Slouchy Striped Hat

Slouchy Striped Hat

CollagePurpleHat

This is a slouch hat called Autumn Gold. The pattern is available here on Ravelry for £3.50 GBP (about $4.50). I changed it in a few ways, including striping it every 20 rows, and knitting it flat instead of in the round.

Materials Used

  • Ultra Alpaca Light in colors  #42105 Eggplant (dark purple), #42190 Sweet Nectar Mix (lavender), #4209 Moonshadow (grey)
    • Light, weight 3 yarn
    • 50% Super Fine Alpaca, 50% Peruvian Wool
    • about 60% of 3 hanks, approximately 3.15 oz or 260 yards
  • U.S. needles size 1 (2.25 mm) and 3 (3 mm)
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch markers
partial
Twelve out of 22 pattern repetitions in
beforeDecreases
After 22 pattern repetitions, and ready to start the decreases
finishedHat1
Closer view to show the cable and lace detailing

Pattern Alternations

The first thing I changed about this pattern is I knit it flat instead of in the round. I’m not a big fan of in the round because I knit very tight, and the stitches tend to get stuck at the joint between the cord and where the needle widens. Because I knit the hat flat, I slipped the first stitch of every row so it created  nicer edge to sew up.

I also striped the hat every 20 rows. For this reason, I made 20 rows of ribbing. I broke the yarn every color-change as well.

The hat is worked with a 4-row repetition, and it called for 19 repetitions for a beanie, or 27 repetitions for a slouch hat. I actually did 22 repetitions in the end, because I felt it was getting rather long, even for a slouch hat.

About the Cabling

Of course this pattern calls for the use of a cable needle, but I’ve never used a cable or double pointed needle when making cables. When it’s time to cable, instead of using a cabling needle, I always take a regular straight needle – typically a size or two smaller – and slip the appropriate number of stitches onto it as if to purl. Then, depending on the pattern, I hold it in either the front or the back, knit the appropriate number of stitches, slip the stitches from the extra needle back onto the main needle, and then knit them as normal.

Transferring the stitches twice increases the chance of splitting the yarn, but as long as it’s done carefully, I don’t see any reason to use a cable needle. I prefer this method because whenever I have tried using a cable of DPN, I’ve often slid the cabled stitches off the end of the cable needle when pushing them to the right side to knit them. By just transferring them back onto the main left-hand needle, this will never happen.

backWithEdges
The finished hat before taking it off the needle and sewing up the seam

 

Sewing Up the Seam

The seam hit in the middle of the two cable stitches, which made it easy to hide the seam. When I sewed up the hat, I used the color yarn of the stripe it was in.

By sewing it from the top down, I brought the yarn that finished the stripe downward, to meet the same color yarn that had started the stripe. To keep the edges lined up perfectly, I used locking stitch markers to line up individual stitches every couple to make sure it met up right at the end. I also checked after sewing every few stitches to ensure it was meeting up properly and that the tension was good. If it were too tight the fabric would have puckered, and if the tension was too loose, there would have been holes.

afterDecreases
The finished hat before sewing it up
wornHat
Finished hat!

19,178 stitches later…

Overall I like the way it turned out. I probably should have used larger needles because I knit so tight, the slouchiness turned more into pointiness. Perhaps this was also because I used 100% wool. If I used something with nylon or silk, the finished hat might have had more drape and not been so stiff. The patten was well-written and easy to follow, but decreased very rapidly at the top (lots of K3tog and SSSK!). Perhaps I’ll use this pattern again for a gift or size it down for a child’s or baby hat.

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