February 10, 2017

Willa's Hat | SITW Hat Series

This post is part of the Semester in the West Hat Series. Catch up on the latest hats and free patterns below.

Kenzie | Collin | Amanda | Thomas | Maggie | Signe | Griffin

It's time for another Semester in the West hat pattern! And perfect timing too--this winter has been one for the books. Class was cancelled yesterday due to a freezing rain storm that coated everything with an inch of ice. Walla Walla has also faced sub-zero temperatures and two straight months of snow on the ground; meanwhile, California has had drought-shattering rains and a bursting snowpack in the mountains. These photos were taken on top of Bennington Lake in Walla Walla, the first time I've seen it completely frozen over!! Brrrr.

Cold and wintry as it might be right now, I knitted Willa's hat in the dry sunshine of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. While I was normally able to whip out a Westie hat within a week after it was designed, Willa's hat took me a lot longer, sucking up nearly the entirety of October, from Comb Ridge, Utah to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM. It wasn't the design as much as the timing -- we had transitioned from the frigid skies of Montana and South Dakota to the arid Colorado Plateau desert, and suddenly my inclination to work with wool was gone. Additionally, during our time in Arizona, I suffered a rough ankle sprain that drained my creative energy to do more than I had to for a few weeks -- four whole months later, I'm finally starting to return to running, (that is, once the snow finally melts).

Fortunately, Willa was very understanding of the longer-than-usual timeline and was plenty excited when her adorable "not crazy" squirrels and acorns design was finished and ready to wear. Though it's hard to tell from the photos, I ran out of purple yarn halfway through the decreases on the top of the hat and, left with no other option, I finished the decreases with a bit of yellow and then a bit of black, creating a bullseye motif on the top that Willa wants me to say is "totally intentional." Why not add a bit of pizzazz when you can get away with it?! 

I used US 2 and US 6 needles, and the yarn is Drops Karisma in Dark Purple, Light Grey, and Dark Grey, and Drops Lima in Goldenrod. Next time, I would replace the dark grey with a color with more contrast against the purple, or use a lighter shade of purple. My backcountry yarn stash wasn't perfectly accoutered for this task, but at least it gets the idea across!

Willa’s Hat Pattern
Difficulty: Intermediate, recommend experience in stranded colorwork
Yarn: 1 skein/50 g Drops Karisma in Dark Purple 76 (A) 0.25 skeins Drops Karisma in Light Grey 44 (B), 0.1 skeins Drops Karisma in Dark Mustard 52 (C), 0.1 skein Drops Karisma in Dark Grey 53* (D)
Alternative with Drops Lima (same yardage): A - Dark Purple 4377, B - Light Grey 9010, C - Goldenrod 2923, D - Brown 5610
*Black on dark purple doesn't show up well, as depicted in the sample photo. For better contrast, substitute black with a chestnut/acorn brown. 
Gauge: 21 sts and 28 rows = 4 in (10 cm) with US 6 in St st
Finished Size: Fits most adult-sized heads, 7-7.5 in (18-19 cm) length
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) dp needles, US 6 (4 mm) dp and 9 in (23 cm) circular needles
Other Materials Needed: ruler, yarn needle, stitch marker

CO 112 sts with US 2 and A. Connect in the round and pm to mark start and end of round. Work *k2, p2* ribbing for 1.5 in (4 cm).

Switch to US 6, still with A, and decrease 14 sts evenly around round (*k6, k2tog* across) = 98 sts. This is row 1 of color chart. Continue working color chart, repeating chart seven time for each round.

Purple = Color A; Grey = Color B; Yellow = Color C, Black = Color D
[ / ] = K2tog; [X] = No Stitch
Continue with decreases, starting with round 33. Switch to dp needles when desired. Decreases are elaborated in written form below: 

Round 33: *k2tog A, k5D,* repeat * to * across round = 84 sts.
Round 34: k2A, *k3D, k3A,* repeat * to *, ending with k3D, k1A.
Round 35: *k2tog A, k1A, k1D, k2A,* repeat * to * = 70 sts.
Rounds 36, 38, 40, 42, & 44: K across round with A.
Round 37: *k2tog A, k3A,* repeat * to * across round = 58 sts.
Round 39: *k2tog A, k2A,* repeat * to * across round = 42 sts.
Round 41: *k2tog A, k1A* repeat * to * across round = 28 sts.
Round 43: k2tog A across round = 14 sts.
Round 45: k2tog A across round = 7 sts.

Cut yarn end, leaving an 8 in (20 cm) tail. Thread yarn needle and pass through remaining sts and pull tight. Weave in yarn ends. Block if desired and enjoy!

k - knit
p - purl
CO - cast on
pm - place marker
k2tog - k two sts together in the back loops
k1A - k one st with color A
dp - douple-pointed needles
st(s) - stitch(es)
St st - stockinette stitch

You can find this pattern as a free PDF here. You can find this pattern on Ravelry here.

Stay warm,
Happy Crafting!!