I've been fascinated for years by
an item in the De Young Museum's textile collection:
a cubic hat with silly corner boings. It was knit
in Peru in the 19th century, most likely from handspun
alpaca, in a very fine and tight fabric. It's not
likely I'd ever do anything that authentic in scale
but I thought that it'd be fun with bulky yarn, and
it turns out it can be whipped out in a flash.
It's a natural for a silly baby
hat, the kind that gives the kid the idea that the
world is full of friendly people because everyone
they meet on the street is cracking up.
I worked up this version in 'authentic'
colors -- dark brown and a print of purpley cochenille
reds. I added some traditional color stranded designs
for the adult version, which are entirely optional.
Our first version was a plain brown, and had to be
redone for Knitty because it crossed the continent
in its first week of life, attached permanently to
a visiting friend who loved it unadorned.
|Newborn [Child, Adult]
13[19, 22] inches
Depth: 3.5[4.5, 5.5] inches
[MC] Crystal Palace Iceland [100% Merino Wool; 110yd/99m
per 100g skein]; color #3433; 1 skein
[CC] Crystal Palace Iceland [100% Merino Wool; 110yd/99m
per 100g skein]; color #7254; 1 skein
NOTE: One skein of yarn will make one hat in any
size, without colorwork pattern. One ball in each
color will make one Adult hat with colorwork pattern,
and one Newborn hat without, in [CC].
1 set US #10.5/6.5mm double-point needles
10 sts /14 rows
= 4" in stockinette stitch
[Knitty's list of standard
abbreviations can be found here]
When working I-cord, the work is never turned
and worked from the wrong side, as it is in
most knitting. After knitting one row, the sts
will be sitting at the left end of your right
needle. To work the next row, simply slide the
sts to the opposite end of the dpn, switch the
dpn to your left hand, bring the yarn around
the back of the work, pull tightly, and work
the sts again as directed.
When working a charted color pattern in this yarn,
it is unnecessary to carry the CC yarn to the edge
of each row. Simply pick up the CC yarn where it is
needed in each row, allowing loose floats to form
at the back of the work. After the hat has been worn
a few times, the floats will not move.
Using knitted CO, CO 8[12, 14] sts.
Row 1 [RS]: Sl1, k to last st, p1.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl1, p to end.
Cont in st st as set until 10[16, 18] rows have
K across sts on needle, pick up and k 8[12, 14]
sts along side of square crown (approx. 3 sts picked
up for every 4 rows worked), pick up and k 1 st
in each CO st along CO edge of square crown, pick
up and k 8[12, 14] sts along rem side of square
crown. 32[48, 56] sts on needle(s).
Cont in stockinette st and working in the round,
work even until work measures 3[4, 5] inches from
Work I-cord BO
CO 3 sts onto the left needle.
*K the first 2 if these sts, k third st tog with
next st to be worked from hat body -- 3 sts on right
needle, 1 st bound off. Slide these 3 sts to opposite
end of needle, switch needle to opposite hand, and
rep from * until all hat body sts have been bound
off. Sew or weave ends of I-cord together. Proceed
to section marked "All Hats".
HAT WITH COLOR PATTERN
Using MC and knitted CO, CO 15 sts.
Work 18 rows of Peruvian Bird chart, slipping edge
sts as for Plain Hat. Break CC yarn. Work 1 row
plain -- 19 rows worked.
K across sts on needle, pick up and k 15 sts along
side of square crown (approx. 3 sts picked up for
every 4 rows worked), pick up and k 1 st in each
CO st along CO edge of square crown, pick up and
k 15 sts along rem side of square crown. 60 sts
Cont in stockinette st and working in the round,
work even until piece measures 3 inches from crown.
Next Rnd: [K8, k2tog] around. 54 sts rem.
Work border from Peruvian Border chart. Break CC
yarn, and cont in stockinette st until work measures
5 inches from crown. Work I-cord BO as for Plain
Hats. Proceed to section marked "All Hats".
Corner boings are short lengths of I-cord, worked
in clusters at each corner of the square crown of
To work one, pick up and k 3 sts on or near a corner
of the hat. *Slide the sts to the other end of the
dpn, switch the needle to your other hand, bring
yarn around back of work, pull tightly, k all sts.
Repeat from * until boing is desired length -- 1
to 1.5 inches. Break yarn, thread through all sts,
Work 2 or 3 at
Weave in ends at
base of each boing using it to help secure I-cord
more firmly to hat. Weave in end at tip of "boing"
or leave it loose, as desired. (Weave in ALL ends
on baby hat, to prevent babies chewing on and swallowing
pieces of yarn.)
grandmother tried to teach her to knit at an early
age "to shut her up". This didn't work very
well on either count, but Marie-Christine took it
up again later with enthusiasm.
She started her knitting designer career with a bang,
with the Vegan
Fox in knitty.com's inaugural issue. She has gone
on with an assortment of motley designs in the same
vein at fuzzygalore.biz