Sunday, December 16, 2012

Double Knit Skull Cap

It was a bit of a forced march at the end, but I got the skull hat done this week. After all the adjustments made for size (both circumference and height), it's the right size to fit Troy so I'm assuming that's good enough!

There was more finishing work to this hat than most because of the double knitting, but it was all easily handled one step at a time.

When I got to the end of the pattern, I knit a couple rows in the main colour (on each side, so to speak) and then was ready to cast off.
Of course, you can't just cast off like normal--each stitch slipped over the next stitch--because you've got stitches from two different layers. So I separated the layers, putting the inside layer (light stitches) on one cable and the outside layer (dark stitches) on another
You can see the two layers curling away from each other
once they are put onto separate needles.
While I had the opportunity to hide the yarn between the layers, I ran the light yarn end through the back of the stitches. I made a couple zigs and zags (changing direction helps to keep the end from working out) and then left a longish tail between the layers.
I couldn't do the same with the dark yarn end because I was going to use that to cast off. I cut the yarn to a length about 4.5 times around the circle, put it on a blunt needle and started to Kitchener the inside stitches to the outside:
It took a while, but the final finish is definitely worth it. (And let's be honest, it takes a while to do a regular cast off as well.) If you are really opposed to Kitchenering, you could do a three needle bind off. Just make sure it's stretchy enough.

Then I put the dark yarn end onto a sharp needle and worked it into the back of the stitches between the layers as best I could. You don't have a lot of room, but you can still pull the layers apart even if they don't open up like when I worked in the light yarn end.

Then I had to go back to the top of the hat and take care of the slit from when I was working flat. I used the long tail from the cast on and mattress stitched just the dark layer. Also, instead of sewing one stitch in from the edge, I went half a stitch in. Since I didn't decrease a selvage stitch when I started working in the round, I didn't want to pull it in too much on the upper part.
Once the dark layer was done, I did the same thing to the light layer:
I'm working the yarn end in by switching to a sharp needle
and pulling it through the back of the stitches. I zigged
and zagged a couple times and then left a long end between
the layers. If you do it right you won't see it from the
outside at all.
And presto, you have a hat that you can way either way:
Project Stats
Started
: 11 Nov '12 / Finished: 9 Dec '12
Pattern: Skull Hat by Gina Doherty
Materials: half ball of each color, Patons Classic Wool Merino (Dark Grey Mix and Natural Mix)



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