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Craft lessons: Knit a Stripey Short-Rows Wavy Hat

Hats, Knitting  |  August 31st 2011  |  0 Comment

The hat was originally designed using a self-striping yarn, so no yarn changes were needed to show the wave design.

Since I first designed it, I’ve played around with different striping ideas, finding some cool ways to use solid yarn and show off the pattern more clearly. This is especially helpful if you have some solid yarns you’d love to use for a gift knit, or if self-striping yarns are particularly hard to find in your neck of the woods.

So this tutorial isn’t for knitting the hat, because that’s what the pdf is for (and there are plenty of knitting how-to’s on the web if you need knitting help), it’s for two different striping methods that are not mentioned in the pattern. If you are an experienced knitter, this project should be a piece of cake. If you are a new knitter, it might take a bit longer, which is why I’m giving you so many weeks until gift time, but it’s definitely worth trying. The techniques may take some getting used to (short rows in particular), but once you get the hang of it, it’s a fun knit!

To stripe between two rows of each of two colors, start off with a crochet provisional cast-on using scrap yarn. This method is preferable over other provisional options because the whole cast-on row comes out in the end, leaving you with an even two rows of the first color. You can find a good how-to for this method at Stitch Diva Studios and a YouTube video here. Now work the first two rows of the pattern in your first yarn.

It’ll be easier in the end if you use a smooth, sturdy yarn for your provisional cast-on, like cotton.

When choosing which yarn to start with, you may want to consider that the second color will be the yarn going all the way to the top of the hat (orange in the finished sample), so you’ll be seeing more of it in the hat. Knit the next two rows in the second color yarn, letting the first yarn hang. Now with every other row, so every time you knit down to the bottom of the hat (the garter stitch part), you’ll switch to the other yarn.

This is how your work should look after the first wedge is finished.

Carry the new yarn over the old yarn every time for a neat brim. You’ll have to untwist your yarn balls every few rows, but consistency is important since the yarn is being carried along a very visible part of the hat.

Be sure not to pull the yarn too tight nor leave it too loose for a good-looking bottom edge.

Continue working the pattern in this manner, and you’ll have a super-interesting hat with the design made clear by the striping pattern. If you don’t want the little i-cord topper, you can just bring a tapestry needle around the hole and pull tight to close the top.

This would be a great knit gift for a fellow knitter—people always think it’s so much harder than it really is!

The second striping method is super simple, and if you like the braided topper, you’ll have no yarn ends to weave in! This look uses a different yarn for each of the nine wedges that make up the hat, so you can either rotate between three yarns/colors or go crazy and use nine different yarns. Another option is to knit an extra wedge for a floppier, slouchy-style hat, which would make 10 wedges, so you could switch between two yarns.

Just so you know for your planning: Each wedge uses about 10 yards of yarn.

Start the hat and knit the first wedge as the pattern says, until you get to the last row in that first wedge. At this point, after knitting the last two stitches together, you are all the way at the top of the hat. Cut the yarn with about a 6-inch tail, and knit the next wedge with your second yarn. Continue doing this for each wedge—every time you get to the top, cut the yarn and start the next. You may want to tie the tails to each other to keep the top from getting too loose or coming undone. When the hat is knit, bind off or graft from bottom to top so every tail is at the top. Now go around the hole and pull each tail tight, divide the bunch of yarn into three chunks, and braid them together. Tie the end tightly and your hat is finished, not one end to weave!

I like leaving the ends uneven and kind of messy looking, but you can cut the yarn neatly below the knot if you choose.

So if you’re a seasoned knitter, you should be able to whip up a hat for every member of your family between now and the holiday gift deadline, if you wanted to. It’s a great stash-busting project for small amounts of leftover yarn! If you are a new knitter and are wanting to branch out and learn new techniques, I don’t think you’ll have a problem learning this pattern and getting it finished in time—just start soon because it might take a few messy attempts before you get it right. It’s really just combinations of knit, purl, increases, and decreases, but because it’s constructed so differently than most hats, people often struggle in the beginning. But the good part is, if the gift recipient knows that you are new to knitting, she/he will be extremely impressed to receive such a unique hat gift!

Source: craftstylish.com