Tag Archives: cables

Knitting: Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta

Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta

Today, let’s talk knitting! After fits and starts over the years, I would now call myself a full-on Knitter. Sewing is still my main love, but I have fallen back down the knitting rabbit hole, much as I did with sewing. Now I always have a project or, more likely two projects, going, and my knitting pattern library is growing exponentially, just as my sewing pattern library has.

One of my favorite things to do is check out craft and cookbooks from the library, page through them, and see how many interesting projects there are. Such was the case when I stumbled upon Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Accessories by Yoko Hatta (translated by Linda Lanz). I had never knitted from a Japanese pattern, although they have a very devoted following, and when I found the Aran Hat pattern in the book, I thought I would give it a try. It was nice that this book had been translated into English, so I didn’t have to try to figure things out through a language barrier.

I had a skein of Lamb’s Pride worsted in a tonal orange that I had found at the thrift store. Orange is a color that, up until recently, I rarely wore, but something about the color shifts and the way the yarn caught the light in this skein really mesmerized me. While I strongly believe that speckled and tonal yarns with a lot of variation look best in a plain stockinette stitch to show off their beauty, I just really wanted to make this hat in this yarn. So I did.

Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta

I’m new to reading cable charts, but since I know how to read colorwork charts, I applied my knowledge here. Read right to left, bottom to top. But something didn’t add up. The number of cast on stitches and the number of stitches in the chart sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. I couldn’t find any information online about this particular pattern and whether or not I just didn’t understand something about the chart or if the chart/instructions had an error in them.

What I decided in the end was that if you cast on two fewer stitches than instructed and skip the last decrease in the first round of decreases, everything would work out. Alternately, you could cast on the full number of stitches and add one stitch into the chart. I still have no idea if I’m missing something or if the chart is wrong, but I made it work!

Part way through my orange hat, I realized that one skein was not going to be enough. This color (Creamsicle or Dreamsicle) had been discontinued. I looked at various places online and found someone selling deadstock who had some. It wasn’t the same dye lot, but it was my best option, and I took it.

Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta

Upon receiving the skein I was amazed to find that although this was the same general color, it was not nearly as captivating to me as my original skein. Luckily, though, it would allow me to finish my hat, and the tonal nature of this yarn made it hard to distinguish where I changed skeins.

I should mention one cool feature of this pattern. It’s knitted so that when you fold the brim of the hat up, the cabling is on the right side on the brim as well as the main part of the hat. You do that by knitting the brim, and then changing directions, and turning the hat inside out to continue on. It’s pretty cool.

Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta
Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta

After making this hat and practicing my cabling, I was really excited. I had made a thing of beauty! I loved it! I would make more! I decided to make a hat for my grandfather.

Since this pattern actually calls for a bulky yarn, I went for Berroco Ultra Wool Chunky in a blue-gray (color 43154, “Denim”) that my mom thought he would like. It had to be superwash, unlike my orange hat, and Berroco didn’t fail me. I’m really coming to appreciate this brand. They have lots of options at a reasonable price point, and their yarn is soft and nice to knit with. I bought this yarn, along with some yarn for a future cowl from Yarn on Front in Dowagiac, MI.

Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta
Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta

I dove headlong into hat number two, but soon realized that a large part of what I had loved about hat number one was the colorful yarn I was using. This yarn was soft and beautiful, but didn’t hold the charm of the first one for me. Still, the cables were so much easier to see. A plain-colored yarn makes them stand out so much better. I knitted away, and finished the hat before it got cold out. Just after finishing, I noticed a mistake I had made (not pictured). Ugh. Oh well, it was done, and I wasn’t going to rip back. I sent it off with my parents when they visited. Luckily, my grandpa said he liked it! Yay!

Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta
Knitting:  Aran Hat by Yoko Hatta

Despite my huge initial enthusiasm for this pattern, by the end of hat number two, I was ready to move on. Maybe someday I’ll understand what was up with that chart.

I’m happy to have gotten some cable practice. I got used to my cable needle, and maybe someday I’ll be ready to cable without a cable needle, but one step at a time, there! I’m also happy that I got to try some new yarns and that now I have this gorgeous hat!


