Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Dulaan hat

Here it is, the picture you've all been waiting for ... the Dulaan hat.

First, the specs. The yarn is a space-dyed version of Harrisville Designs' New England Highland, which is a two-ply, heavy worsted weight. I made a pilgrimage to the weaving center when we were in New Hampshire and found it in their sale bin, at $10.50 for a 200 yard skein. It's not on the website--call the weaving center to see if they have more. When I saw those bright colors, I immediately thought Dulaan, dude!

The design is was started out as, but now bears no resemblance to, Norma's Double-thick, super warm Dulaan hat.

Norma's pattern calls for one strand of worsted and one strand of DK, knit together on a size 13 circular. She says you can do it with two strands of worsted, but you might want to go up to a size 15 needle. Pshaw! said I. That would mean going out to get new needles instead of starting right then and there. I'm an instant gratification kind of girl (stop snickering), so I went with what I had. Which, incidentally, was a pair of size 13 straight needles. Who needs circulars? thought I. I'll just knit it flat and then seam it. Patting myself on the back for my frugality, I cast on the requisite 40 stitches.

I soon discovered two things. (1) Size 13 bamboo needles are not really big enough for 80 strands of heavy worsted wool. Those stitches at the front of the needle will persist in attempting to fling themselves off the end when you are captivated by Steve's attempts to figure out Blue's clues distracted. (2) I was not going to have enough yarn to knit the 17-18 inch tube Norma wanted me to knit, i.e., this was not going to be a double-thick hat.

So, plan alteration time. I got hold of a pair of size 13 circulars and knit onto those. I originally figured I would continue to knit straight, but then I figured I might as well join where I was, knit the rest of the had in the round, and only have a couple inches of seaming left when I got done. I couldn't think of a single reason not to do this at the time, but now I know that doing this will give you a totally wonky seam and a spot where the brim of the hat will not curl up as it should. Hindsight is 20/20.

Now, Norma's pattern doesn't call for any decreases, because you're going to gather each end of the tube and then tack them together. Since I knew I didn't have enough yarn to do this, I figured I would go ahead and do a few decreases, to make the hat a bit more shaped. So, about the time I figured the hat was getting almost long enough (I tested it on Andy a couple of times), I worked a round of decreases (K4, K2tog, I think), knit a few more rounds, and then another round of decreases (K3, K2tog). That was all the decreasing I did, because I had no intention of going out to buy size 13 dpns.

Then I knit a while longer, and then I gathered up those last 20 stitches or so, and voila! The hat was done. As you can see from the picture, it's probably still a little small for a kid Andy's size, but it would probably work on Owen. If I could get him to hold still long enough, I would try it on him.

Have a lovely weekend, dear readers. We'll be busy--Second Saturday at the science center (insect-mania, oh joy), date night, etc., etc. I hope to get some work done on the wedding sampler, because I'm kind of starting to panic about that.


  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Rani said…

    Not bad at all for winging a hat pattern. Love the bright colors! =)

  • At 12:30 PM, Anonymous M said…

    great hat!!

    Sent you a message...did you get it?

  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger Kirsten said…

    I don't know... who are you?

  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger Erin said…

    Oh, great hat Kirsten! Excellent color(s).

  • At 8:20 PM, Blogger Valerie (grvlgal) said…

    That looks great! Congrats on finding a way to make it work! :)


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