NIcely organic, don’t you think? This is Grace Wong’s Mosaic Leaf Hat, a Ravelry freebie. Well, this is the crown section of Mosaic Leaf Hat. And if you think this is really a Pittsburgh Steelers’ black and gold team hat, it isn’t. Try as I might I couldn’t get this hat’s true maize and blue to photograph it’s blue properly. Possibly it was some secret Spartan green and white plot?
Enough of the University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University rivalry. I didn’t attend either school. But Michiganders seem to choose sides anyway. For the record, I attended Wayne State University in Detroit. I matriculated in an era when Wayne State’s teams were called the Tartars. Just like the stuff you go to the dentist to scrape off your teeth. Even spelled the same way. I suspect that the image the Wayne State team-naming founders intended to conjure was the fierce fighting Tartars of Tartary.
This is a fine hat. It’s an interesting slip stitch pattern with slipped stitches separated by somewhat long floats in some of the sections. Here’s Mosaic Leaf on the inside.
A knitter needs to be sure not to tighten up those floats or the hat will pucker like a dried prune.
You’ve been waiting long enough to actually see this hat.
I knit mine in Plymouth Yarn’s workhorse Encore Worsted, a 75% acrylic 25% wool. The colorways were 842 Navy and 3482 Yellow. That’s Navy, not black.
Unexpected to me, at the bottom of each of the second and third layer of leaves, where there’s an increase in stitches, the increase tugs in a way that bares the contrast color at bit. Although I’d rather not see the contrast color peaking through, I’ve decided it’s the nature of the beast. I made my peace with it. Next time I might try a knit in the front and the back then the front again at the increase. Possibly that would work better than the suggested increase. And if my yarn had a significant halo that might hide the peek-a-boo bit. But that could also make the leaf pattern less distinct.
This is a big 112-stitch hat that’s sensitive to row gauge. That’s because you can’t just stop the body of the hat when it’s tall enough and start the crown. I had a row gauge problem with my Plymouth Encore. I tightened the stitch gauge by dropping down a needle size on each section, to a US 7 and US 9, and that worked for me.
Next up is another hat knit in the same Plymouth Encore colorways.
This one is School Colors Hat AC-53, a classic Fiber Trends pattern by Betsy Lee McCarthy. It’s still available in shops and is downloadable on Ravelry.
I’ve knit many versions of this hat and post them regularly on my blog. A number of folks have contacted me because they can’t figure out how to get that double roll to roll properly. The pattern directions say: “Fold the lower edge of hat up as shown in photo.” At the start the pattern says that “the lower edge of hat must be rolled up to get the double roll look shown in the photo.” I didn’t have a problem with the double roll, but I’ve sometimes wondered if the questioners missed that you start knitting with the main color. So, for this version, I cast on in the navy. You start with the main color even though your eyeballs make it look like you’d start with the yellow contrast color. When the hat is complete you basically fold the hat up to the last color change–(in mine) where the yellow ends and the navy begins again–and just fiddle with the fabric until you form the double roll.
Such a no-nonsense pattern. But with that interesting improbable double-roll start it’s fun to knit. Plus it has a nicely behaved crown decrease. This pattern was copyrighted in 2002 and by now knitters have knit a zillion versions.
More blue. This one’s Clara Parkes’ Hill Country Hat. It’s included in her book, The Knitter’s Book of Wool. But she’s also released it as a freebie on Ravelry. This is the 11th time I’ve knit it and you can search in the search window above if you want to see all my versions. This one is knit in King Cole Big Value Chunky. It’s a bulky 100% acrylic. The colorway is Blue Heaven.
Hill Country knits up super fast. If you knit it in acrylic none in the “it itches” crowd will be complaining. But I do like it best in a chunky wool.
Hill Country ends with an excellent pinwheel crown decrease.
With the exception of Wong’s Mosaic Leaf Hat, this post is filled with very straightforward knits. Galina Shemchuk’s aptly named Just a Hat is another. I knit mine in Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash. The colorway is No. 86 Denim Heather. Nice wide brim. Easy “mistake rib” stitch pattern.
Well thought-out crown decreases.
The pattern is translated from Russian, but its English version is clear and error free. As the pattern directs, be sure to finish the Mistake (False English) Rib section after a round 2. That will make the crown decreases work out. Also, a few of the crown decrease rounds don’t complete a full set of stitches set out between the asterisks in the pattern. Just stop working the “asterisked” section e.g. 2 stitches before the round marker (as the pattern directs) and follow the directions for the last stitches before the round marker. It all works out correctly.
The pattern ends with 24 stitches to gather in. My sense is that’s too many. So I knit two together all around as Round 6. That left a more manageable 12 stitches to gather in. I knit one additional round to draw the stitches together a bit more.
Just a Hat is so worth your knitting time. Any head can wear it. And any knitter can knit it.