Archive for the “cousteau hat” Category

My next door neighbours, Morry and Shirley, are quite probably the best neighbours anyone could ask for. We trade off cat-sitting services (although I feel as if I ask them to feed Floyd and Kipling more frequently than they ask me to look after their cats) and occasionally trade baked goods. When I asked them to take care of Floyd and Kipling over Christmas, I brought them freshly baked chocolate chip cookies… and was presented with a quilt. A quilt! A handmade quilt, full of adorable kitties, with a cute bicycle backing. Wow!

kitty-quilt1

Immediately, I knew I wanted to knit something for them. I picked up two coordinating skeins of Cascade 220 in Lake Chelan Heather and Cordovan Brown Heather, and after a little bit of pondering decided to knit them semi-matching Jacques Cousteau hats. I’ve made the pattern once before and enjoyed knitting it. Plus, the stretchiness of the knit three, purl two rib is great for a surprise gift hat when one doesn’t know the exact size of the recipient’s head!

cascade_220_brown-green

I knit in the car on the way to Winterlude; I knit while we played Cards Against Humanity; I knit on the trip back. Shirley’s hat was finished the day I got home, and Morry’s was done a few days later. I brought the hats to them in late February, the day before yet another snowstorm was due, and hope that they’ll help my wonderful neighbours to be nicely warm for many winters to come.

neighbour_hats

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of them wearing the hats… but they fit well and the pointiness of the top goes away when the hat’s on a head! The Cousteau hat is a great pattern and I would happily knit it again.

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It had come to my attention that I’ve never knit anything for my sworn-brother Stephen. When he was living in a mostly-summerish place it would have been unnecessary, but he could certainly use a warm hat now that he’s living in the land of eternal winter. I ran over to Needles in the Haymarket and found some Cascade 220, my go-to hat yarn, in a lovely heathery grey-green. Unfortunately the selection of superwash colourways was limited, so this isn’t a machine washable hat, but Stephen assured me that he would be fine with hand-washing as long as I gave him instructions.

I cast on for the hat while I was waiting for my flight. I knit at the gate, where I met some knitters who were winding balls of yarn. I knit for the full duration of my flight, while sitting next to a woman who used to knit but now prefers crochet. I knit while watching television later that evening, and about 36 hours after I started, I was weaving in the ends of a new hat. This is a speed record for me!

There was already snow on the ground and more fell while I was visiting. I think this expression is, “Take the picture already, it’s cold out here!”

I chose the free Cousteau Hat pattern and made a few adjustments to it. From comments on other projects I knew that the hat comes out large, so I only cast on 100 stitches instead of the 140 called for. I changed the decreases to a simple K2tog, and started doing double decreases towards the top to make the hat less pointy. I should have gone with a K3tog instead of slip, k2tog, psso, and I should have started them sooner – ah well, there’s always next time. Knit and learn, knit and learn!

Of course, when the hat is on, the top doesn’t appear to be pointy at all. I really like how the sections come together in quarters at the top. It’s different from the more spiral decreases that I’ve made on previous hats, and quite distinctive.

I’m seriously tempted to make a matching hat for myself, though the next size down might be a little tight at only 80 stitches, and the fabric might be a little loose if I went up a needle size to compensate. (Or it would fit me perfectly, as I do have a small head, and the hat could always be blocked larger. Besides, it will stretch.) Maybe I would try working the decreases every other row for a more rounded top, but I’m not sure if that would look odd in the way the ribs get cut off by the decreases. It would be worth the attempt, I think, and if it doesn’t come out well then it will be easy enough to rip back and redo.

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