Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not a Copy Cat
by Vickie
While away for Christmas vacation I brought knitting with me to kill idle time in the airport and while visiting my son and his wife. For some reason, Orbitz gave us a layover in MN for eight hours and I knew that would be prime knitting time and I was armed and ready! I took some 1824 cotton yarn to make this hat again. I am going to donate them to charity so thought since I had the time and it wasn't too complicated a pattern I would be able to get a lot done. Turns out I only got two finished, but I did get some other important knitting done instead.

My son has never asked me to knit anything for him. I did knit a wool scarf (he picked out the yarn) two years ago and I have never heard that he has ever worn it, except on this trip to AK. I flat out asked if he ever wore the scarf and he said yes that he had worn it to the Christmas party for his work recently. While we were watching TV he asked me if I could make him this hat. I said no, but maybe I could come up with something like it. Since I already had a hat pattern with me I figured that would give me a place to start.

So the son wanted to go to a local sporting goods store and lucky me there was a local yarn shop (which I will talk about by name in a later post) right next door. What are the odds?? So I went in there and looked around at the different yarns and didn't find anything on my own. The person working in the shop showed me some yarn I had never used before so I mulled it over and decided it would do well with the pattern I had in mind. My son came over to find me and these are the colors he picked out for his hat.
I have never knit with Llama before so these would be perfect. It was soft and very easy on the hands to knit with. I used 100 stitches for the base of the hat. The largest baby hat that I had was 80 so I more or less guessed that 100 would be a good start. I also went on the Internet and looked at other hat patterns to see what their stitch count was. 100 was the average amount. So 100 it was.

My son looks better with darker colors around his face and I had seen that most of his clothes were darker colors so I started with the green first. I started with knitting the first row and then knit the moss stitch to give the hat the texture I wanted and so that the brim of the hat would not roll. I knit the moss or seed stitch several inches and then decided to change the color and just knit from there thinking it would blend right in. Wrong. So you can see from the picture that I only did one band of the knitted stitch.

Then when I changed the color I realized that I had to do the whole hat in the moss stitch so that it would continue to have the texture and didn't have an indentation like the knitted band had. So it was an easy pattern to knit.

Decreasing for the top of the hat was a little bit of a challenge. I started with 100 stitches and everything came out even with every other stitch being a knit stitch then a purl, but when I started to decrease the pattern was disrupted. So I tinked it back and added one stitch at the beginning of the first decrease row. I did the decrease row in the knitted stitch and then I knit the row between the decrease row in the moss stitch. You hardly notice the rows of knitting. It did change the pattern a bit but since it was on the top I didn't really care. The hat turned out well and my son was pleased. He had to try it on about three times to see if it would fit and how long I needed to make it.

This is the hat finished. You can see that I only did a few rounds of straight knitting. Then when I saw the indentation I decided I didn't like it, so I just continued with the moss stitch.

This is my son with the newly finished hat on. The picture is a little dark because he was playing video games when I insisted hat he try the hat on for a photo for my blog.

Here is a side view of the hat.

I am pleased with the way the hat turned out with my minimal knowledge of creating patterns. It was fun and I gave my son something I think he will wear a lot. I did give him the bad new that if he washed the hat he could put it on his key ring later...I will wait for the news from him that he forgot and washed the hat. LOL!


Wool Winder said...

It turned out great! Good work!

vlb5757 said...

Thanks, I took inspiration from you since you have done so many cute preemie hats. I was thinking about writing down the pattern, if I can totally remember what I did! It was fun and I was excited that my son wanted me to knit him something. It's a rare thing.

Luni said...

That's an interesting design story. I had no idea how you could make a hat anything like the one at Urban Outfitters(UO). I'll bet if you put the hat on Ravelry, you'll get a lot of faves and generate interest in the pattern. The hat looks great on you son. I actually think it looks better than the one at UO, or maybe it is just that your son is better-looking than the UO model. :)
BTW, there are instructions for decreasing in seed stitch in the pattern for Oblique, a sweater I'm knitting. It's a free pattern, so you could look at it and see if you want to use it when you write up your pattern.

vlb5757 said...

I didn't know that my son would want me to knit anything for him. I took socks and a hat for charity. Didn't see the hat thing coming at all. I will check out the sweater pattern. I wanted the whole hat to be moss stitch and seeing what the proper way for decreasing would be great. Thanks for the suggestion. I can't wait to see your sweater. thanks about my son. He really didn't want to pose for me but I made him anyway. He's 26 and about as bullheaded as they come! Don't know where he got that from....

Sharon said...

I know what you mean about the unexpected interest in hats. I've made them for most of the guys in our family, and last year one of my son's friends from 8th grade asked me what he had to get one. Ask - I said. I make mine more snug because they all seem to like them that way. With handspun, I'm casting on 120. I like it to be divisible by four - more options.

At Christmas Eve, my SIL and my DIL's brother both asked if they could have hats. It's crazy. BTW, I love your pattern and choice of colors. I had eight hat commissions for Christmas. I'm sure it's a fad.

vlb5757 said...

I hve been knitting for around 5 years and my kids could care less that I knit. I am sure that both my sons look at my knitting as just something the old lady does, until they want something. The hat request came out of nowhere but I was thrilled to make him one.

Thanks about the pattern. I really have never made anything without instructions before. So I did a stitch I knew was easy. I guessed at the number of stitches and how long to make it. So my son just tried it on two or three times and I did tink it back to make it smaller. It was fun, but I don't think that I will make many more hats like that but was fun to try. Eight hats is a lot!
Thanks for stopping by.

Leigh said...

What a great story and what a great hat! I've knitted for my family too, and they do wear what I give them, but I always wonder if it's because they really like it or just to be nice. Maybe I shouldn't worry about that and just be happy they do!

Kathleen from Eggs In My Pocket and Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I love the colors and you did a wonderful job!It looks great. blessings, Kathleen