Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Elizabeth Hat, With Some Extra Love

I am very much a sweater knitting kind of girl, but I needed a hat for very practical reasons. Prior to this hat, I was wearing a raggedy crocheted hat made by Burton. How could a knitter wear something that looks handmade but isn't handmade? I guess the biggest reason was that none of the hats I made in the past were warm enough - yes, they were very cute looking, but it couldn't withstand my wet hair and the cold wind tunnels. Also, my head is shaped like a bowling ball, so most hats are too long but not wide enough! The solution? I made the Elizabeth Hat, a cabled hat that requires the use of bulky weight yarn. Thicker yarn + cabling = more elasticity = more room for my giant head! The pattern itself was very generously posted on Ravelry for free. I used a skein of leftover yarn from my Corona, plus an alpaca tweed that I picked up at Rhinebeck. For some reason, this tweed just wants to be double stranded with something else, instead of a standalone - I used the majority of the tweed making this - it's the warmest sweater I own, so I thought it would be perfect for this hat. The hat was completed within one roundtrip work commute on the subway, and I was happy wearing it as it was originally designed, except that it got too stretchy over time and the alpaca was really itchy - I needed a barrier! So, I knit myself a little woolen band using my smallest DPNs (#1s). I used a provisional cast on, making the width of the band slightly smaller than the 2 x 2 ribbing of the hat. The length was determined by me wrapping the band around my head, stopping when it was snug. I then did a three needle bind off with the two live ends, creating a loop. Lastly, I turned the hat inside out, put the lining around the outside, and sewed it in place. Done! It was some extra work, but it was well worth the effort. Now I'll have a hat that I will actually wear for its practical AND aesthetic value - imagine that!

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