Monday, 8 September 2008

mad hatter

I wanted a bucket hat with a slight twist. Something a bit less floppy and a bit more pronounced. Something with curves and a flat top and ever so slightly felted. Something I could perhaps wear to a tea party along with a few other mad hatters.

115gms of handspun (something in the vicinity of an 8ply or DK weight) wool. Make sure it isn't superwash or a non-felting fibre.
4mm 60cm circular needle plus 4mm dpns for the crown decrease
1 stitch marker
Scrap yarn and crochet hook for provisional cast on
Scissors and yarn needle

18.5 stitches to 10cm/4inches

55cm head - since this hat is lightly felted to shape you have some discretion over sizing at the felting stage

I dyed the yarn for this hat in two lots, using the same basic colour combination but in different proportions. I used a small amount of brighter redder yarn to cast on and knit the underside of the brim, then switched to a darker more plummier version of the yarn to knit the top side. You could of course use two contrasting colours or do it all in one colour.

You can easily alter the shape or size of this hat. For example - you could cast on extra stitches to fit a larger head (in multiples of 8), do extra knit and increase rows before row 17 to widen the brim (with the same in decreases after row 17), add extra increase rows between the brim and the crown to exaggerate the flare of the top, or knit extra rows before the crown to make it taller (rows 35-57).

The felting process is another area where you can either change the size of the hat (felt more for smaller, felt less for bigger) or make the hat denser and stiffer by knitting the hat bigger and felting it more.

Using provisional cast on, cast on 104 stitches. Place marker and join in the round being careful not to twist.
Row 1 Knit
Row 2 Knit
Row 3 Increase row - *knit 12 stitches, knit into the front and back of the 13th stitch* repeat 7 more times (total 112 stitches)

Repeat rows 1-3 4 more times, increasing the number of stitches between each increase in row 3 each time by 1 (total 144 stitches).

Row 16 Knit
Row 17 Purl (this forms the turning row for the outer edge of the brim). If you are using two different coloured yarns, switch colours here.

Repeat rows 1-16 in reverse to decrease the number of stitches back to the original 104. (ie, row 18 knit, row 19 knit first 16 stitches then SSK decrease stitches 17 and 18 together etc).

Slide the stitches from the provisional cast on to a separate circular needle.

Row 34 knit the stitches from the two circular needles together by folding the brim in half and holding the two needles together. Put the tip of the right needle into the first stitch from the main needle and then the first stitch from the second (cast on stitches) needle and then knit the two stitches together. Repeat for all stitches. This completes the brim.

Rows 35-41 knit
Row 42 Increase row - *knit 12 stitches, knit into the front and back of the 13th stitch* repeat 7 more times (total 112 stitches)
Rows 42-48 knit
Row 49 Increase row - *knit 13 stitches, knit into the front and back of the 14th stitch* repeat 7 more times (total 120 stitches)
Rows 50-55 knit
Row 56 Increase row - *knit 14 stitches, knit into the front and back of the 15th stitch* repeat 7 more times (total 128 stitches)

Row 57 Purl. This row forms the ridge to start the crown.

Row 58 *knit 14 stitches, SSK stitches 15 and 16* repeat 7 more times.
Row 59 knit

Repeat row 58 and 59, decreasing the number of stitches between each decrease by 1 each time until 8 stitches remain.

Break yarn, thread onto a needle and thread remaining stitches onto yarn. Gather up tight and sew in end.

Hand wash hat in hottest possible soapy water, agitating vigorously. Rinse in very cold water. Check for size and repeat if required until hat is desired size. Roll up a small towel to form a head sized cylinder and dry hat held in shape.

Please let me know if you find any errors or have questions about this pattern.


kt said...


Ren said...

The hat looks awesome!

We've discovered that Archie's eczema gets worse when he is dressed in wool. A bummer, because he has so many cute woollen things.. As you know!