Monday, February 18, 2008

Hat Emergency solved!

Hat Replacement #1
My DB loves this hat. Actually, she just adored its predecessor, lost in a cab, probably, at the end of January. She was disconsolate! But, not to fear, I always keep skeins of the yarn set aside for possible replacement of the hat and the matching mittens. The DB is a most faithful sort, not one to lust after a new hat style. So, last Monday I started to replace it. Made originally in December 2001 from a Bernat booklet's beret pattern, which I adjusted considerably, this hat had (has) been a great success.

Why are there two photos of what appears to be the same hat? Because yesterday, Sunday, I finished the second, emergency backup hat ...just in case the first gets lost. The differences between the two: I made a couple of mistakes in the decreases in #2 and the pompom is more compact.

Materials: 1 skein each of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Periwinkle and Creme. #3 & #5 circular needles; #5 dps,
cardboard for pompom
Circumference: 21.5" -- women's medium

Pattern: Cast on 106 stitches on #3 20" circ. needle using periwinkle. Complete 10 rounds in k1p1 rib. In next round increase to 120 stitches every in alternating 7th and 8th stitch (k in front and back of stitch). This increase avoids the holes of "make 1, using the horizontal thread between stitches" in the original pattern. Thus: increase in first stitch, then in 8th, then in the 7th and so on.
Change to white yarn and begin pattern: k11, p1. This creates 10 sections in the hat, separated by a purl "ditch" which helps hide the increases and gives the hat structure and shape.
Change color every two rows. The first row of the new color is the increase row until 220 stitches have been reached for a wonderfully full tam-like beret. For a more modest, less outrageous beret, increase only to 190 stitches.
Increases: After some experimenting I found the perfect increase for this hat. Knit all the k stitches in the section and only then pick up the horizontal yarn between the last knit stitch and the purl stitch. Place it on the needle with the yarn on the front of the needle slanting from the bottom left side of the last knit stitch to the top of the needle (up and left). Increase by knitting a stitch into the back of the loop on the needle. This avoids holes.
When you reach the desired outer width of the tam/beret, in the next color change begin decreases, knitting together the last two knit stitches before the purl in each of the twelve sections. As with the increases, decrease in the first row of the color change. Continue to decrease until 24 sts remain. Last decrease: knit together the last k and p stitch in each section. Thread yarn through stitches and pull together tightly through bottom of hat to avoid that silly bump which sometimes results.
Pompom, optional but mighty -- use any method you like. I wrapped a lot of yarn around a 3" wide piece of cardboard, tied the middle of each side together firmly with matching thread, slipped it off the cardboard, wrapped the thread around the two little "waists" to make 1 pompom, cut the loops and trimmed it until it was round. Very simple. No tools are ever needed for pompoms.

This is a thick, warm hat.

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