23 May 2013

An in-between-project: emerald green knitted hat

I've been dreaming for years of knitting shawls, hats and other stuff in advance of the winter months. At the end of the day I never did. Last winter lasted so long and I really missed a hat to keep my ears warm. Last week I saw this emerald green yarn and decided it was time to actually knit a hat for myself. It's acrylic and this beanie-type, slouchy hat was my inspiration:

did you know... ...that there is a difference between the 'English knitting' and 'continental knitting' method? The main difference between the two methods is that with English knitting you hold the yarn in your right hand and "throw" it over the needle, while with continental knitting you hold the yarn in your left hand and "pick" it as you form stitches. While western Europe uses the English method I've learned from my grandma the 'continental method' which seems to be much faster i.m.o. More explanation of both methods with pictures here.

I used smaller needles than recommended but I like the neat and compact look and my hat definitely had to be warm as well for the winter to wear it when biking to work.

I always use circular needles, even for square pieces, when knitting forward row followed by a backward row because this way I don't have to hold the weight of the knitted pieces on my needles. Another advance is when making a circular piece like a hat that you only work on one side (the right side) of the garment round and round. Making only knit stitches speeds up things a lot!

After seeing it on Tasia's green hat here. I've got the idea of making a double brim. Warm ears are important in the winter!
To make the brim as elastic as possible I used a 2x2 rib by altering 2 knit stitches and 2 purl stitches) this is one of the strongest and most elastic structures for a brim i.m.o. After reaching the desired length (for me it was 14 cm) I folded the brim double and knitted the edge with the stitches of next row together. This could have be much easier by using a crochet needle. (Unfortunately, all of my crochet needles are packed up somewhere, among other stuff...) By joining the two parts together like this the elasticity of the brim remains intact and there are no visible sewing stitches either:

This is what the joined brim looks like from above (before knitting the part above the brim)

And as you can see there are no visible stitching lines when continuing:

Even Mr X tried it on and approved it, although usually he refuses to wear any 'home-made' stuff by me:

Here is the top part, just knit stitches all around. For more thickness and structure I used a simple rib for the main part:

for circular knitting!
1st row: *yarn over (from front to back), slip one knitwise, knit stitch*
2nd row: *knit stitch, knit two together*

if you don't use circular needles the 2nd row will be knitted on the reverse side  which means using purl stitches instead of knit stitches!
2nd row: *purl two together, purl stitch*

I finished the upper part with straight stitches only, as I liked that on my 'inspiration' hat. The top is just pulled together after quickly decreasing the amount of stitches by knitting two together in 2 rows:


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