A hat really shouldn’t be this hard.

Awhile back I offered to knit a hat and/or scarf and/or mittens for Elder Son's friend Alí. When he was here in August he complained of being cold, so a hand-knit seemed in order. Last week he sent me a photo of what he would like.

Um, okay.

I immediately emailed him back and asked for a pattern or a link to one. But the more I looked at the hat, the more convinced I became that I could replicate it. Cables are easy to read, right? He had said he wanted one along the lines of this one, but not necessarily an exact replica so I had some leeway.

I consulted Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries for the main cable and found this one, which is very similar but without the stretched-out bits.


The rope cables on either side of the horizontal panel would be easy, so I was ready. I went stash-digging for some dark blue superwash worsted, cast on 42 st (three reverse stockinette, four for the first rope cable, 28 for the main cable, four for the second rope cable, and three for more reverse stockinette), and began.

After a few rows I thought to search Ravelry for "hat horizontal cable" and found this worsted-weight one which has that same Barbara Walker Saxon Braid.

Saxon cable hat

Notice how tall the cable panel is and the resultant lack of space for the rope cables and the ribbing at the bottom. This one is on a kid's head rather than an adult's but still. I held up the panel I was knitting and found it reached from my nose nearly to the top of my head. I hadn't gotten far enough for the cables to pull in as much as they would eventually, but I was pretty sure it wasn't gonna work.

RippitMore stash diving.

I cast on again with some Trekking Natura fingering weight sock yarn in a darkish gray-blue, but after about three rows I got discouraged — too difficult to see what I was doing, plus it seemed that the yarn was too fine and would not give the cables the floofiness that translates to warmth.

It didn't take much of a swatch to convince me I didn't want to knit anything
this complicated on such small needles in such a dark color.

RippitMore stash diving.

Next up were the leftovers from a toque I made for Smokey last winter. (An exhaustive search of Ravelry and the blog revealed that I never documented the hat. Which is really a shame because now he doesn't know where it is. Crap.) I had dyed some light blue Rowan 4-ply fingering weight wool  with Rit in a denim colorway, which turned out beautifully — lots of subtle variegation in the dyed yarn. This fingering weight was woolen spun rather than worsted, so it had more loft –> better cables, I hoped.


This one looks good. The reason I stopped in the middle of a row is because I screwed up the cable pattern and it is in time out right now while it thinks over what it has done. There is also the possiblity that my 316 yards of this yarn may not be enough.

Stay tuned...

This entry was posted in Bloopers, Friends, hats, knitting. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to A hat really shouldn’t be this hard.

  1. Vicki says:

    Ooooh, that sure is lovely!! Fingers crossed.

  2. k says:

    You know, if you ever find that pattern, look at those cables turning into little squee spirally things at the top squee! let me know, okay?
    Or you could cop out and do Coronet from Knitty. I did it twice, and I lived. One of them I even wear.

  3. k says:

    But that one you’re working on looks really nice. That yarn is a good match. How tall is Alí? maybe the very top could be, I don’t know. Something?

  4. Erika says:

    I mean, yours is great, don’t get me wrong! Oh I wish I had seen this sooner.
    It is the Celtic Bunny Hat by Toots LeBlanc.

  5. Ooooh, that’s pretty!! I love those cables.

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