Armed and ready with your oddments stash, let's get this Hat started!

 
 

We're going for something comfy with this Hat, something slightly slouchy, and the only area where gauge is important is the Brim. Pick yourself a firm yarn to work the Brim with, and don't be afraid to work at a slightly tighter than normal gauge – the Brim of a Hat gets a lot of abuse through wear and tear, and a good fit and reasonably tight fabric is important.

You'll want to have an idea of gauge before you cast on for your Hat. If you've used the yarn before you'll have an idea of how it behaves, but a swatch to check gauge is never a bad idea. You might also want to arm yourself with 2 sets of needles – one that will give you the fabric you want for the Brim, and one the next size up (going up a needle size will help give the fabric drape in the Body).

You will also want to know the size of your head! I have a very helpful page that guides you through how to measure yourself (or the recipient) and explains negative ease.

The Numbers

For this Hat, we want to work with a multiple of 8, as that's critical to the stripes in the Body and the structure of the Crown shaping. And because I like maths and numbers and like to be helpful, I've created this chart for you (and if all has gone to plan, you should be able to click on it to enlarge).....

Simply choose your yarn weight, read along the chart to your head size and bingo! there's your cast on number.

Now, if your gauge doesn't perfectly match any of those given I suggest swapping around your Brim yarn with something else, or trying a different (finer) needle size. It won't hurt you to cast on for the 28sts gauge if your yarn gives you 29sts - it'll give you a smidge more negative ease and that's no bad thing.

I'm going to suggest that using needle sizes to adjust gauge is the smoothest road, as it'll save you a maths headache. Going up a needle size after the Brim will add in a little slouch. If, however, you want to something more along the lines of Tangled River or Runway in fit, then I'll explain at the end of this post what you'll want to do. First though, let me talk about cast on methods!

Cast-on Methods

For my samples, I used the Alternate Cable Cast-on, and did a knit side twisted rib (K1tbl, P1) to give me a comfy, cosy fabric that will survive a fair bit of wear and tear. You can of course use any cast-on method that suits you, including a split Brim, garter stitch Brim or even a folded Brim - it really depends on what you want, and what suitable yarns you have.

I've been beavering away on the Tutorial pages, and the Cast-on page has lots of extra PDFs to download, and the number of video clips are also growing. You'll know that I like to keep any videos short and to the point for folk with limited data packages and/or slow internet, or simply for those folk who prefer the info succinct, and I hope these will benefit you.

Don't forget that you're working in the round, so once you've cast on the required number of stitches, do follow all the usual practices - join in the round without twisting, and add a stitch marker. Use your preferred choice of needles for this job, whether that be DPNs, short circs, magic loop or two circs :)

Brim Depth

This will fall under the personal preference umbrella, but if you're really not sure, go for something like 1.5in/3.75cm. Or you could keep knitting until your yarn runs out!

If you reach the end of the Brim before I post the next instalment tomorrow, choose your next yarn, *purl* one round with it, then simply put it to one side and cast on another one ;)

And if you want more width in your Hat, here's the maths....

Slouch is achieved in a couple of different ways - more width, more length, or both. For my samples I knitted for longer to add length, and allowed the differences in fabric (firm rib in Brim, stocking stitch in Body) to add a little slouch. If you want more slouch though, you'll probably want to add more width, and that means increasing to more stitches for the Body.

So - we're working on a multiple of 8 for this Hat, as the Body stripes and Crown shaping rely on it. And if you want more width after the Brim, you have to think backwards and make your Brim work on a different multiple, so that after an increase round your Body section will have the right number of stitches.

I would suggest casting on with a multiple of 6, then increasing after the Brim. Working with a multiple of 6 for the Brim and then increasing to a multiple of 8 for the Body will give you an increase of 33%, which is not far off the numbers for the slouchy style Hats mentioned above. A multiple of 7 won't give you as much extra room, and a multiple of 5 will give you something closer to that of a beret.

Assuming then that a multiple of 6 is the best choice, I would use your gauge and head measurement on the chart above, find the relevant number, than round that down to the nearest multiple of 6 (we always round down, remember!). Cast on, work your Brim as directed, and when your Brim is the right length, what would be the first round of the first stripe will also be your increase round.

Your increase round would be:

Inc Rnd: *P3, M1P; repeat from * to end

where a M1P is a lifted bar increase, purlwise. I'll explain more about why your are purling tomorrow, but this will take your Brim on a multiple of 6 to the Body on a multiple of 8.

On your marks, get set....

Go cast on!

Don't forget that we've a #wwscrapalong KAL thread in my Ravelry group, and I'll endeavour to answer as many help questions as I can there and here.

Enjoy!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead

Before I guide us through casting on, I just want to talk a little bit more about the yarns, just in case you're still undecided.

 

 

I mentioned before that I used sock yarn scraps for my #wwscrapalong Hats, and amongst those scraps were some mini skeins that I came home with from TNNA. Mini skeins are absolutely perfect for this project, as you can mix and match them with your leftovers and oddments for variety and colour. Gradients are also perfect, as are your handspun leftovers or other small lengths of precious yarn.

But you don't have to use sock weight or 4ply!

I have worked out the numbers for weights up to chunky, so you have plenty to choose from. If the most common weight in your stash is worsted, so be it - knit it in worsted!

