Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Cable Sampler Hat (Sailors' Society Woolly Hat 2)

Here is my second hat for the Sailors' Society. I used this one to try out some slight variations of traditional cables, of the kind they use in Aran sweaters and other seafarers' garments as were customarily knitted all round the edges of Britain until very recent times - and still are occasionally. I wanted to find out whether I liked these particular cables and how they looked in relation to a ladder pattern I'd also been thinking about. I like the plaited cable most, but the others are interesting too. It strikes me how pleasing the simplest plain six-by-six one is, especially in relation to others which cross at different intervals. You can have lots of fun with cables if you're fond of numbers.

1 ball Rowan Cashsoft DK
1 hat-sized (40cm) 3.5mm circular needle (optional) and a set of 3.5mm dpns.
Gague is not crucial, this is pretty much a one-size pattern. If you're eccentric enough for it to matter, you'll already know to change needle size. Use the size that makes a fairly dense, smooth fabric for you with standard double-knitting.

Cast on 96.
Knit 3 rows k2 p2 rib.
Knit 1 row purl.
Follow chart. The plain six-by-six cable crosses every 6th row, everything else every 4th row. So the whole thing repeats after every row 12.
Stop after completing row 47.
Row 48: purl, placing markers at 8 points evenly around (i.e. after every 12th stitch).

Returning to k2 p2 as the basic pattern, decrease on either side of each marker on every other row until you have 8 sts, changing to dpns as necessary. Thread wool through all sts and weave away ends. (This is not exactly what I did in the hat shown, I decreased every row until the stitches were halved and then thought better of it and knitted a few rows straight - that's why there are those strange but quite-nice-looking holes - but it is what I ought to have done and would almost certainly have worked better. Do as you please.)

Here's the chart, click it to download.

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