Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beachton Cotton Cloche

Beachton Cotton Cloche with Pointed Purse Stitch Summer Scarf
Another summer hat! This is my favorite indoor hat. I've been wearing a lilac version of this hat all summer. I get aura migraines if bright light shines in my eyes so I like to wear a brimmed hat at all times. This hat is loose yet secure. It keeps my hair out of my face but doesn't give me that feeling of having a ghost hat after I take it off. I can even wear it driving the car with the windows down and it doesn't blow off my head.

Here's the Ravelry entry for this pattern. Buy now for $5. I did a full three part video explaining every step of how to make the hat. If you buy the pattern you get time stamped links in the PDF to go right to the relevant part of the video. I'll also email you a Numbers file if you want to open the pattern on your iPad and use the checkboxes.

I created a 3 part video playlist on my YouTube channel, beachton123.

My mother thinks this hat would be a good chemo cap. I did some rather tragic experiments on my own hair with clippers this summer and I was embarrassed to go grocery shopping without wearing this hat, so my mother is probably right. Here's how it looks on my mannequin without a wig. I recommend the size small for this situation.
Size small on mannequin without wig. Circumference of head is 21 1/2"
I do not know a lot about losing your hair, but I do know a bit about cosplay wigs and fake bangs. I tested the hat with a few bangs I bought on Amazon to see if you can clip the bangs to the hat instead of to your hair (in the event you didn't have any hair.) You can!

Here's the size small hat and some dark and light bangs I tested
This is a wig clip I sewed to my white bangs when the original one broke in shipping. Just slip the end tines of the comb through some purl bumps on the inside of the hat.
If you clip the fringe in upside down like this it still looks cute and you don't have that itchy netting against your scalp.
I got both bangs on Amazon. The black ones are from Weixinbuy, for $2.93. They only come in black and brown. They ship direct from China and take a few weeks to arrive. The white ones are from MapofBeauty for $4.99, also a long wait to come from China. Those ones come in all the party colors, like pink and green and blue. I ordered some they call beige. They exactly match my own hair where I bleached it too much. They arrived after I already took photos.

If the clip breaks in the mail (they come in an unpadded plastic envelope) you can get replacements at Sally Beauty. I sewed one of my extra wig clips onto a knit flower. My cousin reports her first grader will come home with the flower still where she put it that morning. The clip is too hard to operate for the little girl. Apparently this is a desirable situation from the mother's point of view.

Short hair or no hair, nobody knows from behind
White bangs blend in well around the ear
Black bangs right side up held on with friction of the hat
Size small cotton cloche with bangs clipped into the hat upside down
The size medium hat fits best on my mannequin with the wig on it. (22 1/2" with wig) I made the brim a bit bigger too in the size medium. The pattern has notations for where you can add and subtract rows to adjust the size. The top stretches to fit even my 23" mannequin. It's mostly the length you need to adjust for a larger head.

The top part of this hat isn't that hard but the short rows to make the extended front brim are tricky. I could not find complete instructions for working back and forth in short rows in the round. Lots of explanations of what to do on the knit side but nothing about picking up the wraps on the purl side. I figured it out by myself. Then I figured I better make a video since I hadn't found one that describes it to my satisfaction.

I learned short rows from YouTube last year. I watched videos on regular wrap and turn, German short rows and Japanese short rows. (Eunny Jang illustrates 4 kinds of short rows in this video including two ways to do Japanese short rows.) I worked a few patterns with short rows like Purl Soho's Bandana Cowl and figured out how to do it reliably and even taught myself to knit backwards to keep from turning my work. I made those short row intensive pieces with alpaca yarn though. When I'm knitting cotton I turn the work so I can keep my gauge consistently tight.

My pattern is written for my own personal short row technique which is a hybrid of German and Japanese short rows that I totally made up. Instead of working the wrap with the next stitch after turning the work I knit it with the last stitch in the short row. I don't try to bridge the hole between the short row and the next stitch, instead I make the last stitch in the short row a lot tighter by working it the second time together with the yarn it was knit with before. This is a hybrid of how German short rows work with the marker part of Japanese short rows.  My video illustrates what I mean in the pattern. The abbreviation I use is j-wrp-t for Japanese wrap and turn, but what it means is work the stitch, slip it back to the left needle, place a marker on the working yarn, then turn the work. It isn't really the same order Eunny Jang does things in her video, and picking up the yarn is totally different. I call the yarn on the marker "the wrap" even though I never wrapped it around anything.

