's been sitting neglected since then. Now it is on her head, and I have pictures, and a free pattern for you all!

There is a reason these pictures are all sepia'd up. They are unquestionably party pictures: you may rest assured there is somebody holding champagne, strawberry margaritas, and/or something my husband calls a "beer-garita" and I call "incredibly ill-advised" cropped out of every one of these. And party pictures always come out sickeningly dark or overexposed, which bugs me more than it used to.

Pictures now. This one here is of the one I made for myself first. I used Brown Sheep Bulky and Size 13 straights.

There you can see the color, which is one of my favorites and whose name I cannot recall. Grass Green, possibly.

Now here is Kim's version: She likes her hats slouchy and more loosely knit than I do, so I used double-stranded Red Heart Worsted in Tan and size 17 straights.

I love making things for these people. Their appreciation knows no bounds and I am always a little overwhelmed by it.

The Kim Hat

  • I use straight needles, but you could do this in the round with a nice 16" circular and some double points in the same size, which should complement a bulky yarn. I recommend anything in the 13-17 US size range.
  • Bulky yarn or double-stranded worsted.
  • Yarn needle or crochet hook for seaming
  • pompom maker or your fingers for the making of pompom if desired.
How To Make It:
1.Figure out your gauge. Most heads are 21" around, and it's important with berets to have a good tight band fit so they don't fall off. I figured on a 20" band for Kim's hat, and my gauge with the double-stranded worsted and the 17 needles was 2 st/inch, so I cast on 40 stitches.
2. Knit in 1x1 rib (k1, p1) for about 5 rows or however long you like your hatbands to be.
3. (right side) Increase row: Increase every other stitch using your preferred method. I did this row: *K1, Kf&b* to end, turn.
4. Purl.
5. Knit.
5. Now, for me that would be slouchy enough, but Kim likes hers really poofy so I used my little ridge row I stuck in there to do another increase. You're going to knit a row here even though you're on a purl row. This creates the ridge on the other side. I did this as an increase: *K2, kf&b* to end, turn. If you don't want yours any more slouchy, just knit this row.
6. Knit.
7. Purl.
Continue in this manner, knitting a purl row every three rows for that little ridge, until your total knitted length measures 6 or 7 inches.
8. Start decreasing.I fudge this big time. Starting on the right side, *k3, k2tog*, then a purl row, then a row of *k2, k2tog*, then a purl row,then a row of *k2tog*, then a purl row.

9. Break your yarn with a looooong tail and thread that through a yarn needle. Use your yarn needle to gather up all the stitches you have left on your needle and pull them into a tight ring. Tie off and sew up your seam. Add pompom. You are done, and odds are it took you less than three hours. Hooray!

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