Years ago, I knit a hat for my brother-in-law on the knitting machine. It was kind of unique (I did not make up the pattern), having a top that could be opened or closed, depending on your winter activity level.
He and my sister, Mary, are ardent skiers, having season passes to the local resort. They like nothing better than to head up on a weekday morning after a good dumping, and to be the first ones down the chutes in Mott Canyon.
Mary had mentioned in passing that she would like a hat like her husband’s, if that was possible…
Of course it’s possible!!
The construction is basically a tube, with a casing at the top, through which an I-cord is passed, enabling the wearer to open/close the top of the hat at will. The construction challenge, however, was how to do the casing… On the knitting machine, it’s very easy. Hand-knit, from the bottom up, is a little different. I ended up knitting the casing and top border separately, and grafting 128 stitches to the hat… I’m now really good at Kitchner stitch!
As with my hat, I tried to find patterns that were meaningful and fit my image of my sis. In addition to her Celtic heritage, my sister is a consumate gardener – super green thumb!! She also preserves most of her garden’s produce…
It started with a two-color cast-on, then the Celtic braid that was too tall for my hat, then flowers (or snowflakes, if you want), and ending with leaves. I used what I call “beaded rib” as the unifying element.
Here is a detail of the casing and the i-cord with the tassel.
And here’s a look at it closed up.
The next one (if there is one…) will start from the top down, which will make the casing WAY easier to execute!
The yarn is one that I designed and had custom spun; 47.2% gray wool (romeldale/montedale/rambouillet cross), 35.3% white alpaca, 10% iron gray kid mohair, and 7.5% white bombyx silk.
This is the first “real” project that I’ve done with this yarn (I have around 7 lbs. of it), and I really like the fabric. It was knit on size 3 needles, with a gauge of appx. 6.5 sts/inch.
This has the added perk of matching a vest that I knit for Mary out of hand-spun Icelandic, which is also gray and red!!
I still need to block it, but it will be on its way to her soon!