Whereas Marty a/k/a JustMarty is a fellow Michigander who regularly reads my blog and often leaves comments, whereas Marty is an avid and talented knitter, and whereas Marty has asked me to feature green knits on my blog… Wait, this post honoring a loyal follower’s request isn’t going to work because apparently green doesn’t often grace my needles. I find that a few two-color hats is as green as it gets for me lately. I tried, Marty. I tried.
This DK-weight, slip-stitch knit is Jodi Brown’s Higgins Lake. I knit mine in Plymouth Yarn’s DK Merino Superwash in Copper Heather and Celtic Heather.
Time to digress. This is the real Higgins Lake.
Higgins Lake is almost a Sixth Great Lake. It’s a 9900 acre twin-lobed lake with very clear very clean water and 21 miles of shoreline.
Jodie Brown’s Higgins Lake makes clever use of two colorways and slipped stitches. A knitter won’t have to use more than one color yarn at a time. No Fair Isle here. The single Higgins Lake pattern is available on Ravelry. It’s also included in Nomadic Knits: Issue Seven, Michigan, an ebook available on Ravelry that is also a “real” book available in shops. The book even has a code to add the patterns to your Ravelry library.
Here’s a look at the well-behaved crown decreases in this GREEN and brown hat,
Next up is a Steven West creation, Botanic Hat. I’d had West’s hat in my queue for years. It kept looking to me like more than I felt like tackling. But my partial skeins of Berroco Ultra Wool called out for combining in an interesting hat. And this one qualifies. First, for the spectacular crown decreases.
Botanic Hat also relies on slipped stitches to do most of the heavy lifting on design. It’s such an interesting pattern I figure it merits a few extra photos.
My guess is that someone you gift hats to can’t tell the right side from the wrong side? I won’t name names here. But I can’t be the only knitter so afflicted. Botanic Hat has a surprise.
It won’t be an embarrassment to the knitter if its wearer can’t tell right from wrong because it’s basically reversible.
Even the crown decreases look good worn so the world can’t see any of the fancy stuff going on.
And, with the Botanic Hat, I find I must leave green behind for now.
Next up is another big-name designer’s hat. Turn a Square is Jared Flood’s perennially popular Ravelry freebie. It has nearly 20,000 project pages of knits. That makes it the 13th most popular knit on Ravelry. No mean feat.
I knit my Turn a Square in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solid. I knit hats with this yarn with such frequency I should probably just start abbreviating it. PYWMSS. Jenny gets away with it after all, as in Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off–JSSBO. Anyway, it’s a good yarn for hats.
And this is a good hat, with one but. Flood recommends a version of a so-called jogless jog to avoid that little line of jogs where the stripes spiral and overlap at the round change. I tried it. Many have tried it. For some it works (a little) better than it did for me. My jog doesn’t jog it just looks like a jogless mess.
Flood writes that “As you begin Round 2 of the new color, with your right needle tip, pick up the right leg of the stitch just below the first stitch of the round and place it on the left needle. (The stitch you are picking up is the first stitch of the last round worked with the previous color.) Now, knit both the first stitch of the new color and the lifted stitch of the old color together (as for a standard k2tog).” I will admit that there’s no jog with this technique. But obviously this won’t do. I prefer to live with the jog. It’s never bothered me much. I don’t like featuring my failures on the blog. But maybe the public service is worth it. Your mileage may vary. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit that I must have done something wrong. I thought maybe it would block out some. And it did. A wee bit.
So far, none of my two-color hats have been subtle. This last two-color hat is a Blue Sky Fibers’ kit for Jane Veitenheimer’s Quintessential Slouch, with a few modifications. The tan colorway is Blue Sky Skinny, an organic cotton. The natural white textural contrasts are mini hanks of Blue Sky’s Suri Merino, Brushed Suri, Extra and Alpaca Silk. When you complete the hat you’ve worked with what the company sees as their 5 quintessential fibers. It’s an excellent kit, with plenty of yarn to complete even the largest sized hat.
So, confession time. I missed the direction to continue to alternate knit and purl rows for the body of the hat and instead I changed to stockinette. By the time I realized my mistake I decided I liked it better than the garter stitch alternative. Stockinette created a less beefy hat. And it dramatically affected the row gauge. I eliminated about 15 rounds and it remains an extravagant slouch.
The crown decreases called for in the pattern are incredibly abrupt: from 80 stitches to 5 stitches in 4 rounds. I interspersed knit rounds and feel that worked out better.
So, not much green. But these two-color hats were great fun to knit.