At least you can get a hat out of it

As is typical when I have a lot of different projects to be working on, or when I’ve been working on the same projects for a while and am feeling bored (or both), I’ve been letting myself get a bit distracted by the thought of new knitting projects. I haven’t actually cast on anything new yet, but I’ve gone so far as to print out patterns and read them plan yarn selections – which is sort of almost the same thing, if you can fool your brain into thinking that knitting in your mind is the same thing as knitting in three-dimensional reality.



Last week the latest issue of Twist Collective came out, and I cast a glance in its direction (as one does), thinking that I’d just return to my regular life afterwards. But there were cabled things in there, and I am sucker for cabled things. Fiona’s Ruddington cardigan would be just up my alley, and I’ve got about three different stash yarns that could jump into action on that right away. But then there is something about the totally ambitious all-over cabling winter-coziness this-sweater-will-keep-you-warm-forever action of Andrea Rangel’s Joist pullover, and I could not stop thinking about it.

The rational side of my brain held me off long enough to realize that maybe I’ll have to wait to cast on for the actual sweater until something else comes off the needles. But then a different part of my brain pointed out that, hey, that is a cabled sweater knitted in the round, and it refers to gauge measurements in the round, and so before you knit the sweater you’re going to have to knit a swatch in the round.

And you know what another word is for ‘swatch knitted in the round?’ Hat. The other word for that is ‘hat.’



I took a lone skein of Cascade 220 Heathers from my stash (which is the substituted yarn I’m planning to knit the final pullover with), and grabbed some 16″ circulars and sat down last Saturday with some Sleepy Hollow episodes, and I knitted myself a swatch hat. I cast on 100 sts for [k2, p2] ribbing until I felt like I had enough ribbing, then increased to 144 sts so that I could get 6 full repeats of the main stitch pattern in there. Then once I felt it was long enough (after trying it on and checking it out in the mirror a few times) fudged up some decreases within the pattern (consulting with my super handy all-purpose guide on all such things), and then I had a hat.


It’s not exactly the same thing as getting a sweater of course (well okay it is not really at all in the slightest way the same thing), but it’s enough to help me measure gauge in pattern and to select the pattern size I want to make from the instructions.

And, I get a new hat. Who doesn’t need more hats?

Happy knitting this Wednesday!




  1. That is super cute.

  2. That is a great hat!

  3. Love that hat especially with all the cascading curls coming out of it. So cute!

  4. Great hat! I love that cable pattern.

  5. Lynda Thompson · ·

    Beautiful hair, beautiful hat! Now I need you to write it up and sell it because I’m nowhere near as clever as you and can’t work out how you did it!

  6. Sam Varty · ·

    Looks great!!

  7. That crown is so beautiful I feel kind of nauseous. You improvised that? I am so into the way your brain does things.

  8. Caitlyn M. · ·

    Ditto what bossyfemme said. πŸ™‚

    I, too, wish to be knitting all the cabled sweaters, but a certain lack of sweater-quantities-of-yarn is currently standing in my way. Unfortunately, a recent interstate move has left me without the funds to immediately remedy that situation. But no one can argue with a fresh skein for a new winter hat, can they? Like you said, who doesn’t need more hats, right?

  9. Beautiful hat! Wish I could knit that fast!

  10. So beautiful – I really must master cables soon!

  11. I have been powering through a central park hoodie, but don’t have buttons – so it is on the floor blocking. In the pacific NW we don’t usually get horribly cold weather but right now it is in the 20’s- I went outside and froze my you know what off – so came home and picked up a hat that was half done- the struggle now will be to get buttons and complete the CPH when there are so many other things to do!! Love the idea of using a sweater pattern to “swatch” (hee hee) and make a hat

  12. Stephanie · ·

    Just picked up some beautiful lavender yarn on black Friday at my local yarn shop to make a hat for my 13 year old daughter and would love this pattern!

