Monday, January 12, 2009

Stick to Your Knitting!


Simple [Israeli] Soldier's Hat, Two Ways

There are two patterns here, one for a hat that can be knit flat on two straight needles and one for a hat that can be knit in the round on a circular needle and/or double-pointed needles. The latter method is recommended because it requires less sewing up at the end and tends to look neater.

Yarn: You must use machine washable plain black worsted weight yarn – this is in order to comply with both the soldiers' requests and [Israeli] army regulations. Look for a yarn that is soft, warm and non-felting. Superwash wool is best, acrylic or a wool/acrylic mix is okay. You'll probably need about 220 yds. / 200 m.

Gauge: 24 or 28 stitches = 4 inches/10 cm. in K2P2 rib stitch

Needles: Use whatever size needle you need to get gauge. The 4 mm – 5.5 mm range is a good place to start [US sizes 6 - 9]. For circulars, use a small circumference, 12" to 16".

Pattern A: Knit on Two Straight Needles

Loosely cast on 98 stitches and work back and forth in K2 P2 rib as follows:

Round 1 (right side): K1, [K2, P2] until one stitch remains, K1
Round 2 (wrong side): P1, [K2, P2] until one stitch remains, P1

Repeat these 2 rounds until work measures 9.5 inches / 24 cm., ending with a wrong side row.

Shape crown
Row 1: On right side, K1, [K2, P2tog], K1. 74 stitches remain.
Row 2: P1, [K1, P2], P1
Row 3: On right side, K1, [K2tog, P1], K1. 50 stitches remain.
Row 4: P1, [K1, P1], P1
Row 5: K1 [K2tog], K1. 26 stitches remain.
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: K1, [K2tog], K1. 14 stitches remain.
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: K1, [K2tog], K1. 8 stitches remain

Break yarn, leaving a 20-inch / 51 cm. length. With a tapestry needle, thread the yarn through the remaining 8 stitches (pull tight) and then sew up the back seam using mattress stitch, being careful to match up the rows. For help with mattress stitch, see here: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring04/mattress.html or here: http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/misc.php
(scroll down to "Finishing" and then select "mattress stitch" for a short video demo)

Weave in the ends and admire your work! Please wash & dry your hat before mailing.

Pattern B: Knit first on a circular Needle, and then on double-pointeds (Or, you can work the entire hat on double-pointed needles, if you prefer)

Loosely cast on 96 stitches. Join work, place marker, and work in K2 P2 rib until work measures 9.5 inches / 24 cm.

Shape crown
(Here you begin a series of decrease rounds. When you find the hat getting too small to work on the circular needle, switch to double pointed needles.)

Round 1: K2, P2tog to end of round. 72 stitches remain.
Round 2: K2 P1
Round 3: K2tog, P1 to end of round. 48 stitches remain.
Round 4: K1, P1
Round 5: K2tog to end of round. 24 stitches remain.
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: K2tog to end of round. 12 stitches remain.
Round 8: Knit
Round 9: K2tog to end of round. 6 stitches remain.

Break yarn, leaving a 6-inch / 15 cm. length. With a tapestry needle, thread the yarn through the remaining 6 stitches (pull tight). Weave in the ends and admire your work!

Please wash & dry your hat before mailing.

When your hat's done, send me an email at savtadotty [at] gmail [dot] com for mailing instructions.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will try to investigate a crocheted version... hmmm...

John

Anonymous said...

How do you get a gauge of 24 to 28 stitches with worsted weight yarn?

Savtadotty said...

John, a crocheted version would not be accepted by the IDF, but it might make a lovely hat. However, the beauty of the K2P2 ribbing is its stretchiness, truly one size fits al.

Anonymous, a gauge of 24 to 28 stitches to 4 inches on 36 (US) needles is not so hard to get. That's 6-7 stitches per inch.

Savtadotty said...

John, make that "one size fits all," including Al!

Anonymous said...

36?

*confused*

The generic worsted weight yarn labels suggest using size 8 US needles to yield about 17 per 4 inches.

Anonymous said...

About 17 stiches, that is.

Savtadotty said...

Anonymous, Ooops, I meant US size #6 needles, sorry. Regardless of what the label says, it's always wise to knit a swatch in the pattern stitch to allow for individual variations in tension.