April 5, 2006

Hats, hats, hats


Garter Stitch Hats

I have been experimenting with a variation of a garter stitch hat, similar to the cloche in Knitting for Babies, and the garter stitch hat in Knitty Magazine (made for a man, in 8 sections with colour changes each row) . I wanted something thatwas very easy, and could be knit by my students at our elementary school in Knitting club. What I came up with is a short-rowed garter stitch hat. The hat is worked sideways, and seamed at the back. A lot of patterns like this use 7 or 8 wedges; I liked 6 wedges better.

The number of rows knit determines the circumference of the hat. The number of rows in the wedge corresponds to the number of sts left unworked at the beginning of the wedge: fewer stitches (rows) means a smaller hat. The straight knitting portion turns into the body and turn up of the hat. The garter stitch does not need to be wrapped, so it is an easy way to start short row shaping. And, the bonus, the kids at school all like the hat, and it is actually flattering without being really tight on the head. My oldest, who hates hats, loves this one.

The big version:
Hat: Child's small (2-4); medium (6-8); teen; adult.
Worsted Weight wool; 5 mm needles. Guage roughly 5 sts to the inch.
The pale blue hat shown in the picture is the teen size.

Cast on 40 (40; 40; 45) sts. Knit to end of row.
Wedge one:Knit 32 (30; 28; 31) sts, leaving 8 (10; 12; 14) sts unworked.
Turn;knit back.
Next row: Knit 33 (31; 29; 32) sts, leaving 7 (9; 11; 13) sts unworked.
Turn and work to end of row.
Next row: Knit 34 (32; 30; 33) sts, leaving 6 (8; 10; 12) sts unworked.
Turn and knit to end of row.

Continue pattern, knitting one more stitch in the short row section every time before turning, until all stitches are worked. This completes one wedge of the hat. Continue working wedge pattern until 6 wedges have been worked in total. Hat should have 48 (60; 72; 86) ridges. Bind off all stitches. Sew up seam, gathering up the top stitches and sewing through them.

You can change colours in each section by knitting the first complete row (from crown to outer edge) with the new colour.

The Preemie version:
3.5 mm needles, sports weight or baby sports weight wool
makes approx. a 2lb (4-5 lb, 6-8 lb) baby size hat. Guage is 6 sts to the inch, and 6 rows to the inch, using baby sport. The 2 lb and 5 lb size are shown in the picture.

This hat is made with six wedge sections, knit sideways in garter st.

Cast on 30 (33, 36) sts.
First wedge section:
Knit 22 (23, 24) sts, leaving 8 (10, 12) unworked on needle. Turn, and knit back.
Knit 23 (24, 25) sts, leaving 7 (9, 11) sts unworked on needle. Turn and knit back.
Continue working wedge, by knitting one st beyond sts already worked until all sts are used.
You can change colours by knitting the last row of the wedge in the new colour.
Work until 6 wedges have been completed (48, 60, 72 ridges in all). Bind off all sts. Sew with a flat seam.