You can also mix up yarn weights, too! If your main yarn weight is say, DK, you can still knit a stripe or three in 4ply or even lace weight - it will appear lacey and drape beautifully.

Or you can mix yarns together, holding two or three strands of laceweight, or two strands of 4ply - don't be afraid to experiment! The beauty of working with small amounts of yarn each time is that if you don't like how a stripe has worked up, you can rip out that stripe - it's just a few rows.

Once you've sorted out your yarns, you're ready to cast on!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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#wwscrapalong is a thing!

 

I've been busy beavering away, getting everything ready. The response to doing something positive and creative has been overwhelming and it's given me some much needed encouragement, thank you.

I'll use this page as the main landing page for Ravelry et all, and I'll link each instalment below as I publish them. As each instalment becomes available (via here and Instagram, which will also post to FaceBook and in turn post a link to Twitter) do comment away on individual posts, but please remember that it's just me, and try and keep requests for help to relevant blog posts, Instagram and Ravelry to help keep it manageable.

 
 

The Hat will use 100g or so off oddments, and the more the merrier so that you can mix up colours and textures! I've written two types of crown shaping into the recipe, both of which are shown here, but with a quick bit of maths you can opt for a smoother beanie type of crown (it's not tricky, I'll talk you through it).

For my samples I used 4ply and sock yarn leftovers and mini skeins (yes! use your mini skeins! gradients, even? gradients would be so *cool*) but you can use whichever you have plenty of in your stash. I've done the maths and allowed for yarn weights from fine sock right through to chunky, in 6 different head sizes (you wouldn't expect anything less, right?)

You will want to do a gauge swatch, or at least have a clear idea for how your leftovers worked up when you used them on your main project - I'd hate for you to work through this then not have your Hat fit! Although I've covered 6 sizes in an as many yarn weights, it's possible your exact gauge might not be in the chart, and that'll mean maybe a little bit of extra number crunching, but not much.

I used short rows in my samples to get those fantastic wonky stripes - yet if short rows are not your thing, or you fancy your stripes less wonky, that's OK too. I'll provide what you need to know to work out your wonky stripes, and feel free to use whichever short row method works for you (the short row tutorial page on this site is growing, btw!)

So... go and have a good rummage in your stash! Enjoy pulling all your oddments out and placing colours alongside each other, enjoy mixing things up! And feel free to start sharing your oddments stash and colour choices on social media with the #wwscrapalong tag! (I'll be looking - I always seem to be more envious of oddments stashes than anything else)

This is the perfect community knitting project - use up your oddments to donate Hats to refugee charities or church fundraisers. Knit your Scrapalong Hats together at your knitting group, swap your oddments amongst friends and share.

I'll post the first instalment tomorrow, when I'll talk you through cast on numbers, gauge and fit.

Let's have a bit of fun.

Instalments

Pt1 - choosing yarns
Pt2 - casting on

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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Remember these Hats? I made them last year...

 
 

I always planned to do some sort of knit-a-long with them, in a tutorial come make your own pattern way, but time and headspace (the lack of) got the better of me and I couldn't make it happen.

 
 

I took lots of photos at various stages but never finished writing everything. We've since built lots of extra tutorials - PDF and videos - so I can offer more online support for the technical stuff (short rows can be your friend). The writing side shouldn't take too long; it isn't prescriptive, it's more a set of guidelines to help encourage your own creativity.

And honestly, I could really do with doing something fun right now. I'm sure you could, too. You can use your scraps, decide which direction your Hat will go in, and follow along and see what other folk are creating.

Give me a few days to get the pattern tutorial nailed, and shall we say July? I'll be travelling a bit during the month but won't be without internet access for long. I'll share the individual posts on Instagram and Facebook (and in turn, they'll share to twitter but the character limit will result in a click through) - would you prefer to have each instalment shared here, too?

Hashtag will be #wwscrapalong. Please say you'll join me!

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Today needs pictures of cats.

 
 

It's been 3 weeks since we took on responsibility of this fella, and his progress is keeping us smiling. He's discovered laps and the sofa and the bed. His coat has softened and recovered, and he's found himself all the places to hang out and dose on our plot.

 
 

Go for a walk, and he'll go with you. Tom's dog-sitting Kai for a few weeks, and Howler goes for a walk with them, all the way to wherever and all the way back.

 
 

Princess Fi is getting used to him being around, and Howler's getting used to giving her her space.

 
 

It doesn't seem to matter what kind of creature you are; if you sit still for more than a few minutes, he'll come and sit with you. Kai is finding this all rather strange (especially as the white one is all too ready to get her claws out) but she's rolling with it.

 
 

We had a hiccup last week when we had to take him back to the vets. Not only did he need a Herpes vaccine (which is the cause of his cloudy and runny eyes) but also because his inner eyelids were right up - the vet, an eye specialist, believes the issue is bugs that need evicting, and meds have been had. He'll always have cloudy eyes, but the vet is expecting improvements in a couple of weeks.

Bless him, he's taken it all in his stride.

We're still smarting after the result of last week's referendum, as you can imagine. We're letting the dust settle and talking through our options. We can't do anything just yet, but we know which direction we want to go in, and that feels like a start.

I'm back in the studio today and will be getting back into things, slowly. Thanks for your patience :)

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesCats, Travels
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