Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hat for an Independent Baby (the beta version)

This hat got lots of coos and exclamations at the farmer's market - but it is very small, suitable for a newborn or baby-doll. Adjust up if you want it to fit for longer than the time it takes to photograph the baby wearing it.

Size 5 double-pointed needles
Size 8 double-pointed needles
Small amounts of Peaches & Creme worsted weight "dishcloth" cotton in 3 colors
Yarn needle

Cast on 72 stitches with larger needles, using long-tail cast-on method. (The resultant edge was still a bit tight on mine. This might be a good place for you to use even larger needles, or maybe a stretchier cast-on.) You will be casting on in color as follows: cast on 2 red, then 2 white, then 2 red . . and around to the beginning.

Switch to smaller needles. Working in the round, work 3" of two color ribbing in red and white (or colors of your choice): knit two red, purl two white, etc. All yarn carries should be on the private side of the work; when you're not purling, move the purl yarn to the back.

After 3" of ribbing, switch to blue yarn. (This might be a good time to place a marker, if you haven't done so already.) Work 4 rounds of stockinette.

Decrease set-up row: Knit 34 stitches, knit 2 together, repeat.
1st decrease row: knit 5, knit 2 together, repeat.
2nd decrease row: knit.
3rd decrease row: knit 4, knit 2 together, repeat.
4th decrease row: knit.

Continue in this fashion until you have a row of knit 2 together with no stitches in between. Break yarn, thread the tail through a yarn needle, and draw it twice through the loops of the remaining stitches. Draw tight, feed through the center of the gathered stitches, and knot on the private side of the hat.

Embroider six-strand "stars" around the crown of the hat, as shown. I found it easiest to do ten stars, lining them up on the ten decrease lines. (The purist in me wanted to do 13 stars, but placing them evenly would have been more work than I wanted to do at that point.)

Weave in ends, sit back, and contemplate your cute little hat.

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