Flower Topped Striped Cap

March 28, 2005 by
Filed under: Knitting 

There were many times I thought I went beyond my ability level with this cap. Things that worked against me: yarn over, SK2P, and once again, the dreaded gauge. But in the end I had something wearable.

One of the books I had gotten from the library was from the Vogue Knitting on the Go series of books, Caps & Hats Two. There were many cute hats in this book, but I settled on the Flower Topped Striped Cap pattern. I thought I could try to make it with the inexpensive Shetland wool yarn I had. Working a swatch, I decided I would need #3 needles. I picked out a third color, a new set of circular needles, and got started.

I worked the first color, the dark gray, until I needed to switch colors. Then I went to Webs for the knitting drop-in. I couldn’t get started on the first wave pattern since I didn’t know what SK2P was. A nice woman at the drop-in told me how to do the stitch combination: slip one, knit two, pass the first knit stitch over the second knit stitch. But something was really wrong. After finishing a row I would have eight extra stitches. What was I doing wrong? Was the pattern wrong? After trying the wave pattern four times and ripping it out, I realized that the key must be in the SK2P. Putting SK2P into Google lead me to a site the explained that I should slip one, knit two together, then pass the slip stitch over the knit stitch. Beautiful. I did a row and had the correct number of stitches. The wave pattern was fine after that, though I do not like doing yarn overs. Being left with loose yarn and big holes disturbed me.

Things went fairly smoothly after the first wave pattern. I did get conflicting opinions on what to do with the yarn when I changed colors. Don’t cut the yarn and just wrap it with each row. OR cut the yarn each time and sew in the ends later. Wrapping the yarn would have been nice, except it got awkward with the three balls of yarn being tethered to my hat. Cutting the yarn helped that, but left big holes. I was assured that these would disappear once I sewed in the ends. I just had to have faith. I settled on this method a third of the way through the hat. As I was approaching the end, I had Ella try the hat. See all of the nice detail. But it was looking like it would be too big.

I continued until the end, hoping for the best. But of course it was only bigger then. I tried lightly blocking the hat as the pattern suggested, hoping that this would help. It wanted me to “pin the lower edge to form points.” I don’t have a head form and didn’t expect Ella to sit with a damp wool hat on her head for a few hours. So I tried a balloon, but obviously not pinning the edge. It worked ok, but the balloon was not the right shape. I was amazed at how blocking the hat really changed it. It wasn’t any smaller, but it had this really nice drape that it didn’t have before.

What to do now? The hat looked good, but it was so big, no one would wear it. I decided to wash it a bit in hot water and a little detergent. I figured it would felt and shrink some, but lose some detailing. From the washing machine I put it in a hot dryer, checking it every so often. When it seemed to be getting close, I took it out and put it on a balloon again, trying to define the edge with my fingers.

It was dry by the time Ella got home so she could try it on. And it did fit pretty well. It was a keeper. I finished it off with the crocheted flower. As you can see, it did lose a lot of the detail with the felting. But it fits, so Ella will wear it. And I really like the scalloped edge.


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