Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vintage Rose Earflap Hat

This was the first (and so far only) commissioned piece I've made. The buyer sent me a few images of the hat she wanted and gave me the task of recreating it, which I did, with the attention to detail only an OCD engineer can give. I studied the pictures for hours, counting stitches and guessing at measurements. I walked around yarn stores trying to color match skeins to zoomed in images on my phone. At one point I even used Photoshop to get the exact color.

The flaps are knit individually first and then the rest of the hat is cast on, joining the flaps to the body for a seamless hat. Yay seamless!!

The final pattern was all my own and I'm still extremely proud of it. I only wish now that I had A) taken more pictures, B) measured my gauge, and C) not sold it. But alas, if I hadn't taken the commission, I would have never made it, so I guess I can't complain too much.

Anywho, here's the pattern, in all it's ungauged glory.

This hat is a step up from my Not So Stoned Stoner Hat and is an easy ear flap hat, knit in the round.

Techniques You'll Need:
- Knit in the round (on circular needles or DPNs)
- Cast on
- Knit stitch
- Purl stitch
- Increase (I prefer kfb & pfb, but however you like best works)
- Decrease - K2tog
- Cast off 

Vintage Rose Earflap Hat
Yarn: Shepards Wool 3 ply merino, 1 skein; scraps in 3 colors for the stars
Gauge: Using Loops & Threads Impeccable: 20 sts and 27 rows = 4 inches (Thx granmama!)
Needles: US7

Ear Flaps (Make 2!):
The flaps are knit individually first and then the rest of the hat is cast on, joining the flaps to the body for a seamless hat. Yay seamless!!

Cast on 6.
R1 &  all WS: purl all stitches
R2: kfb, k4, kfb (RS, 8 stitches)
R4: kfb, k6, kfb (10)
R6: kfb, k8, kfb (12)
R8: kfb, k10, kfb (14)
R10: kfb, k12, kfb (16)
R12: kfb, k14, kfb (18)
R14: kfb, k16, kfb (20)

R15-17: Work in st. st., knitting all on the RS and purling on the WS.

If this is your first ear flap, cut the yarn with about 6 inches from the flap, move the live stitches to a spare needle or waste yarn and make your 2nd ear. If this is your 2nd ear, then you're ready to move on!!

The Body (Only make 1, it'd be weird otherwise):

If you haven't already, move your stitches to the needles you'll be using to make the rest of the hat, be it circulars or DPNs.

You should be on a RS row of your second ear flap.

Round 1 / Casting On the Body:
Knitting on the stitches on the ear flap: kfb, k18, kfb.
Cast on 24 stitches.
Pick up your other ear flap and knit the stitches from it (you might need to move the stitches to your left needle first): kfb, k18, kfb.
Cast on another 12 stitches.
Place marker and join for in the round. You should have a total of 80 stitches on your needles, 44 from the ear flaps and 36 that are brand new.

This is where it gets mindless.
Rounds 2 - ???: Knit in the round until the hat measures about 6.5" for an adult medium hat. Work for only 5.5" for an adult small/children's size.

Decrease:
*K8, k2tog, repeat from * around
K around
*K7, k2tog, repeat from * around
K around
*K6, k2tog, repeat from * around
K around
*K5, k2tog, repeat from * around
K around
*K4, k2tog, repeat from * around
K around
*K3, k2tog, repeat from * around
K around
*K2, k2tog, repeat from * around
K around
*k2tog, repeat from * around
K around

*k2tog, repeat from * around
Cut the yarn with a tail ~12 inches.

Now for the fun part! The tassels!
Cut four strands of yarn about 20 inches each.

Feed the tail and one of the strands through 2 stitches, slipping them from the needles. Pull the tail tight and the strand so that it's ends meet.

Take the other strands and feed them each through two stitches, slipping the stitches as you move them to the strands. Pull the strands so their ends are all about even. You should have all your stitches off the needles and 9 pieces of yarn flailing about now. Divide your 9 into 3 groups of 3 and braid, making sure you pull tight!! This is making your tassel as well as closing the top of the hat. If you want to be extra secure, feel free to tie a simple knot with your tail strand and another piece on the opposite side of the gap before you start braiding.

Once you've got the tassel to the size you like, tie a basic knot on the braid with all the pieces held together (double knot if you wanna be extra secure), and then trim the ends so they're the length you want and all even.

Weave in the only loose thread from the one ear flap (yay for only one thing to weave in!)


For the tassels on the ear flaps:
For each ear flap, cut 6 pieces of yarn about 40 inches long. Pull a strand through each of the 6 original stitches on the bottom of the flap until the ends are even. You should end up with 12 strands of yarn. Divide the 12 into 3 groups of 4 and braid, though not as tightly at the beginning as you did on the top of the hat. Braid for 10 inches, or until you decide you're done, then knot and trim the ends.


For the Stars:
Embroider the dark red one in the center of the hat first. The stars on the sides should be centered directly above the first stitches of the ear flaps (see picture for what I mean).

If all of this makes sense you should have a gorgeous, classic looking ear flap hat. Yay! Otherwise.. I'm sorry but it's 3am and I'm too tired to actually proof read ;)