Pattern: Cosmonaut the Chunky Pom Pom Hat

As you know I fell hard for the super chunky yarn by Countess Ablaze called Space Cadet. I wrote a little love letter here.

A couple of friends saw my original hat I made and wanted one for themselves so I tweaked my pattern a bit and now have written it up and added it to Ravelry as a free pattern. It is super basic, but what I love is that it is perfect for showing off these amazing variegated yarns by the Countess and they are super quick to knit.

Making pom-poms from the yarn is really fun. I have made the hat with medium and large pom-poms and all work.

The ribbing is very deep so you can fold it. That is how I like to wear it but you could make it less deep to not have to fold it or wear it super slouchy.

It takes barely 2 hours to make, is great TV knitting and makes awesome presents as well.

I hope you enjoy making it and do let me know of any pattern feedback. I want to learn. ūüôā

FO: Seathwaite for Tracy

I seem to knit this pattern once or twice a year at the beginning of a new year. This version has been in my mind for ages now.

The yarn is Malabrigo Rios and was just lovely to knit with. It loves cables and the colour is great. I knew though that the colour is not quite right for me and when my friend Tracy visited me last autumn and tried all my hats on she loved me Seathwaite that I made from Three Irish Girls yarn shown in this post.

So I promised her to make her one and a few months later here we are. ūüôā I hope it fits her and she likes it.

Not much to say about this pattern apart from that I love it. It is so clever and soothing to knit and the cables are really fun. I also still cannot decide if I prefer a tubular cast on or a folded brim finish in a hat. Time will tell I guess.

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Friday Favourites: Reversible hats

I hadn’t ever even considered this concept of a reversible hat but how genius is it? I love the combinations that are popping up all over the place.

The first that caught my attention was Femte by Sari Nordlund. I love the idea of the two different textures. It is subtle but really effective.

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© Sari Nordlund

For something involving colour work instead, how about this clever design Hiddenite by Kiyomi Burgin.

Hiddenite is a double layered, and fully reversible hat that can be worn with either side facing outwards. Knit as a sort of tube that is closed on both ends, your ears will essentially be covered by four layers (five layers if you count the colour work stranding) of fingering weight wool, which creates a super snug and cozy hat for the coldest of winter days.

Considering the horrible windy weather we have been having by the coast, this description sounds amazing.

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© Kiyomi Burgin

Friday Favourite: Double Brioche

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© Olga Buraya-Kefelian

This year I only just learned about the brioche stitch, let alone that there was such a thing as double brioche. But this hat makes me want to know more. I love how sculptural it is and how it could be done in one colour or contrasting colours.

This is Oru by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

I have no idea what double brioche even means or entails but I am very tempted to try this pattern.

Olga includes a note on her pattern page:

Double brioche is a unique stretchy stitch pattern that has been largely unexplored due to its complexity. ORU hat combines both brioche and tuck techniques to ease up the execution process. In making of this hat you will also learn special decreases that help shaping of the crown without interrupting the pattern flow inside or outside, rendering it completely reversible. Solid or bicolor versions are presented with options for shallow or deep crowns. This allows for various ways of styling of this doubly warm hat!

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© Olga Buraya-Kefelian

Seathwaite

I promise there will be more variety than just knitting posts about hat patterns.

This hat however is my absolute favourite that I have knitted this year. It is Seathwaite and I discovered it during the fringe association hat alongs. These are super fun and you can join in now if you need some hat knitting inspiration, want to try some new skills, or need some ideas for cool presents.

Seathwaite, like the other hat along patterns, is free. The pattern uses a provisional cast on, using the crochet method and then creates a folded brim. This has been my hat knitting discovery of 2016, because a folded brim fits my small head so much better than a normal long tail cast on. I also love the squishyness it creates. If you have never done a folded brim before or provisional cast on using the crochet method, the pattern is great as it has links to helpful  tutorials.

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When I knitted this hat I had not made a hat with cables before. I loved the process. It can be daunting but cable knitting is extremely simple. At least the few cables I have knitted so far had simple cable patterns. On a side note I ordered this book “Knitted Cable Sourcebook” and cannot wait to try and swatch some of the more complicated cables.

Seathwaite is best suited for a yarn that is a mostly a solid colour. The cables can get lost otherwise and they are so pretty it would be a shame to hide them.

Version 1: using Rowan creative focus worsted

This yarn has a bit of fuzz to it, similar to the sample version. It was a dream to knit with and the cables came out really nicely. The hat can however be a tiny bit itchy in this yarn, especially if you do not have much hair or thin hair.

I added a bobble to this version. I actually had to make the bobble twice as the first time around I did not make it tight enough so it unravelled eventually.

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Version 2: using Three Irish girls springvale DK

This yarn was special to me mainly because my best friends Katja suggested it to me and I found a colour way called winter birch. My childhood was filled with silver birches and they are my favourite tree so I saw this as a sign to get the yarn.

The yarn is merino so a bit softer than the Rowan yarn. I was worried it wouldn’t hold the cable shape as much and used a smaller needle size to get a tighter gauge. I also just realise d that the yarn is DK but the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. I would suggest doing a swatch if you happen to be more observant than me before you basically change the whole pattern suggestions. I was lucky it worked out.

The hat fits perfectly and the speckles are subtle enough to not distract from the cables, in my opinion.

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Question: Do you have a favourite hat pattern for solid colour yarn? What about for speckled or variegated yarn?

Bray Cap

 

Knitting Bray Cap

In September of 2015 I started to commute to London on a regular basis for work, which means I spend around 3 hours on average in a train. I often spend this time reading for work or finishing documents but also started knitting, especially hats as they are small and portable and often the patterns are easy enough remember to knit.

One of those projects was Brooklyn tweed’s Bray Cap.

I would describe myself as an advanced but fearless beginner when it comes to knitting. So this hat was a challenge for me the first time round. I had not done any sort of lace knitting and only basic cable knitting before this.

Version 1: Bray Cap in Malabrigo Rios

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The first version I made, I used a dark blue Malabrigo Rios yarn that I bought in Brighton from YAK. I followed the instructions (or tried to), but did not do the tubular cast on. I am yet to try the tubular cast on to be fair. What I did was use the provisional cast on as described here and made a folded brim. I have a small head so a folded brim tends to fit me better.

As you can see I did the first big horseshoe cable wrong but I loved the effect so much and then felt really stupid when I looked at other finished hats.

The yarn was great to work with and had a nice shimmer to it. I had a brief shock moment when I realised that the hat was unravelling from the top but using a crochet hook I managed to fix it.

Here I am wearing the hat in Iceland in July this year.

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Version 2: Bray Cap in The Uncommon Thread Lush WorstedIMG_7040_small2

This second version is actually flawless knitting wise which is the first time ever this has happened to me. I normally miscount at some point. But After nearly 2 years of frequent knitting I am starting to be able to read the knitted fabric as I go along and it is really helped me to make sure I am not messing the pattern up as I go.

This version I knitted using smaller needles for the brim than the pattern suggests, for a closer fit. I also added a pom pom and used up every single bit of my skein in the process which is a nice feeling too.

The yarn I used was The Uncommon Thread in lush worsted which I bought at Loop London. The colour way is a Loop shop exclusive if I remember correctly. I love the The Uncommon Thread yarns a lot. They are very nice to knit with and make some lovely cables.

The only issue I had was that when I blocked this hat, it became massive. So I made the hat a bit damp again and briefly chucked it into the dryer. This made it go back to a perfect size.

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It was nerve wrecking, chucking something into the dryer but so worth it. I have worn this hat exclusively for a week now.

Question: Have you ever saved your knitting by chucking it in the dryer?