  13. WOW that is amazing. Love the way your decreases made the star on the top. maybe you need to write this up for the rest of the world?! πŸ™‚

  14. That is beautiful! Very impressive.

  15. Cables… gorgeous cables. Love the hat!

  16. Wow! Love it! Especially the crown. *swoon*

  17. I think I could have written your first paragraph about me. And also your swatch hat is brilliant!

  18. Thanks very much folks!

    As much as I understand the requests to write up a ‘pattern’ for the hat – I won’t be doing that since truthfully it’s not my pattern to write. It’s a hat-swatch for Joist which is Andrea’s pattern, and I look forward to moving onto the sweater itself πŸ™‚

  19. I must remember that definition of swatch knitted in the round!!

  20. Beautiful and, I love cascade 220!

  21. That is a beautiful hat. I love the way you’ve made the crown.

  22. caityrosey · ·

    Ditto what Cathy E said. I never thought of doing that. But why waste all that work, assuming you’re not short on yarn for the project itself.

  23. What a fabulous hat…and pattern! Now a question; do you have a source on how to measure gauge in a pattern like that?

  24. Wow! So lovely!

  25. PJ Knitty · ·

    Absolutely beautiful! Wish I had your artistic knitting skills. Well, maybe someday, with lots of practice. Hahahaha

  26. It is truly a fabulous hat. πŸ™‚

  27. it is a wonderful hat!

  28. I want that hat. I may have to copy you.

  29. love it! and really it’s the best swatch there is . xoxo

  30. Genius! Love the shaping at the top and how it all came together!

  31. I love how you did those crown decreases! Looks great!

  32. Brilliant!

    Twist Collective is always a huge distraction!

  33. So clever! I totally dig the concept of a swatch hat.

  34. omg that’s fucking gorgeous! i wish i could buy THAT pattern! and i totally get the “i’m bored let me imagine my next knit” thing. i have a cardigan you designed all picked out and ready to go (swatch is already made, though, so i have to tough it out). πŸ™‚

  35. Deborah N · ·

    A good book for you to write: decreasing a cable pattern. I donΚ»t know when I have seen a cabled hat done better. Maybe just a book on cabled hats. Too bad you did not take notes. Yes, a ebook of about 12 cabled hats just in time for next Christmas wish list….

  36. Love it…you definitely need to publish it for those of us who are pattern writing challenged

  37. I love the way you think! The hat is stunning too.

  38. I love the hat. Beautiful. Been trying to knit up hats but havent been successful yet. This just inspired me.

  39. That is a fantastic hat. I love the star shape in the decreases at the top and it is an amazing way to swatch for a sweater.

  40. Genia Potter · ·

    Totally, totally yummy. I bet my nieces in New England would love it – maybe for *next* Christmas ;o)

  41. Meredith MC · ·

    I just bought a copy of joist so I can knit that hat! I’m sure my crown will look a little different than yours. I live in Western Oregon where a sweater like that would be wearable about 3 days a year- but the hat! I can wear that all the time. Thanks for the idea!

  42. You are a genius. This is so amazing!!!

  43. Karen morrison · ·

    Sorry if this isn’t the correct way to contact you but…..I am knitting the podster gloves and have a problem. At the decrease round of the mitten top, it says to knit to markers. Yet I can’t it in the pattern to place markers. Help! Please!

  44. Great patterns . . . especially the 3D effect you achieved with close up photography. Also, what is this knitting lingo? “Ribbing”? “Swatch”? “Sts”? Should I know this if I become serious in knitting?

  45. rebeccawardknit1tea1 · ·

    Such a super hat, unfortunately (kind of) I don’t need hats and jumpers, I do love a cable, this one is particulaly lush…

  46. Wonderful hat. I, too, am a sucker for cables. I love them. They are so interesting and yet easy. The crown is glorious. Great job.

  47. How long did it take you to modify the pattern and actually knit the hat? I know that would take a very long time for me, and I’m interested to see how long it took you. Thanks!

  48. That’s a lovely hat. I just love cables and especially one that has a flowery center! Awesome Job!

  49. twistedsticks · ·

    I wish I could just be brave to whip up something from my brain instead of needing a pattern!!

%d bloggers like this: