Arlene, who attends crochet and knitting meetups, gave me three 4 oz. 190 yard skeins of Lamb's Pride worsted in color M-77 Blue Magic. I had been looking at the Coronet pattern on Knitty, but wanted to get a feel for this yarn first. It is wool and mohair, single ply and doesn't have a lot of twist. It has a rather silky feel but reminded me of working with Lopi yarn or pencil roving. Found I needed to be careful to avoid splitting stitches.
I decided to make a hat similar to the Aran Child's Hat in homespun, pattern from Gladys Thompson's book , page 168.
I chose the Staghorn cable (page 21) from Barbara G. Walker's The Craft of Cable-Stitch Knitting, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1971 and a panel of seed stitch. (Looks like this classic book is going for $65 and more. Hang on to it if you have a copy!)
Did a provisional cast on using white Sugar and Cream (mistake! was difficult to unravel) and worked the pattern on No. 7 needles until the piece reached around my head and was at the end of a repeat of the cable pattern. I slipped each first stitch to give a neat edge.
I used Kitchener stitch to join the ends after picking out the cast on edge (in the original, I cast on, cast off, and sewed the ends together -- it doesn't really look bad at all), then picked up and knit 72 stitches from the right side along the cable edge on a 16 inch No. 8 circular needle. I knit 9 rows plain (stockinette) then divided the work into six sections and decreased (K2 Tog) every other row until the work got tight, then transferred to No. 8 DPN's. When there were 6 stitches left on each DPN, I began to decrease every row. When there were 3 stitches left, I put them on one needle and did about 6 inches of I-cord, then attached a small tassel.
And here it is drying. The seed stitch section is curled under the rim of the bowl. This is OK, I wanted some snugness at the edge.
(A seven inch diameter stainless steel mixing bowl is a pretty much adult head size.)
Glad I made this one first, it appears that the yarn "relaxes" (i.e. stretches) when washed!
Note: I set the hat on the windowsill just long enough to take the pictures. It is better to avoid exposing wet wool to strong light.
by Alexandra Virgiel, Winter 2003 issue of Knitty
When I felt more comfortable working with this yarn, I cast 17 stitches onto No. 8 double point needles using a scrap of red wool yarn, then switched to the Lambs Pride to start .
I finished this hat on November 24, the day before Thanksgiving. Resisted my urges to take off and knit whatever I felt like and followed the pattern in the medium size to the letter. The hat did "relax" a bit when washed. It is warm and feels good on your head. The band of cable draws it in without being tight on the bottom. A nice design. By the way, the cable she uses is called Plait Cable in Barbara Walker's The Craft of Cable-Stitch Knitting , page 14 and in Vogue Knitting , The Ultimate Knitting Book , page 153 in the © 1989 printing.
What I liked least in this design was the top closing, although I have successfully used it in K2P2 ribbing. I think the 6 point close I did on the staghorn hat above or the 4 point with double decreases that I do on the lined hats is neater in stockinette.
This is a lovely hat. If grafting the ends together for the band strikes terror in your heart, make a regular cast on, start one row back in the pattern, knit an extra row at the end, cast off, and sew the ends together.