May 25, 2017

My own SITW 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 | Willa


My Semester in the West hat project began with the idea of making myself a hat on the trip for the sake of mixing wonderful, fleeting memories with a more tangible object. You know, a representative of the fun to last longer than the fun itself. Then, being a talented maker of mountains from molehills, I extended the service to the other Westies, too. Classic. Anyway, in the midst of making a bunch of custom-made hats for others, I wanted to make sure I knitted myself a hat while in the field (you know, the original idea). So, while in southern New Mexico, I interrupted the flow of knitting hats for others and hunkered down to treat myself.


One reason why I love this project so much is that the Westies have designed their own hats. Their fresh, original ideas, independent of knitting design norms, have been so energizing and exciting. However, when I sat down in the "backseat lounge" of the car to design my own hat, I was neither energized nor excited. Au contraire; I felt the pressure of proving my own aptitude for design. I spent several hours at the sketchbook, designing several other pieces before finally deciding on my hat pattern.

My knitting and designing nook, the backseat lounge of a Ford Explorer.
Initial challenges aside, I am pretty stoked on the end result. I knew from the start that I wanted to take advantage of all the colors of yarn to which I had access, with a focus on navy blue and also somehow incorporating a tree design. I was inspired by previous designs I'd seen--such as my Afmæli sweater, which I had nearly finished days before Semester in the West started--that reversed traditional roles of negative and positive space. In this reversal, the background is the most colorful. This partly distracts from the foreground, knitted in a single neutral color, but also adds overall depth and interest.


I knitted this hat from October 26-30 while in southern New Mexico, specifically in and around Deming and Carlsbad. The hat involves seven colors, a combination of Drops Karisma and Drops Lima, using US 6 and US 2 needles. I've included hat patterns for both this seven-color arrangement and a two-color arrangement, because I fully understand not wanting to endure the expense of purchasing seven skeins when they won't all be used in entirety.

From left: Griffin, Nina, Willa, Signe, Elizabeth, Ysabel, Maggie, Amanda
On the last day of the program, we took a group photo of most of the Westie hats that I made (sans Kenzie, Collin, Thomas, and Sarah). Evidently, there are a couple of sneak previews of hat patterns not yet published, but I wanted to express my gratitude for so many lovely Westies who were game to support my knitting habit with rad hat designs.


Elizabeth’s Hat Pattern

This hat pattern offers two color options – the seven-color version shown above, and a two-color version. There are separate color charts for each option.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Yarn: 7-color version: 0.5 skein Drops Karisma Navy Blue 17 (A), 0.1 skein Drops Lima Grey Blue 6235 (B), 0.1 skein Drops Lima Goldenrod 2923 (C), 0.1 skein Drops Lima Rust 0707m (D), 0.1 Drops Karisma Dark Brown Mix 56 (E), 0.1 skein Drops Lima Green 205m (F), 0.1 skein Drops Karisma Red 48 (G)
2-color version: 1 skein Drops Karisma Navy Blue 17 (A), 1 skein Drops Karisma Light Grey 44 (B)
Gauge: 21 stitches and 28 rows = 4 in (10 cm) with US 6 in stockinette stitch
Finished Size: Fits adult head, approx. 7.5 in (19 cm) long
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) dp needles, US 6 (4 mm) circular (9 in/23 cm) and dp needles
Other Materials Needed: stitch marker, ruler, yarn needle

For both color versions, CO 120 sts with US 2 in A. Connect in the round and pm. Work *k2, p2* ribbing for 2 in (5 cm).

Switch to US 6 and work one more row with A, simultaneously decreasing 24 sts evenly around round (*K3, k2tog*) = 96 sts.

Continue onto desired color chart (see below), repeating chart six times for each round.

Work decreases, starting with round 35. Switch to dp needles when desired. Decreases are elaborated in written form below:

7-color version: (Color Chart 1)
Round 35: k1F, *k2togF, k2F, k2A, k2F* across round, ending with k1F = 84 sts.
Round 36: *k4F, k3A* across round (no change in st cnt).
Round 37: k1B, *k2togB, k2B, k1A, k2B* across round, ending with k1B = 72 sts.
Round 38: k4B, *k1A, k5B* across round, ending with k1B (no change in st cnt).
Round 39: With E, k1, *k2tog, k4* across round, ending with k1 = 60 sts.
Round 40: K across round with E (no change in st cnt).
Round 41: With E, k1, *k2tog, k3* across round, ending with k1 = 48 sts.
Rounds 42, 44, & 46: K across round with A (no change in st cnt).
Round 43: With A, k1, *k2tog, k2* across round, ending with k1 = 36 sts.
Round 45: With A, *k1, k2tog* across round = 24 sts.

After Round 46, 24 sts remain. Finish with Round 27:
Round 47: With A, *k2tog* across round = 12 sts.
Then see finishing instructions.

2-color version: (Color Chart 2)
Round 35: k1B, *k2togB, k2B, k2A, k2B* across round, ending with k1F = 84 sts.
Round 36: *k4B, k3A* across round (no change in st cnt).
Round 37: k1B, *k2togB, k2B, k1A, k2B* across round, ending with k1B = 72 sts.
Round 38: k4B, *k1A, k5B* across round, ending with k1B (no change in st cnt).
Round 39: With B, k1, *k2tog, k4* across round, ending with k1 = 60 sts.
Rounds 40, 42, 44, & 46: K across round with B (no change in st cnt).
Round 41: With B, k1, *k2tog, k3* across round, ending with k1 = 48 sts.
Round 43: With B, k1, *k2tog, k2* across round, ending with k1 = 36 sts.
Round 45: With B, *k1, k2tog* across round = 24 sts.

After Round 46, 24 sts remain. Finish with Round 27:
Round 47: With A, *k2tog* across round = 12 sts.
Then see finishing instructions.

Color Chart 1

Color Chart 2
To finish, cut yarn end, leaving an 8 in (20 cm) tail. Thread yarn needle and pass through remaining sts and pull tight. Block if desired and enjoy!

Abbreviations:
k – knit
p – purl
CO – cast on
dp – double-pointed knitting needles
k2tog – knit two sts together in the back loops
k1A – knit one st with color A
st cnt – stitch count
st(s) – stich(es)

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

Until next time, 

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth

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