Vogueknitting Holiday 2011 issue included a cabled helmet hat designed by Deborah Newton that immediately caught my eye and prompted me to purchase the issue via my iPad to get the instructions.(Later purchased the paper copy when I found it too. You can see why here.) I searched for some affordable yarn with which to make the hat and found a City Tweed Aran with many color choices at Knitpicks which resembled the yarn in the issue's photo.
Knitting the hat turned out to be just as addicting as knitting socks. You've got to make another just to see how it looks in THIS yarn. I've got a stash of Three Irish Girls yarn all of which I think would look stunning turned into this hat. So probably be more to come.
The first hat was knit for Pam who also loved the hat and ordered City Tweed Aran in Jacquard yarn with me if I would knit the hat for her. So I did. Then came one for my sister in law in Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk in Seaglass (she is a collector of seaglass along Lake Superior's shore)followed by two for friend Patty who wanted them as gifts for her sister and niece, one in City Tweed Aran Jacquard and one in Three Irish Girls Springvale Super Merino Rhys. The blue came out so striking that I had to try it again and also in Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk in Gretel just to see how those fabulous colors would look.
Everyone who got the hat was interested in how the hat was constructed so I took some pictures of the process this last time.
The base of the hat is the band which is knit from a chart and done in one piece, then sewn together. (After the third time making the hat, I turned the chart into written words and placed a blow up of the cable stitches directions in the corner which really sped up knitting the band.) Stitches are then picked up around the bottom of the band, knit and then increased in the next row and knit then bind off and sew side edge seam.
After the band is completed and sewn into the circle, stitches are picked up on the front of the band and the center panel is knitted until it is twelve inches long in a repeating 4 row twist cable pattern, then decreased as per instructions to fit the back band area where it is stitched down.
Back view of panel stitched down to the band:
Front view after panel is knit and stitched down:
After sewing down the center panel, you are ready to pick up stitches along each oval earflap.
Pick up stitches along the earflap and knit the 4 row textured rib pattern until you have 4 repetitions of the pattern. Then do the decreases (you can stay in the textured rib pattern for this, or just follow the stitches for a ribbed pattern for a plainer look which adds one more texture to the hat.) Either way looks fine.
Stitches picked up and knit on one earflap. When decreases are completed and cast off, this is one completed side.
This shows the wrong side of earflap textured rib pattern:
This shows the right side of textured rib pattern:
Second earflap textured rib pattern completed:
After completing the second earflap side, I find the center of the center panel, and the center of the picked up earflap and pin them together with the right side facing out, pinning from back to front on each side. Then stitching from back to front matching stitches where possible to get the smooth curved shape. (I've also done it from front to back, but seem to get better results going back to front. Is it because I'm right handed? Who knows?) All I did find out is that starting stitching from either the front or the back, be sure you do each side from the same place to avoid a twisted, wonky look requiring one to rip and redo the stitching.
Voila..the helmet hat is completed.
In City Tweed Aran in Jacquard (I made two of these)
In Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk Seaglass
In Three Irish Girls Merino Silk Wexford Gretel
In City Tweed Aran Rhubarb
Three Irish Girls Springvale Merino Rhys (I made two of these)
And now I"m off to start another...hat, sock, what will it be? Hmmm...decisions, decisions...