Art and Needlework by Rebekah

Art and Needlework by Rebekah: October 2012

Oct 20, 2012

10/20/12: Hats Off

I've been quiet, haven't I? Lots of things have been in a sorry state of affairs, such as this blog and my crafting space. Patterns, books, yarn, paper, magazines, and other I-will-get-to-it-later items are strewn all over the room, and whenever I want to work on a project I have to bulldoze through the accumulation. It really is sad. 

Lots of other things have been on my mind as of late and my crafting has suffered. Quick spurts of knitting and crochet has been the usual since. . . June? Yeah, not much has been happening. . .And not happening for awhile! 

Anyway, this autumn has been a lovely one so far, a little bit cooler than normal and lots more rain than normal, but I've been enjoying the colors! The past summer was a harsh one (drought) so I was thinking the trees may not put on much of a "show" this year, but they have come alive and I wish their colored display won't fade as fast as it is. 

Because of the cooler than normal weather I've been wearing a hat more. You'll probably find it hard to believe, but I've been wearing the same hat for over a decade! It is a machine knitted hat that my mother made and even though I've worn it a thousand times, it looks good as it did when the last stitch was stitched. 

[ hat knitted by my mom ]
When September came this year (along with the cooler weather), I thought that it was high time to make a second hat for myself! Been wanting to get a 2nd one made for a long time but I've been one picky pattern chooser. If I'm going to make a hat that sort of replaces my favorite one, it better be good. 

For the longest time I was gravitated towards cables--it was like: no cables, no way. But then I read the debut post of the St. Germain hat on the BabyCocktails blog

[ click here to go to pattern ]
It doesn't have cables. . . But. . . Isn't it so pretty?

What really caught my eye was the subtle stitch pattern which resembles flowers. It is also a beanie style hat! Yes, I was certainly taken and just in time for the cold weather, too.

So this is St. Germain all knitted up. I wore it when I went fishing a few weeks ago:

[my ravelry project page]

I used St. Denis Nordique Yarn in a medium charcoal gray color. The hat is knitted from the brim to the crown and you start out with small circular needles and switch to dpn's once you start drastically decreasing. A single purl stitch line runs from the top of each bloom to the hat's "north pole." These purl lines sort of form a ridge and create a pleated or gathered look; vantage point for this effect is a top view:  

The hat's fit is spot on and because the wool yarn I used is of a double knitting weight, the hat is lightweight, yet cozy. It is definitely not as warm as my former hat, but it works well when it is in the 30s. 

I've been knitting for several years now but I have never hand knitted a hat before. Go figure! But after making my St. Germain hat I realized how easy it is to figure out the measurements and plug in my own stitch patterns. So I got a little brave here and played around with my own design. I took the 3x3 diagonal rib stitch pattern from Clara Parkes' Knitters Book of Yarn (used in the Step Rib Stole pattern), and made a hat, like such:

[my ravelry's project page]

I'm calling it the "Thea Hat" after St. Germain's designer: Thea Colman. Thanks Thea for creating such an inspirational pattern that got me designing!

For my Thea Hat I used Brown Sheep Nature Spun in Spiced Plum. It is a sport weight wool yarn which really works well for this really stretchy, lightweight hat of mine. The fit turned out well in regards to the hat's circumference, but I should have made the hat longer. Like an inch longer--will definitely keep that in mind next time around!

So that's what makes up the last few weeks in my crafting world. What's your favorite hat pattern to knit or crochet? Or is there a hat you've been wanting to make? Share the ravelry link in the comments!