My big breakthrough in short rows has to do with the direction of the right needle. The first problem is how to orient the wrap on the left needle, second is how to enter the two stitches with the right needle. Orient the wrap the same as the next stitch. For my technique the working legs (the side of the loop facing right) are both in the front on the knit side and in the back on the purl side. Knit side is easy. k2tog the usual way. On the purl side you have to get the needle in the real stitch first, then the wrap. This means purling two together through the back, going in the stitch first, then the wrap. Once I worked out that whichever stitch the right needle enters first comes out on top I was home free. Now I can stop knitting, turn and go back the other way and know what to do when I get back there again in any situation!

(If you don't know about wrap and turn in garter stitch where you don't even have to pick up the wraps at all you are missing the best short row experience ever. Try Purl Soho's Garter Ear Flap Hat.)

Here are more photos of the finished hat in size medium.

I start with a Turkish cast on to get that top to be sort of oval.
It's a 10 wedge increase done with lifted increases for maximum scalp coverage.

For details on the nylon trimmer line I used in the hem of the hat refer to the blog entry for the Wind and Sun Hat. It's the same idea, but a little easier to implement because you knit the hem around the hoop instead of inserting it after the hat is all done.

Here are the YouTube links to skip to the relevant parts of the instructions.
ime Stamps for Cotton Cloche

Part 1 Hat Crown
Turkish cast on
first increase row
second increase row onto 3 needles
skip to the end of the row
counting the straight knit rounds after last increase round
try on for size
increase for the brim of the hat

Part 2 Short Rows

place markers for short rows and brim increases
start knitting short rows
increase for center front, make one right
make one left
Japanese wrap and turn
Japanese wrap and turn on purl side
second increase round
pick up wrap, knit side
after pick up wrap to next j-wrp-t
picking up the wrap on the purl side
next-to-the-last short row
last short row
what to do with that last purl wrp-t

Part 3 Finishing the Hat

measuring for the cable hoop
making the cable hoop
how to knit the cable into the hat
joining on more yarn

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beachton Wind and Sun Hat

I made up a new hat the summer of 2016. I wanted a shape like a Panama hat with open work on the sides to make it summery. This is what I came up with.
Size Small in Lily Sugar'n Cream Light Blue and Hot Green
I worked on this pattern as a spreadsheet in Numbers. I converted the whole thing to a PDF and uploaded it to Ravelry where you can buy now for $5. If that link doesn't work try going to the pattern on Ravelry directly.
Size Small in Hushabye white and sage
This is the first pattern I've published. I recognize that I'm violating the scientific method by trying every new idea I have all at once instead of testing them one at a time against a control.
  • Full row-by-row pattern written out as a checklist
  • Duplicate entire pattern three times for different sizes
  • Complete test fit patterns for just part of the design in three sizes
  • Over an hour of video instruction for not only how, but why, I made the hat this way
  • Links with time stamp to take you straight to the relevant part of the video tutorial embedded in the row-by-row pattern
  • Precise weight of yarn used in the prototypes
  • Video includes making mistakes and then fixing them

Regarding yarn

I tested this hat in two kinds of yarn, Lily Sugar'n Cream, which comes in all kinds of colors, and Baby Bee Hushabye, which comes in Angel, Naked, Baby Sage and not a lot else. (I bought up all the Apricot Jam they had when it was discontinued and I'm making a really cute dumbo octopus out of it.) Both of these are machine washable yarns. I have not yet washed one of these hats in the machine with the nylon cable in place.

