Let me take you back a few years, 4 to be precise.

The Yard, the community that we are part of and where Tom's family have a small plot, has had a difficult neighbour for years. 4 years ago he started fresh legal proceedings that would do more to threaten and undermine the community than ever before.

It started with unannounced police visits, where they insisted on going into everyone's trailers for inspections. These kinds of 'visits' are humiliating and dehumanising. More police visits, more threats from lawyers, more legal notices. It soon became clear that the entire community faced demolition. Homes and artwork spanning over 20 years could be destroyed, with many families facing homelessness. All because one person had an obsessive desire to rid himself of the people he disliked. Because he had deep enough pockets to do so, and a lawyer willing to search for and manipulate loopholes.

It took thousands in legal fees to fight. Each twist and turn in the saga unveiled fresh problems, fresh court cases, fresh notices. And Aran learnt the hard way how deep rooted hate can be. It upset him greatly to know that there was one person who hated his life and his family enough to do this.

We fundraised, we pulled together as a community, to show a face of solidarity. Inside we felt the pressure, the continual exhaustion of trying to live day by day with so much uncertainty over your head. Of facing friends and family and trying to explain what was happening, as this is something that simply doesn't happen in their world.

Part way during this fight, you'll remember that Aran fell critically ill. It took him a long time to recover from renal failure, but he did. During that time we had to keep up that brave face, keep on trying to work from day to day to somehow maintain the status quo. Watching your child fall critically ill is heartbreaking. Watching your child fall critically ill whilst also facing an eviction order has the potential to destroy you.

Last summer the new contract for the Yard was signed, the community had won. It made legal history.

Last summer, Aran was signed off by the consultant and referred to our GP for his annual kidney checks.

In the last year we've started to rebuild our lives, and move on.

In the last year we've dealt with depression. We've struggled. We're struggling to keep on going, but we're working on it and we've come a long way. Having something to work towards is making all the difference. You don't just forget about periods of life like this; even if they're not present in your mind they haunt you unknowingly for a long, long time.

In the last year Aran has slowly started to feel settled again. His world was forcibly turned upside down, and although he now wears a smile most days, it affected him deeply. We've pulled in closer as a family, barely spending any time apart. Aran still isn't happy sleeping over with a friend, or being away from a parent for long.

We're getting there, though. Or we were, until the referendum.

You see, what a Leave vote means for us is that we've been plunged back into uncertainty again. Having finally got the rug straight under our feet, you've pulled it straight out again. Everything that we've worked towards, that stability that we've craved and needed and deserved, is now under threat. Again.

And no, it isn't simply a matter of if you're there already, everything should be OK? The Leave campaign failed to plan for provisions for EU nationals in the UK, or UK citizens elsewhere in Europe. It also fails to completely understand that the freedom of movement is a precious thing, and that many people are moving, working freely as they are allowed to do, without legal residency. It means there are thousands more people affected than the government would have you believe.

We are those people, the uncounted.

Residency laws are not straight forward. It's not a matter of simply applying for legal residency, as that is based on the laws of the settled community and often fails to recognise people who don't fit that criteria. We have no protection currently beyond the rights the EU has granted us in freedom of movement. I appreciate concern from friends who have asked how we are coping post referendum and what we'll do next, but it's difficult to keep explaining this.

Yes, people have always moved. People will still be able to travel post brexit. But in the days before the freedom of movement, visas and travel costs were far more expensive. They were bureaucratic. They were prohibitive to those without some level of privilege. I am pro immigration. I believe everyone, regardless of their background or financial situation, should be able to explore and experience other cultures. Removing the freedom of movement will cause stagnation, particularly to those people, like us, who feel that they don't really belong in the place they were born in but lack the money or opportunity to do anything about it.

Given a choice, we'll choose our EU citizenship. We've no idea if we can get it or how much it'll cost. We've been pushed into a corner over something we didn't vote for, and at least for me right now it feels as if the UK has turned their back on us. That's a very raw feeling that I'm working on, as it makes me incredibly sad to think like that. We've had a great deal of support from friends, and those people know this anger isn't for them. But it is what it is, and we have to find the energy to deal with the mess we've been served.

Whilst those who voted Leave will have their reasons, reasons that I hope are considered and thoughtful and not personal, the result is personal to us. Your vote has contributed to our world, our lives, yet again being under threat. It may not be personal to you but it is personal to us and we are allowed to be angry.

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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Now that you've started knitting your stripes, it's time to think about how long the Body of your Hat should be.

 
 

The two Crown shapings I've written for this tutorial come recipe come pattern are short in their length - one is a gathered crown, the other a square (or wonky?) top - and this means that we can work the Body of the Hat to almost the desired overall length.