A Bevy of Knitted Hats: Successes and Failures

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

Hi, everyone! My blogging has certainly slowed down a bit, but I’m back today with a whole bunch of knitted hats I made over the last year or two that have yet to make an appearance on the blog. So uncharacteristic! Luckily, this means I have a good-sized group to share, some of which were real successes, and some of which missed the mark. Since my knitting skills are not as advanced as my sewing skills, this is pretty much par for the course. I love knitting hats, though, because I like wearing hats, and they are a smaller project, so they don’t take as long to knit as a sweater or something larger might. If you’re a knitter, maybe you’ll discover a new pattern here. Let’s dive in! First up, successes.

Hats that Worked!

Pattern: High Cliff

Pattern source/designer: the book Plum Dandi Knits by Alicia Plummer and Melissa Schaschwary; this pattern is by Melissa Schaschwary

Yarn: bulky; I used a really beautiful hand-dyed 85% wool/15% mohair yarn that I got from Pindrop Shop on Etsy during last year’s Black Friday sale.

New technique: I tried cabling without a cable needle a few times, using Andrea Mowry’s video

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

Of all the hats here, this is my most successful and most recently made hat. I checked this book out from the library, and chose this pattern because I have been wanting to try cables again, and this just has one big one. It turned out to be really fun, interesting, and fast. I made this hat in three days of very occasional knitting. It probably helped that I made it an inch and a half shorter than the pattern calls for.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures
A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

As for the yarn, it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to use it for, but it was perfect for this hat. To my delight, the yarn sort of faded from one color to the other, reminding me of decorative corn where each kernel is a different color.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

I still have to decide if it needs a pompom.

This hat fits great, and I have already worn it a lot. I love it!

Pattern: Ribbed Watchman’s Hat

Pattern source/designer: Channah Koppel

Yarn: worsted; Encore by Plymouth yarn, which is 75% acrylic/25% wool and is machine washable; I got this at Yarn on Front in Dowagiac, MI

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

This hat is actually a gift (shhh!), but I think I’m safe. I don’t think the intended recipient reads my blog. This was knit to said intended recipient’s requirements: a ribbed hat that is machine washable in yellow with a fold-up brim.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

I’ve been really into the Twisted German Cast On lately, so I used that to cast on, and I knit to 11 inches before decreasing, rather than the 9.5 inches in the pattern, so that the brim could be turned up. This took me awhile, but not forever, and I think it turned out pretty well. Hopefully it’s well-received!

Pattern: Vintage Prim

Pattern source/designer: Andrea Mowry of Drea Renee Knits

Yarn: fingering; Sock Yarn by Birch Dyeworks in colorway Pixie on a Bender, which is 80% superwash merino wool/20% nylon

Perennial by Kelbourne Woolens in Purple, which is 60% superwash merino wool/25% suri alpaca/15% nylon

Both yarns came from Pintuck & Purl; the Birch Dyeworks yarn was actually given to me by Maggie, the owner, for some socks we were going to knit together that we…uh…never really completed. I think we knit about half an inch before calling it quits. Haha.


A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

I am so proud of this hat. I had never successfully knit brioche before trying this hat, so I was barely hanging on through this whole pattern. There are a ton of mistakes in it, but due to my inexperience with brioche, I wasn’t sure how to fix them, and sometimes I’m sure I didn’t even notice them! Somehow, though, I made it through, and I love this hat. I think it is probably a little slouchier than it should be, but I don’t even care.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

It’s really a testament to Andrea Mowry’s great patterns and YouTube video support that I even completed this. Someday I will have to try another brioche project to really get the technique down. One of my favorite things about this kind of knitting? It’s reversible!

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures
A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

As for the yarn, I love, love, love both of these yarns. Mary, the owner of Birch Dyeworks is a real artist who has an amazing eye for color, and is excellent in several crafting arenas. There are a lot of beautiful hand-dyed yarns out there, but Mary’s are some of my favorites. And the Perennial is soft and lovely. I have it in a few colors and definitely need to use it more. If I were to do this pattern again, I don’t know that I would use this exact color combination, but I would definitely look for colors that contrast like these do to really make the design stand out.

The Hat that Worked Some of the Time

Pattern: Eva

Pattern source/designer: Wild Honey Design on Etsy; no longer available

Yarn: the blue and light pink hats are made from Comfort DK by Berroco in colors 2705 (light pink) and 2753 (indigo blue); this yarn is 50% super fine nylon/50% super fine acrylic; I got this at Coveted Yarn in Gloucester, MA

the purple, gray, and white hat is in worsted weight 100% Shetland wool yarn from Yates Farm in Vermont many years ago

This wasn’t a well-written pattern, but the color chart was a lot of fun. The pattern says to use Alafosslopi yarn, which is a bulky weight, but I have tried it in various yarns with various needle sizes to adjust the sizing. It looks like I didn’t take as many notes as I should have, but my first try in DK yarn gave me about a toddler or teddy bear sized hat. I often (though not exclusively) like natural materials, and before buying this Berroco Comfort DK, I confess to being a little bit snobby in my heart about yarn, only wanting to use wool or alpaca or something. This yarn really changed my mind. It is a delight to knit with and washes and wears great!

