A hat to rival Gentian (2018 FO-8)

A hat to rival Gentian

I’m over here combing through my giant stack of Logalong prize contenders — tearing my hair out over how thrillingly hard you’ve made it! — and hope to have it all sorted, settled and written up in the next day or two. Meanwhile, an update on my February hats project: The latter two of the four are currently wending their way toward Florida, and not a moment too soon.

You guys, this beanie took me two weeks to knit. And I’m not talking about two weeks where I didn’t have much time for it and so it got scant attention. I’m talking about two weeks that included large amounts of stress knitting, two cross-country flights, seven hours in a surgical waiting room, etc etc etc. I’m talking about two intense weeks of knitting. A hat!

My plan had been quite simple: All I needed to do was knit one hat a week. Piece of cake, right? For the final two, I had it all mapped out. I’d knit the ribbing on my sister’s Første before boarding my flight to Stitches West, so I could sit down on the plane, pull out my cable chart, and focus on nothing but it for the full length of the flight. (I’ve knitted worsted-weight cable hats before; I know the lay of the land!) Then I’d get yarn for my niece’s hat at the show, and knit hers on my flight home. Worst case scenario, I might still have some crown shaping or tassels to do, between the two of them, and then they’d be on their merry way.

Well. I started the fisherman’s-rib brim a few nights before my flight, and knitted about an inch of the 4.5 to be done. A little more progress the next night. And the one after that. I boarded the plane thinking I was surely just a few rows shy of the chart — I could whip them out before we were even in the air. Mm, no. We were probably somewhere over the Grand Canyon by the time I got to start the chart, and when they said we were beginning our descent into Oakland, I was the one bellowing “Noooooo …” from aisle 12. I’d only managed to knit about 10 rounds.

Long story short: It eventually dawned on me that this hat is as much knitting as a sweater body. In addition to the 46-round brim (that alone being as much or more than the usual number of rounds for an entire worsted-weight hat), the body of the hat is 144 stitches — that’s a sweater, in my world — and the hat totals 101 rounds of knitting. And let’s not forget the knitting is fisherman’s rib followed by densely packed cables. Not to mention chainette yarn that requires you to be really deliberate about where you’re sticking your needle. Of course it took two weeks!

But hear me when I say that it was worth every minute it took. This thing is MAGNIFICENT, and especially in this luscious yarn. I wish you could paw it. I might not have savored the knitting the way I did with Gentian, but the finished result is at least as thrilling. A hat to marvel at and beam over, and I’m so happy it’s going to my sweet sister. I just hope it fits.

Tell you how my niece’s hat turned out once she’s seen it. ;)

Første pattern by Jessica Gore in Woolfolk Far / Like it at Ravelry

PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Black and bluish mitts

24 thoughts on “A hat to rival Gentian (2018 FO-8)

  1. Thank you, thank you Karen. Your post make my day. From the kind words, very helpful insight,techniques.. I could go on & on. I own many of your products. Just love the the crisp classic colors & construction plus presentation. It’s been a LONG winter here in Central New York. Knitting continues to save my sanity. I love the latest project (hat). I also started a cable hat & it’s in “progress” tote .
    . It’s just refreshing to get your emails & read something I truly enjoy.
    Hope for green trees & daffodils soon.
    Thanks, Jennie

  2. The hat looks great, and I admire your commitment to it! I, too, wish I could paw (loving this!) the yarn although I can imagine how lovely it is having worked with Woolfolk yarn before.

    • There was a split second before I cast on where I considered doing regular ribbing instead of the fisherman’s rib, and I’m so glad I didn’t do that. It was totally worth it.

  3. Yeah you’re right, that’s a sweater. But now you know you can knit a sweater in a 2 week period like I do ;)

  4. Love that hat. The cabled ribbing is so different. It is now in my Ravelry faborites.

    • I knitted it exactly as charted, so it may just be that the model is petite and/or has a small head or high forehead, and so it fits here like it does. But there’s also no row gauge stated for the cable pattern, nor any finished hat height dimension given. So I have no way of knowing how mine compares to the sample.

    • Cables will always increase your stitch count, as they pack more stitches into each inch. And the denser the cables, the higher the stitch count. Plus this yarn sort of defies normal gauge, in my experience. I’m kind of curious to swatch this with a more traditional wool and see how it would compare.

  5. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!! About fell off my chair when you said, “that’s a sweater, in my world”. I agree. One thing is certain, Første will be WARM!!! No question there.

    Sorry to hear how grueling it was to finish in time, but in the end it is totally worth it. It is beautifully done. You should be so proud of your accomplishment. Your sister is one lucky gal!

    … and I thought Gentian was a beautiful hat. No comparison!

  6. Oooh, I deeply love this hat! I always find that some of the best hats (for me) are cabled, and a particularly dense one like this sounds just about perfect. This one is definitely in my queue, but I’ll make sure to set aside some real time to work on it. Sounds worth the time commitment.

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