Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Quince & Co.

For almost as long as I've been a knitter, I've been fascinated by the history of knitting. I've especially enjoyed the mind-twisting process of working with the often obtuse and obfuscatory language of antique patterns. There's a thrill, I find, in watching a project emerge row by row and knowing that other knitters, long gone, followed the same path.

The process of decoding, testing and correcting isn't for everyone, though; and so in this column I hope to share the excitement of the journey by removing as many of the roadblocks as possible. You don't need to be a historian to come along -- just a knitter with a curious mind.

Quince & Co.

beauty shot

Translated and adapted by Franklin Habit from Art in Knitting: Bison Yarns Book No. 1 (1920)











spacer model: Sarah Mitchell
spacer photos: Franklin Habit




8.5 inches tall by 10.5 inches wide, laid flat after after brim is turned up


Quince and Co. Lark [100% American wool; 134 yd/123m per 50g skein]
spacer [CC1] Bird's Egg; 1 skein
spacer [CC2] Leek; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer #4/3.5mm needles

spacer five cute buttons (sample uses 5/8 inch)
spacer locking ring stitch marker or safety pin
spacer yarn needle
spacer scissors

20 sts/40 rows (20 ridges) = 4 inches in garter stitch

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

Long-tail cast on. Instructions for this method can be found here.

Mattress stitch. Instructions for seaming with mattress stitch can be found here.


With C1, use long-tail method to CO 50 sts.

Knit 1 row.

First Wedge
Row 1 [RS]: Kfb, k to last 2 sts, k2tog.

Row 2 [WS]: Knit.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 12 more times -- wedge will contain 13 ridges. (In first wedge only, the 13 ridges do not include the CO edge.)

Break C1, leaving 6-inch tail.

Second Wedge
Join C2.

Row 1 [RS]: K2tog, k to last st, kfb.

Row 2 [WS]: Knit.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 12 more times -- wedge will contain 13 ridges.

Break C2, leaving 6-inch tail.

Work [First Wedge, Second Wedge] 3 more times -- a total of eight wedges.

Bind off, leaving a 6-inch tail.

You'll have a fully reversible piece of knitting. Decide which side is the WS, and and weave in ends on that side.

Wash, gently block, and allow to dry completely.

With right side facing, sew one set of points together (for method, see Pattern Notes) to form crown.

Sew back seam. To avoid visible seam when brim is turned up, work as follows:

From lower end of crown seam, measure 5.5 inches along selvedge. Place marker or saftey pin at this point, which will be just above the eventual turning of your brim.

With right side facing, sew seam from crown to marker. Remove marker. Turn hat inside out, and finish seam with wrong side facing.

Fold points of brim edge upwards, then stitch each point in place.

Attach buttons to points and to top of crown as shown in photos.

Franklin Habit is all over the place. There's his blog, The Panopticon. There's his new(ish) Tumblr feed, Yarnshaming. There's his book,It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press).

And he teaches! Oh, how he teaches! He teaches all over the place! He's even teaching on a ship! He needs to go lie down for a little while.