I weigh my yarn before and after projects with a 3 decimal place electronic scale that is good for up to 500 g. I put this information in the pattern in case you have some partial balls of yarn left and you want to know if it's enough. A partial skein of Lily Sugar'n Cream will do the bottom of the brim but you need MORE THAN A FULL SKEIN for the main color of the hat. (If you have the regular 70g skeins of this yarn.) If you are buying yarn for a two color hat you need to get 3 skeins, 1 skein of contrast color and 2 of main color. 2 skeins is enough if you do it all one color.

In the Hushabye 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend you need one skein of each color. You could do the child size and adult small with one skein all one color. The size large requires almost a whole skein for just the main color so it would not be enough for a one color hat.

I tested the child size with the contrast color of the brim in a different yarn, a black microfiber. This did NOT work well. The top and bottom of the brim really have to be the same kind of yarn or it just doesn't come out exactly even. I also did the lace part of that one with US 10 needles and it just looked sloppy. That's why I went down to US 9 on the white and green hat.

That Fancy Brim

The brim of this hat is held out with nylon weed trimmer line. You can buy a wide variety of colors and sizes at Home Depot and in the Garden Center at Walmart. The orange color from Walmart has a strange dusty quality I don't like so I have been using the smoother .095" line from Home Depot. I have yet to find a white version. It's all outrageous colors. It doesn't show through the hat though. If you know somebody with a weed trimmer ask them to give you about two arm lengths of whatever they've got and you'll have more than enough.

The size large hat brim is so heavy the nylon line drooped. I redid that one with a stainless steel cable leftover from a curtain installation. It's the IKEA Dignitet curtain wire and it is outstanding. They give you a lot extra. You could hang your curtains and make several hats with the leftover wire.

I've used aluminum floral wire in hats and that works too. But you have to be careful not to bend it out of shape. This springy stuff is a lot more forgiving.

For the drawstring in the hat I used a shoelace in the white hat. I couldn't match the color of the other ones with a shoelace so I braided some of the yarn to make a drawstring.

My dad gave me a bag full of cord locks because he bought a bunch of them from China for some project. I looked on Amazon and found a lot of different kinds. But if you want just one email me and I'll send you one in the mail. I can throw in some nylon line too if you need it.

I got my clear heat shrink tubing from Parts Express.  I did the white hat with the ends of the cable butted together inside a stirring straw and then heat shrink over it. Since I finished my last hat I discovered Capri Sun straws at the family beach week. Capri Sun straws fit snuggly over .095"line (which is marked 1.65mm but that's a mistake. 0.095" is 2.413 mm) round trimmer line. The .080" (2mm) is small enough to double it over itself in the 1/8" heat shrink.

Round trimmer line from Walmart and a Capri Sun straw

Round trimmer line from Home Depot, Capri Sun straw, plus heat shrink tubing, no heat applied
I wonder if the heavier line, a Capri Sun straw cut down to 2", and 1/8" heat shrink over that would be even better than the overlapped green line I used in the 100% cotton hat in blue and green.


Here are some video links with time stamps for critical parts of the pattern. I can imagine a scenario where somebody prints out the pages for the size they are working or maybe their computer won't open the links from the PDF. I tested that my ipad will open the YouTube links in the PDF from iBooks on my iPad but I confess I only test print the first 3 pages of this. I'm seriously anti-paper.

Part 1
Pattern starts with a loose cast on in the main color yarn
Arranging the markers for increases
The lifted increase
Change to main color
New marker spacing
Working decreases
What to do when decreases get to end of round marker
Pick up the cast on stitches
Three needle join

Part 2
Decreasing for sideband
Joining the draw string tube
Turn the work to leave a buttonhole for drawstring
Purl back
Pick ups for joining draw string tube
K2tog from 2 needles
Starting the lace side band 6:52

Part 3
Joining a new ball of yarn
Joining the tube
Placing markers for decreases
Decrease round
Going to DPNs
Prepare for kitchener close

Part 4
Starts with washing and blocking and goes into reinforcing line and drawstring. Didn't break out time stamps as this is all sort of making it up as you go along.

This lace pattern I used is based on the Lily of the Valley video by Pleasant Seas. I modified it for exactly two vertical repeats so there aren’t any unconnected branches at the top and bottom. Refer to the original if you would like a repeating version of that neat lace pattern.