Archive for February 2007

Knitting break: Bold Stripes Beanie

February 16, 2007

beanie modelAs threatened, I taught myself to knit in January, and to date I’ve finished three pieces — a ribbed scarf, a felted scarf, and this hat.

Yarn: Lion Brand Jiffy (Rose and Pumpkin)
Needles: US 10 straight
Pattern: Here
Me: No longer hatless

After finishing the felted scarf, I was left with 3/4 skeins of the pink and orange yarn used for the fringe. Searching the Lion Brand pattern finder for patterns using the yarn, I found this hat pattern using straight needles in a size I already have. So I was able to begin right away, while waiting for my Knit Picks order to arrive. (After the warehouse was shut down by the midwestern snows for a few days, I checked the site and found that it shipped yesterday.)

I was fine with the k1p1 rib for 100 stitches and 12 rows. Then the new techniques came a-calling: Starting a new ball of a different color, decreasing, and sewing a seam.

beanie top view on

It was the decreasing I wasn’t sure about. The pattern didn’t say what decrease to use. So I made a command decision to use k2tog. Fine — now how did I know when to k2tog and when to p2tog? I made another command decision to k2tog when I got to a knit stitch in the pattern (even though I was knitting together that knit stitch with the next purl stitch) and to p2tog when I got to a purl stitch in the pattern (even though I was purling together that purl stitch with the next knit stitch). Because the decreases came every 25 stitches and then came in two’s, I found that my pattern decision worked — I ended up on the alternating stitch the next regular stitch that came up to be knitted. The effect was that that decreases created “darts” on top of the hat — looked kind of weird when it was flat, but probably was what was intended since it looks natural in the round.

beanie back seam rs
The back seam on the right side …

beanie back seam ws
… and on the wrong side.

Then the seaming. Another first. I pulled the top tight and tried to find the running ladders in the end stitches. I’m not sure I always found them, but the sides went together evenly, and the mattress stitch looks pretty professional on the right side. Wove in all the ends, put it on, and voila.

Not bad for a first hat, even if they aren’t exactly my colors. I wore it today with pride. And I still have enough of those skeins left, I think, to knit a smaller version for Cady Gray (alternating the colors since I have more of the orange left than the pink — the pink will be the stripe in hers). I’m reducing it from 100 stitches to 84, figuring that for the decreases I need a number that divides by four into an odd result (21 rather than 25), so that I’m left with 4 groups of 3 stitches when it comes time to gather the top. I’m also reducing each section by 2 rows. Not sure exactly how big it will turn out, but I think it will work for my girl.