A Design Journey…part 2..

With the basic design for our chemo hat project determined in A Design Journey part 1, we’re ready to continue with the next step ~ swatching & working out the details of the hat body. (This step was a pleasure with the yarn Yvonne of Lavender Sheep sent. At the end of this journey I will post a review of this yarn.)

Swatching is a really important step. bias hat swatchWithout it we would not have a reference for calculating our stitch & row counts. So, I knit a swatch in a simple stitch pattern..one that I think will show the bias fabric well while contributing to the hat shape & slouchy look. Swatching also helps determine what size needles will produce a fabric that is right for this project. I settled on US 5 (3.75mm).

Next is determining the gauge. We’ll need the stitch gauge in order to determine how many stitches ‘tall’ the body of the hat will be.

And we need to know the row gauge so we know how long to knit our bias strip and if any adjustments will be needed to accommodate the pattern rows.

Once we know the gauge we can calculate the required sts to cast on. In this case I am using 38 sts for the hat body plus 2 edge sts (40 sts). We also need to decide on a cast on. Because we will be seaming the short ends of the strip together, the cast on is as important as the cast off. In my testing, I tried using a 3-needle bind off but did not like the visible join. So, for the actual hat pattern I decided that grafting (Kitchener Sticth) the short ends together would present a much more pleasing ‘seam’. A provisional cast on will make this easier. My favorite provisional cast on is a crocheted strip with the knit sts picked up through the bottom loop of the crochet.

Next stop…knitting the hat body bias strip…

Until then ~ Happy Knitting! Jean