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February Hat!

Hello hat knitters!

I hope you have been enjoying working on your January hat. It’s been a snowy, gloomy month—perfect knitting weather. I have seen some beautiful finished hats down at the shop, but I know the January Hat is a challenging knit. If your project has stalled out or you are stuck, bring it along on class night and we will help you sort out your troubles.

For those that found the pattern work of January’s hat daunting, you will hopefully find the February Hat more enjoyable. The body of the hat has several bands of knit and purl patterning that are fun to work and that create a beautiful texture. Not a bobble or cable to be found!

The challenge in this one may come from some new techniques used to create the doubled brim. We will begin with a provisional cast on, work 4.5” of rib, then connect the two ends together with a three-needle join. This creates a thick, warm brim that you will love.

I knit the hat with the suggested needle sizes of US 4 and US 6. As always, use your judgement and knowledge of your knitting to decide if you want to adjust the needle size. Or swatch! On Ravelry it looks like most folks knit with the suggested needles and were happy with the results. To work the brim, you will also need a spare needle to pick up the stitches from the provisional cast on. Size isn’t critical for this so if you have a US4-6 of any length, it will work. To make the cast on you will also need a size G crochet hook (or an F or H will do) and some waste yarn from your stash. Your waste yarn should be a smooth yarn, worsted weight or DK, that is a different color than your hat yarn.

As this hat starts with some techniques that may be new, you can decide how much you want to tackle on your own. If you are not comfortable with the provisional cast on described here, we will help you get started in class. There will be plenty of students learning the provisional cast on for the first time, so no worries!

The Kelbourne website has a good tutorial for a Crochet Provisional Cast on to guide you. And here is a Provisional Cast On Video for you to view. After completing the cast on, work your first row of K1, P1 rib. This row is worked flat across the cast on stitches. At the end of this first row, place a beginning of round marker and join your knitting in the round, checking that they are not twisted as you start the second row. Don’t worry about the little gap left from working the first row flat. You can close that right up with the tail.

A note about other provisional cast on methods: One other common way to do a provisional cast on is by crocheting the waste yarn across your knitting needle. If this is your preferred method, you can absolutely use it but you will need to work one knit row before starting the rib pattern. I learned the hard way that if you go right in to the rib, you will have to pick out your provisional cast on stitch by stitch because the purl twists the cast on. Trust me on this one.

Once you start knitting in the round, you will work the 1x1 rib for 4.5” then bring the two ends together to create a Folded brim. If you forge ahead with the cast on and ribbing on your own, I will suggest that coming ready to take out the provisional cast on and knitting the brim together would be a great starting point for you in class. Or if you can’t figure out the darn cast on, we’re happy to start you there in class.

We are looking forward to another fun morning and evening of hats with you on February 10! Let us know if you have any questions.

I’ll leave you with a favorite quote from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book Knitting Without Tears: “Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.”

See you soon!

 Mainstreet IBA

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