April KALFH #1: Whittle Hat

It's KNIT GRAFFITI month, y'all! 

Ok, I'm not from Texas so the "y'all" likely isn't necessary but that's where the lovely Lesley lives so I'm channeling her a little bit. 

Also, she's not originally from Texas so it really isn't necessary but it sounded good in my head. 

So... shall we just get right on down to the making of this hat, then? Ok! 

Whittle Hat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Man I wish I'd used a lighter-colored yarn for photos sake... but I love the color of this hat so I'm definitely not disappointed. 

Hat 101

When I sit down to knit something, there are some things I KNOW. None of these "things" are something I can take credit for - they're things taught to me by the masters along my knitting journey. And the first thing that I KNOW about this hat, is that the brim needs to be knit on a smaller needle.  For it to stay on my head, it needs to be tighter at the cast-on and brim. If you like a super loose hat all the way, disregard this section. The hat is obviously wearable and comfortable at it's originally designed brim circumference, I just know that, for me, it would be too loose. 

Here's my breakdown on the brim: My general rule of thumb for hats is, when knitting the brim, use a needle 2 sizes smaller than the needle being used to work the rest of the hat. In this case, becasue I used a US 8 (5mm) needle for the body of the hat, I would use a US 6 (4mm) for the brim. 

HOWEVER! I also know that a fitted hat (for the average woman's head) is usually around 80 sts and a slouch hat is around 96 sts. This hat is actually even just a tiny bit larger than that so I made an executive decision and used a US 5 (3.75mm) for the Ribb pattern on the brim. 

IF! If you are an average to loose tension knitter, I do recommend a US 5 (3.75mm) for the brim, going up to the US 8 (5mm) for the body of the hat. If you are a slightly tighter knitter, go with a US 6 (4mm). 

Urm... that's kinda it?!

So, beyond my minor qualms with the size of the brim needle, there's not a whole lot to share about this hat. Lesley has provided both written out and charted instructions for the body of the hat, which I LURVE! I'm a chart girl all the way. 

If you're up for a challenge, I recommend learning how to cable without a cable needle on this hat. The cables are fairly simple and while there aren't a ton of them, I always like to learn a new skill on a simpler project where I don't feel like I'd be overwhelmed using the new technique. 

Here's a great video tutorial from Knit Purl Hunter if you want to learn the cabling without a cable needle technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq-qWMz1lQY

TIP! One thing that Michelle doesn't mention in her video that I find helpful: using your right pointer finger, put pressure below the two stitches that are being removed from the needle. This way they cannot unravel as you move them! 

One final note...

The last note has to do, again, with a personal preference. I hate working the decreases at the top of a hat but I'm forcing myself to get better at it. Something happens to my tension and my fingers freak out when they see DPNs. So I did 2 things:

  1. Because I know my tension gets wonky when i switch to DPNs, I changed a needle size. I went down to a US 7 (4.5mm) set of DPNs. This helps keep my tension in check for the crown shaping.
  2. I didn't decrease the FINAL round. I find that up to about 10 sts is an acceptable number of sts to cinch closed. So I didn't decrease down the final round so that I didn't have just 1 st on each DPN. Just a personal preference. If you're ok with that few sts, go for it! 


Ok, so I guess technically THIS is my final note! *insert sheepish smile here*

I wet blocked this hat over a balloon blown up to a 20" circumference. I know that with wear, a hat will stretch out so I didn't block to my full head circumference (which is 22"). 

Keep in touch!

Thanks for knitting along with us on this project! If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations! I can't wait to KALFH with you!