Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Hat That Sally Made

A little bit of creative photo editing and Sally
becomes very stylish
I've been having a lot of fun with my alpaca fleece.

I have been washing fleece, drying fleece, picking fleece and carding fleece for what seems likes ages.  I love it.  Fibre is definitely my thing and I can think of no better way to spend any afternoon than pottering about, doing all things fleecy.

Once I had about 30 bags of fleece ready to spin, the time had come to practise my spinning. 
I chose a bag of 'Sally'.  She is one of our delightful alpacas - the first to come to us for hand feeding and so gentle and lovely.

I spent many an afternoon spinning and listening to the audio book series of 'Anne of Green Gables' - it's a delightful way to spend some crafting hours (although, I will admit to finding it hard to see my spinning through my tears during the tragedy of Anne's first born).
'The Hat That Sally Made'

.. and just like that, I had some alpaca wool ready to knit with.  Not much mind you, but I had some none-the-less.

I figured that I had enough for a warm winter hat.  Ever since we have been here the weather has been fabulous - but everyone has said, "just you wait - it will get very cold and it will last for ages".  With a warning like that, I don't think a few more winter hats will go astray.

This hat is very simple.  As the wool is thick (10ply) it knitted up very quickly.
Washing, picking, carding and spinning

A skein of 'Sally'


..Skein of hand washed, hand picked, hand carded & hand spun Sally (or commercial 10ply)
..Set of size 6mm DPN's and a small circular 6mm.  The hat can be knitted entirely on DPN's or you can change to a circular needle once the hat is big enough.
..Stitch markers 


Knit front and back (Kf/b).  Place your working needle into the front of the stitch on your main needle as you normally would and knit, before you slip the stitch off the needle, knit into the back of the same stitch - then slip the stitch off the needle.  This is an 'increase' stitch.
Knit 2 together (K2tog).  Insert your working needle into the front of the second stitch on your main needle and then through the front of the first stitch on your main needle.  Knit them both together.   This is a 'decrease' stitch.  (If you are right handed, the main needle is the left hand and the working needle is the right hand).


Cast on 8 stitches

'The Hat That Sally Made'
Row 1:     Knit the front and back of each stitch - (16 stitches)  Place 4 stitches onto each DPN and get ready to join - being careful not to twist your stitches.
Row 2:    Purl all stitches.  Traditional patterns tell you to place a stitch marker at the beginning of this row to indicate the start of the round, but I find they always fall off when using DPN's - so I always purl 1, then place a stitch marker.  This way it stays in place.
Row 3:     *K1, K1Front and Back* repeat to the end of the round. (24 stitches).
Row 4:     As you purl this row, place a stitch marker every 3 stitches.  It is handy to have the first stitch marker a different colour to ensure you know where the beginning of the round is.

Row 5:     *K1F/B, K to next stitch marker, slip marker* repeat to the end of the round - there should now be 4 stitches between each marker.
Row 6:     Purl 

Repeat rows 5 & 6 until there are 10 stitches between each marker - there should be 80 stitches.

Continue knitting in garter stitch - knit 1 round then purl 1 round for a further 12 rounds.  If you would like a more 'slouchy' hat, then knit for 16 rounds.

Decrease (K2tog) 10 times, evenly across the round.

Most patterns will tell you to change to smaller needles at this point, but because I am using a thick wool, I kept the original sizing for the brim for fear that it would be too tight at the end.

Brim - You can either use a 4 x 2 rib or a 2 x 2 rib.  Repeat for a total of 10 rounds.
Loosely cast off.    Note:  at this point, I originally did a normal cast off but as the homespun had less elasticity than commercial wool, it was too tight, so I undid it, tried a looser cast off and the end result was much better.  Fitted perfectly.  The decision not to change to a smaller needle paid off.

Loose cast off instructions can be found here 

To finish:  thread the tail of the yarn invisibly through the stitches and snip off.

I added a button embellishment - and there you go, a winter hat ready for the cold that is coming - or so I am told.

Happy knitting,
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  1. Beautiful yarn and hat! So when you say 10 ply, do you mean worsted?

  2. I'm speechless...and impressed

  3. So this hat seems really small, like for a child's head. I made it exactly as specified, using 10-ply (worsted weight) yarn with size 6 needles and it was only about 6 inches in diameter. Is this a child's hat?

    1. Hello, No, this hat is an adult size. It's fits me just fine and my head is a standard size. There is quite a bit of stretch in the yarn that I spun and that may contribute to the fit. The needles I used were 6.00mm (UK sizing). If you use the American size 6, (UK equivalent 4.00mm) then the hat will be too small. Happy Knitting, Louise

  4. Approximately how many yards of worsted weight yarn would be needed to knit Sally’s Hat?

  5. Can this be knitted on two needles?


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