Pattern: Fishtrap Aran Hat (January)
Author: Elizabeth Zimmerman
Source: Knitter's Almanac
Yarn: Cascade 220 in charcoal
Needles: Knit Picks Options, size 7
Started: January 11, 2009
Finished: January 18, 2009
This is goal #4 in the January Hat Trick KAL. I plan to knit the Aran Cardigan from the January chapter of Knitter's Almanac, but I definitely wanted to practice the pattern first. The hat still needs to be blocked, but I love how it fits. I'm not sure if the fishtrap pattern pulled up or the ribbed cables at the sides pushed down, but the result is a very handy brim edge. The ribbed cables extend just enough to cover my ears comfortably while the front and back of the hat sit up a little higher, so it doesn't slip down to cover my eyes and it doesn't bunch up in the back. The cables at the side also give some extra thickness for even warmer ears.
Monday, January 26, 2009
You may be wondering about the name I chose for this hat. I try to come up with interesting names for most of my projects rather than just calling them by the pattern name. This project is named after Steve Yzerman, arguably the best hockey player in Detroit Red Wings history.
The decreases for the top of the hat were a bit tricky. In the Knitter's Almanac, Elizabeth Zimmerman simply states, "bring the hat to some type of close at the top," thus leaving everything up to the knitter. I knew I wanted to preserve the cable patterns a long as possible, so I had to get creative.
The main fishtrap pattern forms diamond-like points on the side with purl stitches for a background. A plain purl column separates columns of twisted knit stitches on either side. I knit two full repeats of the fishtrap pattern before beginning decreases with a p2tog at both edges. This still left a purl column separating the main motif from the twisted rib next to it, and followed nicely with the diamond shape of the fishtrap. I also worked a double decrease in the center of the pattern and repeated all decreases for the other side of the hat, to eliminate 8 stitches per decrease row.
I repeated the decreases every other row until 60 stitches remained, where I stopped knitting a plain row in between. I also changed to centered double decreases at four points: the center of the fishtrap at front & back and the center of the ribbed cable pattern at both sides. I continued this way until 18 stitches remained and - following the trick I learned from my pocket hat - grafted these together for a flat top. I'm not quite sure how I ended up with 18 stitches down from 60 (42 is not a multiple of 8) but that's ok. It's a swatch after all.