Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mushroom Hat Pattern

Mushroom Hat

Materials: 3 skews of Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hand Dyes (here colour 1003 Porcupine). Note that skews have slightly uneven yardage
Needles: 15mm and 20mm
Gauge: there are three different gauges used here
· Double yarn on 20mm: 4 x 5 in 10cm x 10cm
· Single yarn on 20mm: 5 x 7.5 in 10cm x 10cm
· Single yarn on 15mm: 7.5 x 10 in 10cm x 10cm

Note: I would strongly recommend swatching as it varies from knitter to knitter!

Depending on whether you want it to be close fitting (like original Marc Jacob) or slouchy, as here, you would have to cast on and distribute you 3 skews differently. I did knit the more original looking hat initially but then opted to re-knit as slouchier since original was too low for my eye vision and because it was tight I could not adjust it. My version is VERY slouchy and some people may find it uncomfortable/impractical in every day life. I will give basic directions for tight option because I did not takes notes on how I knitted it and detailed instructions for slouchy option. The adjustment is very simple, so that something in the middle could be easily knitted.

Slouchy Option:

Cast on 44 stitches on 20mm needles with 1 strain of yarn and enclose in the circle (take care not to twist the yarn). Knit with 1x1 rib for 10-11 rows. This section of the hat will be folded inwards to make the shape.

Stay with 20mm needles but add another strain of yarn and knit for 12 rows. You will run out of one skew, so rejoin it with the 3rd skew and keep knitting; by the end of the 12-13 row you will run of the second skew and will be left with a single strain of yarn. This will mark the end of the main part of the hat. Knit 1 row with remaining 1 strain of yarn so that the change will be gradual.

Change to 15mm needles and knit 1 row across. Now start decreasing: because the hat is knitted in 1x1 rib it is very easy to do invisible even decreases. Note that when decreasing one knit and 1 purl stitches into one, it is the knit stitch, which is dominant and should come on top, i.e. knit both stitches together, so that purl is behind knit.

First row of decreases: decrease like above in every altering pair of knit and purl (i.e. Knit 2 together, 1K, 1P, K2T, 1K, 1P…)
Second row of decreases: decrease the altering row not decreased in the previous row only)
Repeat decrease rows 1-2 with remaining stitches, which by now should all be knit. Make sure that all your decreases will be to the same side.
Pass the yarn through the remaining stitches and pull tight closing the hat.

With remaining yarn sew the folded section of the hat taking extra care not to disturb the front pattern. Note that when folding fold in the first couple of rows knitted with double yarn, otherwise the change will be easily visible and it is the most visible part ;).

For the original-looking/ tight hat cast on 30 stitches on 20mm needles with 1 strand of yarn and join in the circle (take care not to twist), knit in 1x1 rib for about 15 rows (because you cased on less stitches you have more yarn to make the folded version larger; making it 20 rows and folding it twice will give even a better result). Join second strand and knit as in the previous option until left with single strain (this will give about 15-20 rows (if you run out of yarn in your first skew, join it with the third). Close and sew in as slouchy.

This pattern is easily twigged to be in between, just cast on even number of stitches!

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