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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Second Greatest Hat that I have ever Knit

For those who forgot, this is a blog about knitting as well as health care, MBA's, and whatever completely random topic that I have come up with in order to keep blogging (I may have to revisit my topic about whether or not 7-11 can be a flag ship store in a commercial district). Therefore, I proudly present the second greatest hat that I have ever knit on the left. The greatness is a combination of having abandoned knitting patterns for hats in favor of my own designs and the subtle patterns.

For those knitters out there, this hat uses Berrocco Cool worsted weight because I still had a lot left over from the toddler sweater. It's a blend so it's not too itchy nor warm which I like. I used size 4 needles and cast on only 100 stitches for a gauge of about 6 stitches/inch. That comes out to about a 16 inch circumference hat. No, my head isn't really small but actually kind of big at a weather system impacting 24 inches (Head!). Using normal knitting calculations, one would subtract 1 inch from head circumference and with a 6 stitch/inch gauge, cast on 138 stitches. If I followed normal knitting calculations, would this be the 2nd greatest hat? I think not. I like a snug fitting hat for warmth, comfort and fashion and have learned over time and practice that 100 stitches is right for me. For those less adventurous with gauges, I would offer the following advice:
1. If you think a project looks really small when you're just starting, that means you're on the right track. If the projects looks like the right size when you're starting, that means it will grow to such immense proportions that people will wonder if you are knitting for an elephant.
2. Knitting patterns seem to be written for the sizing of Shaquille O'Neal's family. Always check the size since it will generally be too big.

As far as the rest of the details, the beginning black band of the hat is knit with a knit 2, purl 2 rib pattern and the rest of the hat is straight knitting. I reduced by knitting 10 then knit 2 together (repeat), knit a row, knit 9 then 2 together, knit, knit 8 then 2 together, etc. I think that you get the idea. I stopped knitting after the knit 2, knit 2 together row and ran a kitchener needle through the remaining stitches and tied it all together. I decided when to start reducing based on trying the hat on and seeing if it covered my ears and almost covered the top of my head.

I definitely made some errors during the reduction since I knit while watching 30 rock. However, that is not the reason that it is the 2nd greatest hat! The greatest hat title was given to the hat below which was the original greatest hat that I ever knit.

Note the similarities. Greatness doesn't need to be changed to significantly. The original greatest hat had a very good run but had gotten stretch out and was no longer fitting my head as snugly as I would have liked. It disappeared on an Amtrak train in Montana around the same time that I was pondering its succession plan. This allowed for a very peaceful transition.

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