Friday, May 6, 2011

Experiment - startfish hat

Here is the last of the hat experiments I worked on a little while ago. 

This one is a variation of the nudibranch hat.  Digging through my stash, I found two balls of a yarn in neutral colours and variable thickness.  Unfortunately, that labels have been thrown out, and I can't remember the brand or type.

Experiment: starfish hat

Like the nudibranch hat, I started off by making a flat disc, starting with a ring of 10 dc stitches and increasing evenly until it reached 60 stitches around.  Using the variable thickness yarn and a 7.00mm hook, this made it somewhat larger than the nudibranch version, even though that was 70 stitches around.

The first major change was with the points.  Here, I started them with a base 10 dc stitches wide to get 6 larger points instead of 10 smaller points, as in the nudibranch version.  Also, I did the decreases at the start of each row, rather than in the middle.

Because the points started from an even number of stitches at the base, slip stitching down one side to start the next point required turning the piece after finishing a point, which wasn't necessary to do when starting with an odd number of stitches.

Experiment: starfish hat

After the crown was finished, the body and brim were done using the same method as the nudibranch hat, starting with a foundation chain of 60 stitches.  For the brim, I switched to a 6.50mm hook to make it a bit more snug fitting.  After doing several rounds of front and back post dc stitches, I did a single round of sc, then switched back to the 7.00mm hook to build up the body in dc stitches.  After several rounds to build up the sides, the points were done the same as for the crown.  It was finished by doing a single round of front and back post sc around the brim at the foundation chain to tidy up the edge.

Experiment: starfish hat

The other change made was the method of joining the crown and body.  Rather than stitching them together from the outside, which gave me a base to make a ruffle, this hat was slip stitched wrong sides together, then flipped right side out.  There was no natural twist to the points, as there was with the nudibranch hat, and after flipping the points right side out, they retained a slightly rounded shape.  I found myself extremely tempted to stuff them. *L*  The base 10 points and larger hook size made them a lot floppier, too.  With the texture of the yarn, it really makes me think of starfish.

Unlike the previous experiments, I made this hat to be actually wearable, and I'm happy with how it turned out.  My husband even wore it to work once, before our weather finally turned and became warm enough to go hatless.  I wonder what his co-workers must think of him, with some of the strange headgear he's worn!  *L*

I really like the textured yarn, neutral colours and organic look of this hat.  I've got requests to make more, and I think I'd like to do that with different yarns.  If there's anything I would change about this version, I might decide against joining the crown and body portions from the inside, but that would depend entirely on the yarn. Joining from the inside worked out well for this hat, but I don't think it would have worked as well if I'd made it with the same time of yarn I'd used for the nudibranch version.  I do prefer having fewer, larger points, though again, that might change with a different type of yarn. 

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