Friday, December 24, 2010

The Amazing Voyage Cap

I officially completed hat 3 for 52 hats on Monday! While I wouldn't exactly call it an original design, it's at least a somewhat original mash-up. This really got my creative mojo working, and now I have at least a half-dozen other design ideas that I hope to bring to life-- and share!-- in the course of this project. So without further ado:

This is for my nephew. He's seven and LOVES bright colors. At first I was only going to use one color of self-striping yarn, but the colors seemed too dull on their own. It's certainly not a new idea to alternate two colors of self-striping yarn (see the famous Noro Striped Scarf from Brooklyn Tweed), but I had never seen it done in a stocking hat.

Two photo hat close-up! There is no way I could have planned this!

I like the result, and it was SO much fun to make. I have loads of yarn left, so I'll probably make a few more-- I'm planning to write this up as a free pattern, but I think it needs some tweaking first.

Project Notes

Yarn: Amazing by Lion Brand. It seems I'm not alone in loving this yarn-- all the craft stores in my area are out of stock! Ravelry lists is as Aran weight, but I think it knits up well at a worsted or light-worsted gauge. One word of caution: it's SUPER fuzzy and tends to mat together as you work with it. This makes the knitting just a tiny bit slower than usual, and might drive you bonkers if you have to tink back multiple times.

Pattern: l o o s e l y based on the Voyageur Cap by Tina Shaddox. I started modifying from the very first row, and I've lost track of all the changes I made! I had never knit a stocking hat before, so I was unsure of how to shape the top. This pattern was a great place to start. Ideally, I would like the hat to be quite a bit longer because more length = more awesome stripiness. As I said, I'm going to continue tweaking.

Techniques: In my WIP Wednesday post last week, I talked about some of the techniques I used for this hat. Making stripes in the round can be irritating if you're a perfectionist... not that there's anything wrong with that. There are many methods for jogless stripes (check out this awesome tutorial at TECHknitting). I thought I was using Meg Swansen's method (tutorial here), but it turns out I was doing it wrong! The stripes ended up pretty close to jogless anyway. I used this method to carry the yarn between color changes, and I used Kitchener stitch to close the top of the hat-- totally not called for by the pattern, but satisfying nonetheless.

The Bottom Line: I love this-- I know I say this every week, but this time I REALLY mean it! I love to knit, but I really enjoyed the hell out of making this. The mesmerizing color changes and the soft fuzziness of the yarn were truly delightful. If my nephew enjoys wearing it even a tiny fraction as much as I enjoyed knitting it, I will consider it a blazing success.

I'm off to knit the last few rows of hat 4 and to check out what progress the other elves are making at Tami's blog. Here's hoping all of your Christmas WIPs will become FOs by tomorrow!


  1. So cute! You nephew will love it. I look forward to seeing the pattern. : )

  2. The hat is so cute! I can't wait for you to share the pattern.

    I actually just bought 3 skeins of Amazing yesterday, preparing for my yarn diet. I got 2 skeins of Olympia and one of Ruby. I had such a hard time deciding because all of the colorways were...well, Amazing! LOL