A Happy Hat

I’m really happy with how my Happy Out Mitts pattern turned out, but one part always bugged me. The HOM (because I’m too lazy to keep typing their full name) use just shy of 50g of sock yarn. This is great when you are able to get 50g balls, like Wildefoot and a few other brands, but most sock yarn comes in 100g balls. So happy as I am with the HOM, there’s always the dilemma of what to do with the rest of the yarn. 50g of sock yarn seems too much to throw in with the rest of the sock ends, but it’s not enough to make a full pair of socks.

Of course, I could just knit another pair of HOM, but one only needs so many fingerless mitts. Ok, we all know that would never stop me, judging from my excessive shawl collection, but I wanted something different to do with the remaining yarn.

Enter the Happy Hat, or HH as I will now lazily refer to it. HH is designed to match the HOM and to use up the remainder of the sock yarn. I’ve finally finished the prototype and am in the process of writing it up so I can test knit it again. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, although I may tweak the crown a smidge.

I will put the pattern up on Ravelry when it’s ready, but if you’re keen and not afraid of winging it, I’ll give the rough instructions here. I may take them down later when the full pattern is published but it shouldn’t be hard to backwards engineer.

Happy Hat, a rough draft:

Yarn: ~50g of sock yarn

Needles: 2.5mm circular needle, or tip size needed for gauge. (Gauge is the same as the HOM, so you can just use the same size if you’ve made those) A long circular is best so you can magic loop it, unless you choose to switch to dpns for the crown.

Cast on 160 st. Long tail would be fine. I used Jenny’s Super Stretchy Cast On, which worked well and didn’t require me to guesstimate how long a tail I needed.

Work 10 repeats of lace pattern as with gloves.

Divide stitches into quarters. Each quarter starts and ends with one column of the lace repeat, so you should have eight columns in four pairs, with plain stockinette stitch between them. Work as set for 6 repeats of lace pattern or until preferred height.

Decreasing for the crown: You have four stockinette stitch panels now. At start of each panel, work a ssk. At the end of each panel k2tog. This decreases a total of 8 stitches.

Next round work as set without decreases.

Decrease in this way every second row until you run out of knit stitches.

On the next decrease row p2tog across the pkkp stitches at the point of the stockinette stitch panel. Knit next row as set.

P2tog across the four purl stitches between lace pattern sections.

On the next row, or the one after, you should come up against the sl1 k2 psso part of the lace pattern. Work this as usual, but on the next row don’t add the yarn over between the stitches.

From here on, decrease on every row evenly by 8 stitches until only 8 are left. Cut the yarn, pull through remaining stitches and weave in ends.

Pull over head. Feel warm.

This hat can be adjusted in a couple of ways.

Height can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the number of lace repeats at the start or during the panel stage.

To adjust the width, increase or decrease the cast on stitches by 20 st. This will add four repeats of the 5 stitch wide lace pattern, one for each quarter, so the symmetry of the hat will be maintained. The rest of the hat should proceed as before, but with fewer or more decrease rows required at the end. If 20 stitches is too big of a jump, smaller tweaks to the size could be made by changing needle size, but this is where swatches will come in handy as you don’t want to make the hat too dense or too loose. I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader, as they say in textbooks.

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