To measure the length on a wonky Hat with short row stripes, you'll want to take the average length - measure at the longest part and measure at the shortest part, add them together then divide it by two. You'd then treat this average length as you would any length when measuring the Body.

The overall length of your Hat, including the Brim, would be somewhere in this range:

14in: 5in - 5.5in/12.75cm - 14cm
16in: 5.5in - 6in/14cm - 15.25cm
18in: 6in - 6.5in/15.25cm - 16.5cm
20in: 6.5in - 7in/16.5cm - 17.75cm
22in: 7in - 7.5in/17.75cm - 19cm
24in: 7.5in - 8in/19cm - 20.25

I generally allow 1in/2.5cm difference between sizes when I write patterns for slouchy Hats, but it's important to remember that this is variable, and that it depends on how much slouch you want, how much extra width you added and more, and this is where it's uber helpful to know how well other (esp. Woolly Wormhead!) Hat patterns fit. If you know that you have a long face and quite a deep ear to Crown measurement, you'll want to make your Hat on the longer side. Conversely, if you've learnt that your ear to Crown measurement is shallower than average, don't knit it quite as long.

If you're still unsure, try thinking about it a different way: measure the depth of your head, from the base of your ear to your Crown (more info is on the Sizing page). Know that the Crown shaping of your #wwscrapalong Hat itself is short (a few rows, essentially - it's unlikely to be any more than 1in/2.5cm for the gathered version). This means that you can work the length of your Hat until it is the same length as your head, and allow the crown shaping to be that extra bit of depth needed for slouch.

Another way to approach it might be this: knit it to a length you like the look of. Place the Hat on your head, gather up the stitches on your circular needle (without taking them off it!) and see how it fits.

Or further still, knit until you think it's OK and if after working the Crown it isn't long enough, rip out those few rows and add in some extra length. We are only dealing with a few rows in each stripe after all, and that gives us the freedom to custom knit.

And of course if you're going for the wonky square top then you'll want to knit all your length into the Body!

Are you all following along on the Ravelry thread or via the hashtag on Instagram? Everyone's Hats are looking so creative and I can't wait to see how they develop!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead

Having worked your Brim, you're now ready to start the Body! There's a lot of info here so do take your time reading through, and ask away if you have any questions.

 

 

Yesterday I said in Pt2 that once you've finished your Brim, you should work one round in your 2nd yarn purl-wise. (or, if you're going for the slouchier-by-width version, you've worked an increase round purl-wise)

For many reasons, joining in a new colour for a new stripe with a knit round just never looks as effective as joining the new colour purl-wise. We're knitting ourselves a scrappy Hat, something wonky and fun, so why not highlight all the wonderful differences between yarns and textures and make a feature of the join?

For each scrappy Hat I made I joined each and every stripe with a purl round. Regardless of what stitch pattern I'd decided to use, I purled the first round in the new yarn, then moved on and worked the stripe. When I was ready to change yarn again, I'd purl the first round and so on.

And talking of stitch patterns...

Mixing up the Stripes

Invariably when you're mixing different stitch patterns together within a design, you'd normally be aiming to keep the overall tension the same, so as to not manipulate the fabric. But we're working on something different here, and it's fun to see how different stitch patterns intermix and play together.

I used stocking stitch, garter stitch, moss (seed) stitch, ribbing and probably a few more. Through in whatever stitch pattern you've always wanted to try. If it doesn't work out, there's only a small amount to rip out. It's kinda trial by error, but also pushing your own boundaries, too, and that's never a bad thing.

Ends and Joins

The ends can get a little pesky, to be sure, but there are ways of managing them. If you know you're going to use a yarn again, you can carry it up (by twisting it with the working yarn to stop it sagging or getting caught). Or you can simply break each yarn each time, and either work the ends in as you join, or leave them all to the end.

I don't have any top tips for joining in ends as you go, but we'd all love to hear from you if you've a method that works well for you! I prefer to leave them all to the end, as that allows me to neaten up any loose stitches that might occur at the joins.

And talking of joins, there are a number of jogless methods for working stripes. I don't have tutorials for any of these available outside of patterns or workshop notes, but here a couple of tips:

Slip stitch jogless stripes:

On colour change rounds, change colours by knitting the first stitch of the round in the new colour as normal, then work to the end of the round. At the start of the next round, slip the first stitch of the new colour, then knit to the end of the round. On every following round, knit every stitch as usual.

Travelling jogless stripes:

To further improve the transition between stripes, on the round when you change colour move the start of the round forward by one stitch and work the change as detailed above (i.e. slip stitch jogless) – this method is known as travelling jogless stripes. As you any shaping (e.g. crown shaping), moving the jog may not be necessary as the decreases would help hide the jog.