For my second try, I used larger needles and came up with a larger child’s size.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

After that, I tried some of my worsted Shetland yarn that, for me, with my looser knitting, typically knits up to a bulky gauge. It worked, but the brim let the wind blow through while the colorwork section was pretty warm.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

If I were to do this again with the same Shetland yarn, I would double the length of the brim so I could fold it up, and go up one needle size for a better fit in the colorwork area. I absolutely loved the look of this purple and gray hat, but in the end, I gave it away because I could tell I wouldn’t wear it if the wind blew through the part over my ears, and I was too lazy to alter it! I don’t like to go back into old projects. I’m still coming around to the idea that I can unravel knitwear that didn’t work out the way I wanted.

Despite the sparse directions, I have made enough of my own notes that I would definitely make this again. I love knitting hats and I love stranded colorwork, so this is a good project for me.

Hats that Did Not Work

Before we get to these, I’ll admit that these failed due to user error. I’m definitely still learning!

Pattern: Chunky Walnut

Pattern source/designer: Katrin Schubert

Yarn: worsted weight 100% Shetland yarn from Yates Farm in Vermont; this pattern calls for chunky weight yarn and this yarn knits to a bulky weight, plus I am a loose knitter, so that probably adds up to chunky, right?

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

This pattern looks so cool, and I dove in with some of my worsted weight Shetland yarn (I seriously have so much), but somewhere around Round 15, I messed something up, and I could never figure out what I had done. The hat fit fine, but it bugged me. Whatever mistake I had made obscured the design, so I gave the hat away.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

I would love to try this again at some point. It’s a really cool design.

Pattern: Urban Jungle Hat

Pattern source/designer: Rachel Illsley of Unwind Knitwear

Yarn: white mystery cone yarn given to me by Maggie of Pintuck & Purl; I did a bleach test and it is a natural fiber–I’m guessing wool, maybe superwash; it’s fingering weight

Perennial by Kelbourne Woolens in Neon Coral, which is 60% superwash merino wool/25% suri alpaca/15% nylon; fingering weight; this also came from Pindrop Shop on Etsy during last year’s Black Friday sale

hand dyed lace weight yarn in Lilac Dreams from YouKnitIDye on Etsy; this is 72% ultrafine mohair/28% mulberry silk

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

So…you’re supposed to use DK weight yarn and lace weight mohair in this pattern. I didn’t have DK that I wanted to use, but I was excited about the colors I had in fingering weight with the mohair, so I held my two fingering yarns double to equal DK. That should have worked, in theory, but the Neon Coral yarn is definitely thinner than the white yarn. Also, I’m a loose knitter who doesn’t do gauge swatches for hats.

My hat came out huge. HUGE! It sort of looked like a toadstool hat when I was done with it. I probably should have only doubled the coral and not the white or just used fingering with the mohair. Oh. And I shouldn’t have made the large slouchy version.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures
A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

I did eventually (after putting the hat in a long time out) unravel this one. The yarns were a little too special to just get rid of a hat that maybe no one would even want to wear. It was a beast to unravel, though, since I was unravelling five strands of yarn at once. Ugh.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures

You know, I usually never like leopard print, but I do like it in this hat. The colorwork chart is very interesting. It’s possible that I will revisit it someday. It’s definitely a cool pattern, even if I didn’t make it very well.

Whew! Now I’m all caught up on blogging my knit hats! Hopefully you will find a hat or two you might want to knit, or maybe you can laugh at my mistakes.

On the sewing front, I was actually starting to lose my sewjo, which has never happened to me before. I could never understand how people just stopped wanting to sew, but it began to happen to me. You know what I think it was? My work space was buried under piles and I had a million ideas, but hadn’t committed to a single one.

A Bevy of Knitted Hats:  Successes and Failures
My work table, filled with piles of projects, materials, and ideas!

So, I cleaned up my space, and chose and committed to my next few projects. Then I made a plan to work on them a little bit most days. Now I’m back up and running, so I hope to have some projects to share with you soon. 🙂