Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hat in a Weekend

I’ve been spinning again lately and am loving it.  I’ve been able to finish several projects but the most fun was the one I just finished.

On Saturday I was going out and about and while I was getting ready, I realized that I don’t have a black knit hat.  A black knit hat is much like having a little black dress.  Everyone needs one and they work for every occasion. 

So I had a couple of choices.  I would love to have one made of alpaca just because it’s soooooo soft and cozy.  I could go to the yarn store and take the chance that they might have some black alpaca but we all know what happens when you go shopping knowing exactly what you’re looking for.  The other choice was to dive into the stash and spin the yarn for the hat.

I knew that I had black merino fiber but wasn’t sure if I had any alpaca.  As I was searching, I came across a very dark alpaca that was labeled black so I pulled that out along with the black merino and went to the Kromski Minstrel.  For a while I thought the alpaca would work but I decided it wasn’t black enough.  It was really a deep, deep brown, not at all what I was looking for.  But before I figured that out, I’d got a full bobbin spun (about half of the fiber in the bag). 

It was the turn of the merino.  It was dyed black and just the ticket, so I got to work.  I spun and spun and watched a marathon of Property Brothers and got my full bobbin of black singles.  That was Saturday.  On Sunday came the plying.  I wanted the plying to go quickly so I Navajo plied it into a 3-ply yarn – winding up with about 160 yards (more or less).  Into the bath it went and then hung to dry. 

I knew it would bloom a little (being Merino) but didn’t know it would bloom quite as much as it did.  On Monday morning I ended up with a beautiful 3-ply worsted weight yarn, ready to start the knitting.

On Monday evening, I started out with an i-cord and went from there.  Here’s how it ended up.

If you’d like to make your very own little black hat, here’s the pattern.  It hasn’t been “tested,” it’s just what I did for mine.

Black Beret

160 yds worsted weight yarn (that’s how much I had and I ended up with a couple of yards left over)

US size 6 & size 7 double pointed needles (or circs or however you like to knit in the round)

(I started with the US size 6 needle and changed to the size 7 needle after I’d finished the increases.  There was no grand plan, it was just what I did. There was a reason but it’s too long a story to go into.  You can work your hat on either size needle, depending on how large or small you want the hat.)

Cast on 4 stitches and work an i-cord for about 2 inches.

Move the stitches to 4 needles by knitting into the front and back of each stitch with a different needle.

Knit 1 round.

Yarn over (YO), knit 1 – repeat around.

Knit 1 round.

YO, knit 2 – repeat around

Knit 1 round.

YO, knit 3 – repeat around

Knit 1 round.

Keep increasing in this manner until you have 14 stitches in each of the 8 sections (2 sections on each needle)

Knit 2 rounds.

(Start decreases.)

Knit 5, knit 2 together (k2tog) – repeat around

Knit 1 round

Knit 4, k2tog – repeat around

Knit 1 round

Start band.

Knit 2, purl 2 – repeat around

Work K2P2 ribbing for 15 rounds.

Bind off with a stretchy bind off.

Bob is now your uncle.