Trading Hat

Posted in FO, knitting, made with handspun by tchemgrrl on February 21, 2010

Over the summer, J and I moved from an apartment on the edge of town to one just a few blocks from downtown. This happened in a very last-minute way–an opportunity opened up for an apartment that we loved, which had fallen through just two months before. So we had to get all of the details of moving organized in less than a week.

Fortunately during that week, there was a meeting of Share Tompkins, a local group that recently got started to help people in the area trade goods and services. Without really knowing how it would work, we said that we could use any help moving.

20 minutes later, we had moving help and a truck, all from people I had met once, or less. Totally amazing. We got moving help from people who were also moving that month, and we just traded help for help. The person who loaned us the truck was a bit trickier as it wasn’t a straight one-to-one thing, but I’d brought some of my early handspun yarn to offer, and we decided on some kind of hat, details to be sorted out later.


3-ply, early wheel spun yarn, corriedale cross roving from Four Crows Farm.

Border Leicester Handspun

2-ply, early spindle spun yarn, Border Leicester fiber, and I wish I’d saved the tags to say who it was from, but I bought this the day I bought my first spindle, so I didn’t know this wasn’t a standard commercial fiber.

After talking to T (the gentleman who lent us the truck) and getting some ideas from him, I decided on modifying the Deep In The Forest Mittens to turn them into a hat. The handspun yarn seemed a little scratchy for close against-the-skin wear, and as T has an outdoorsy job I thought knitting a hat liner with a soft commercial yarn wouldn’t be a bad idea.

It turns out that I had tons of problems with gauge–two totally different handspun yarns and a commercial yarn totally different from either of *them* will do that to you. I ripped back to the cast on edge three times. But the end result was totally worth it:

Trading hat

I worked a provisional cast on at both the bottom edge of the liner and also of the outer hat, and sewed them together at the end.

Here is the hat with the liner pulled out:

More Trading Hat

I had originally planned on the liner being completely tucked up inside the hat, however, being superwash wool, it grew. (I had accounted for that, but something didn’t quite translate from the swatch). The liner just peeks out from the bottom of the hat now. It’s not so bad, it actually looks intentional, and it means that there’s no part of the scratchier wool against the skin at all.

Son of Trading Hat

(husband modeling the hat for me)

More pattern modification notes: I ended up using three repeats of the mitten chart–first one half, then the other, then the first again. The pattern is organic enough that the lack of rotational symmetry doesn’t hurt it in any way. I started my decreases about 2/3 of the way through the chart. If I knit this hat again at a similar gauge, I would start farther into the chart, since initially there are a lot of plain knit rows, and as a result there aren’t as many branches as their would have been if I’d done the whole chart.

After a few months of making decisions, ripping, setting it aside, and buckling down again, I finally was able to stop by T’s farmer’s market stand on Saturday and pass the hat back to him. He seemed super happy with it, so I’m thrilled–I even got some sprouts in return!


3 Responses

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  1. Emilee said, on February 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I love it!

  2. fillyjonk said, on February 22, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Wow, that’s a fantastic hat. Nice job!

  3. Guzzisue said, on February 28, 2010 at 7:46 am


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