March 4, 2013


As you may have noticed over on facebook, I fell in love with this hat. I mean, really, who wouldn't want a hat named Stalker Hat? Even though the 2 page pattern intimidates me, requires dpn (double pointed needles) with which I am awkward at best, and has no indication of size or gauge beyond "women's medium," I took the plunge. 

Why does size matter with a hat? I have a deceptively large head AND a lot of hair. Most hats do not fit my noggin. (Have I said this somewhere in blog-land before? This is feeling eerily familiar.) If this pattern included measurements or gauge (from which I could calculate measurements) I could alter the pattern as necessary to fit my head. But since the pattern isn't forthcoming with this information, here's what I did. It calls for Cascade Yarns Lana D'oro which knits up 4.5 - 5 stitches per inch on #7-8 needles. OK, the pattern calls for #7 needles. The cast on - which forms the circumference of the hat, or hat band, if you will - is 100 stitches. So, at 4.5 - 5 stitches per inch, 100 stitches should measure 20 - 22 inches. Given the pattern uses the smaller needle, it's most likely 20 inches. Not big enough for my head.

Now, my local yarn store did not have Lana D'oro, a 50% alpaca, 50% wool blend. I substituted Tahki Yarns Coast, a soft yarn of 55% wool, 45% cotton with a similar gauge to Lana D'oro, 4.5 stitches on size 7. Then, back home, I found I don't have size 7 circular or dpn but I do have both in size 9. I knit a swatch which measured about 4 - 4.5 stitches per inch. Hah! Perfect. I can follow the pattern and my hat will measure about 24 inches around. (I hope.)

This is how far I got. The first 7 rows of the hat are on the circular needles to the right of the picture. The hat brim/visor is on the dpn to the left, already folded over and sewn along the short sides.
The pattern does not include instructional photos. I did not think this would be a bother since I've always been good at visualizing things in three dimensions. Remember those standardized tests with drawings of irregular shapes and you had to choose how the shapes would look after being folded into a 3 dimensional object? Piece of cake. This hat? Not so much. According to the pattern, "place visor on dpn on top of left needle. Insert right hand needle into 1st st on dpn, knit into the first st of the visor cast on row, AND the next stitch on the left needle and knit all three together at the same time. This joins both sides of the visor to the hat." I've tried. Believe me, I've tried. I think the instructions defy the laws of physics. Or, at least, are physically impossible.

Round two of odd bird vs. stalker hat begins after coffee. Lots of coffee.

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