Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bad Ass Boy's Cap: My First Knitting Pattern

I had a decent amount of yarn left over after making my Fingerless Coffee Mitts.  Heather said I should make a hat for Magoo.  Good idea!  I had the needles (US5 and US7 circular and dpn) and I went on Ravelry and found a basic boy's hat pattern to get me started and I was on my way.

Then, at a certain point, I looked at my ball of yarn and thought, Uh oh - I'm not going to have enough to finish this.  So I went through my scrap yarn and found some of the lovely Madelinetosh Merino DK in Cove that I used to make my shrug.  It's the most beautiful color of blue and it has warm tones in it so it was a perfect companion to the glazed pecan wool I was already using.  I put in a stripe of the blue, then switched back, then repeated the stripe at the crown one more time.

As I knit along, I thought There's too much brown at the base.  It's going to look weird.  So I pondered different ideas and settled on adding a skull and crossbones in Duplicate Stitch.

I have to admit, I'm SUPER pleased with it.  I think the colors go together like peanut butter and jelly.  The fit (which is pre-blocked here on Magoo) is pretty good.  I think I'll stretch it just a tad while blocking, and I think the Duplicate Stitch design came out well for having never done one before.

I thought since I changed the pattern up a decent amount, I would write a fresh pattern.  So, may I present:

THE BAD-ASS BOY'S CAP  (sized to fit an 8 yr old's mellon)

US5  24" circular
US7 24" circular
US7 16" circular
US7 dpn's

Madelinetosh Erin Heritage Wool in Glazed Pecan (worsted)
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Cove

Using your US5 24" circular needle, cast on 96 stitches.
Place marker and join.
Do a rib stitch (K1, P2) until the band is 1".

Transfer to US7 24" circular needle, stockinette stitch.
I knit in the Glazed Pecan wool for another 2 1/4" , then I switched over to my Cove.  (Note re: Cove.  My cove was a smaller dk weight - so I doubled it up when I knit my stripes. If you use another color int he same weight, there's no need to double up, obviously.)

Do you know how to switch colors?  It's easy.  Bring the new color in and knit 3 stitches with both the new color and the old color, then drop out the old color and keep knitting with the new.  Cut off the old color, leaving enough to weave through when you're done.

I did 1" of blue (Cove), then I switched back over to brown (Glazed Pecan.)
I knit one round (in brown) in a regular stockinette stitch, then, on the next round, I separated it into 8 equal sections of 12 stitches each. In other words, knit 12 stitches, place a marker, knit 12 stitches, place a marker, and so forth until you get to the end of the round.

Now it's time to decrease - and doesn't that always feel good? Yes.  Yes it does.

To decrease: Every time you pass a marker, k2tog then knit the rest of the section. Pass another marker, k2tog, then knit.  Do that eight times.  You should have 88 stitches when you're done with that round.

What's that you say?  You have a couple extra?  That's cool.  Just divvy everything up as evenly as you can and decrease normally.  You can loop some strays in at the end.  No worries.

So, after you decrease a round, then you're going to knit the next round just like normal.  After that normal knitty round, then you're going to decrease again (pass marker, k2tog, knit, etc.). You should have 80 stitches.

At a certain point, your 24" circular needle is going to be too large.  That's when you either transfer to a US7 16" circular or  US7 dpn's.  (I'm not in love with dpn's so I'll work on circulars for as long as I can before I switch over.  But if you LOVE dpn's, you can knit the whole hat on them.  Knock yourself out!)

After another 1 1/4" of brown (maintaining the decrease round, knit round, decrease round, knit round pattern), I switched back over to blue (still following the decrease, knit, decrease pattern) I knit another inch of blue then finished off with brown.

When you get down to 5 stitches per section, 40 stitches total,  just start decreasing and skip the normal knit rows.

When you're down to 8 stitches (or close to that) cut your yarn (leaving a tail) and put it on a needle and thread it through the final stitches.  Fasten off.  Go back through and weave in the loose yarn.

Woo-hoo - you have a hat!  Woo hoo!

Are you feeling daring?  Good.  Now's the time a design with the Duplicate Stitch!
For those of you who don't draw, here's my simple skull and crossbones design:

If you do draw, perhaps you'd like to try something different?

I followed directions in a book as to how to perform the Duplicate Stitch, but I wished I'd seen this video.  (I would have done a better job.  Check it out!)

Weave in those ends.  Block it.  And you should be good to go.

I hope this pattern is clear.  I've never written a pattern before.  If you have any questions, leave a comment.  I've only been knitting a year - so I am by no means an expert.  But I will try my best to answer any questions.

Good luck, have fun, and be BAD ASS!


Heather said...

You rock--love it!

Äiti said...

That's awesome!

Anonymous said...

Kids everywhere will be clamoring for one! Congratulations.

Julie_c said...

Thanks all!

Angela said...

Loving that duplicate stitch! I have never even thought about doing one. I need more hours in the day and that's just the fact Jack!

MTknitter said...

Love your pattern! I'm going to make it for the 10 year old son of a co-worker. He needs to be MORE of a Bad Ass. Maybe this will inspire him! Thanks for the pattern.