For me though, with these Hats, I didn't worry too much about jogless methods - I found that the change in yarn and stitch pattern and the purl round disguised most things.

Wonky Stripes

And this is where it gets really fun.

The wonky stripes are created by short rows. I've a few tutorials you can look at that, and there are a number of different methods and a whole host of different tutorials out there - use whichever method works for you.

One thing to be mindful of is that due to changes in gauge when working short rows in the round, you'll invariably find that using two different methods - one for the right side and one for the wrong side - gives you the best results. One trick though is to work the short row at the end of a stripe, so that the purl round hides any wobbly bits that may occur. Those purl rounds are very useful things!

There's a bit of maths involved with these short rounds, and there's a reason why we're working on a multiple of 8. Let me just throw the maths out there, then give you some examples with real numbers!

Starting at the beginning of the round, your short row round goes like this, where X is the total number of stitches:

Short Row Rnd: K 15/16X w&t, P 7/8X w&t, K3/4X w&t, P 5/8X w&t, K 1/2X w&t, P 3/8X w&t, K 1/4X w&t, P 1/8X w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go (you would only work half the short rows; you work the remaining half on the next round)(where w&t = your short row method of choice)

Clear as mud? Because it's saturday night here are the short row formulas for the various stitch counts given in the chart for casting on in pt2:

48sts
Short Row Rnd: K45 w&t, P42 w&t, K36 w&t, P30 w&t, K24 w&t, P18 w&t, K12 w&t, P6 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

56sts
Short Row Rnd: K53 w&t, P49 w&t, K42 w&t, P35 w&t, K28 w&t, P21 w&t, K14 w&t, P7 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

64sts
Short Row Rnd: K60 w&t, P56 w&t, K48 w&t, P40 w&t, K32 w&t, P24 w&t, K16 w&t, P8 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

72sts
Short Row Rnd: K68 w&t, P63 w&t, K54 w&t, P45 w&t, K36 w&t, P27 w&t, K18 w&t, P9 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

80sts
Short Row Rnd: K75 w&t, P70 w&t, K60 w&t, P50 w&t, K40 w&t, P30 w&t, K20 w&t, P10 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

88sts
Short Row Rnd: K83 w&t, P77 w&t, K66 w&t, P55 w&t, K44 w&t, P33 w&t, K33 w&t, P11 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

96sts
Short Row Rnd: K90 w&t, P84 w&t, K72 w&t, P60 w&t, K48 w&t, P36 w&t, K24 w&t, P12 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

104sts
Short Row Rnd: K98 w&t, P91 w&t, K78 w&t, P65 w&t, K52 w&t, P39 w&t, K26 w&t, P13 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

112sts
Short Row Rnd: K105 w&t, P91 w&t, K77 w&t, P63 w&t, K49 w&t, P35 w&t, K21 w&t, P7 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

120sts
Short Row Rnd: K113 w&t, P105 w&t, K90 w&t, P75 w&t, K60 w&t, P45 w&t, K30 w&t, P15 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

128sts
Short Row Rnd: K120 w&t, P112 w&t, K96 w&t, P80 w&t, K64 w&t, P48 w&t, K32 w&t, P16 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

136sts
Short Row Rnd: K128 w&t, P119 w&t, K104 w&t, P85 w&t, K68 w&t, P51 w&t, K34 w&t, P17 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

144sts
Short Row Rnd: K135 w&t, P126 w&t, K108 w&t, P90 w&t, K72 w&t, P54 w&t, K36 w&t, P18 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

152sts
Short Row Rnd: K143 w&t, P133 w&t, K114 w&t, P95 w&t, K76 w&t, P57 w&t, K38 w&t, P19 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

160sts
Short Row Rnd:
K150 w&t, P140 w&t, K120 w&t, P100 w&t, K80 w&t, P60 w&t, K40 w&t, P20 w&t; knit across all sts, working short rows as you go

Now, these short row rounds don't have to start at the beginning of the round. You could knit to the half way point and start there. Or the quarter way point. Or at any point, really - it's entirely up to you how wonky you want to make your Hat. You could stack a couple of short row rounds starting at the same point, work a regular stripe of two, then work a short row round from a different point to mix things up. It might help though to introduce a second marker to show the start of the short row round, to save too much confusion.

(think Brindled. Offset short row stripes can be pretty effective). But you don't have to work the short rows if you don't want to - it's your Hat :)

Mix up your stripes. Stick in a purl row when you feel like it. Have fun!

eta/lunchtime 3/7 - I found an error in some of the numbers, so I've corrected them. There's only a few stitches difference and your short rows will still have worked so don't worry, but the maths and calculations are now correct as per the fractions :)

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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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!

Posted
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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