Sunday, December 28, 2008

Scott's hat

So, I've been trying to get started on my brother's hat the past few days but I'm having nothing but problems. First of all, the pattern totally sucks. I'm using the rasta hat pattern that was featured on Knitty Gritty but it is really poorly written. It has you using a smaller needle size for the ribbed band on the hat and a larger needle size for the actual body of the hat, but when it gives gauge it doesn't say which size needle that's on or whether it is supposed to be in st. stitch or the ribbed. Also, it doesn't give the finished size of the hat, so I'm basically in the dark about what the hell I'm supposed to be doing.

I've been fiddling around with some gauge swatches but since I don't really know what I'm aiming for, that's been a pointless exercise. Last night I decided to just go with the recommended needle sizes and see what happened. I did a little swatch of the ribbing on size 6 needles and I got 7 stitches per inch, with the ribbing totally relaxed. The pattern has you cast on 96 stitches which would only give me a circumference of 13.7'' (a little more than half of Scott's desired circumference). But, that size would only be if the ribbing was completely relaxed - I have no idea how much it is supposed to stretch, so I thought maybe having the ribbing double wasn't completely implausible, so I just cast on the stitches and knit about an inch of ribbing and I could tell that it was going to be way to small. It fit my head nicely, but definitely not his.

But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that 26.5'' is a huge head circumference and there is no way Scott's head could actually be that size - I had to have measured in the wrong place. I just measured across the brim of his other hat, on his head, so it was kind of a diagonal measurement - that's probably the wrong way to do it. When I measured him I should have just taken off his beanie and measured the circumference of that. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

So, in conclusion, I think I'm just going to have to sit down in a quiet room with some swatches and the calculator and adjust the pattern. I'll have to increase the amount of CO stitches and make sure it works with the increases, decreases in the body of the hat. I hate that kind of math! I think I'll do the band 3/4 of the desired circumference, so the ribbing doesn't stretch out too much, and I think I'm going to estimate the actual size of his head somewhere around 20''. If I see him before then, I'll measure his hat like I should have done in the first place. If anyone has any thoughts about how much ribbing should stretch, I'd love to hear them. He likes a loose fit.

Unfortunately, I have a paper due in 5 days that I haven't even started on, so my intense math session will have to wait. I should be writing the damn paper right now instead of blogging, but I figured it was best to get my thoughts down now and then they won't be clouding my head when I write. Right? I think it's a good excuse.


  1. Aww...that's terrible! I haven't had much luck with Knitty Gritty patterns myself, but how frustrating that it's that badly written. (I took a look). Anyway, is your brother a grown man? If so, you may want to shoot for 21-22 inches. Good luck with the hat and your paper!

  2. i think that's a perfectly good excuse to blog before starting your paper! :)

    how annoying that, in addition to not writing the pattern very well, they can't even write the pattern gauge in an understandable way!! dumb-dumbs!

    yeah i think you're right about 26" being TOO big. i've measured my 3 guy friends for their beanies that i finally started on and i think the guys were all between 23"-24" with a bit of a loose fit.

  3. Thanks for the comments ladies! I took kind of a quick and dirty measurement of my brother's hat the next time I saw him and it was more like 23-24 inches.

    Though, I didn't have a measuring tape with me so I grabbed some yarn from the sock I was working on, took the length, and cut it with my dad's pocket knife. Now I don't remember exactly what kind of tension I held the yarn with, so the measurement is not totally useful. I think I'll just go with your suggestions - maybe an average of the two? ha ha

    Still haven't tackled that math yet! Yuck!