Friday, October 11, 2013

Big Slouch

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I just got the best boots.  They seem to have been made by a bulldozer company, which kills me, and also somehow makes them even more fabulous.  I had given up--the search for the perfect boots is almost as hopeless as the search for the perfect jeans.  So many tried on, so many returned in dejection. As soon as I stopped looking, these boots found me, and so it is Destiny.  Being found by the perfect boots is making me want to rebuild my whole wardrobe.  I’ll start with a hat.

Now here’s a hat.  Simple, soft, garter stitch.  I told you, garter stitch and I are having a torrid affair, and I am not ashamed.  Garter stitch is so smooshy, and it has a cool, rustic texture, and it drapes like a dream.  I also think it gives this pseudo-hipster slouch hat an inside-out vibe, like I don’t even care, I’m too busy listening to the Sex Pistols, but I look good anyway

If a pair of perfect boots find you too, and if putting them on makes you feel like you could easily drop-kick all your problems to the curb and strut confidently into the nearest coffee shop where Jake Gyllenhaal will look up as you come in, give you the smile he’s been saving just for this moment, and you see he’s wearing a slouchy gray hat just so, just so casually awesome looking…here’s my pattern: 

Materials

2 skeins Katia Peru (40% wool, 40% acrylic, 20% alpaca; 116 yds/106 m; 3 1/2oz./100g) in Grey/color 12, or other chunky yarn of similar weight

US 8/ 5mm 16”/40cm circular needle

US 9/ 5.5mm 16”/40cm circular needle

US 9/ 5.5mm dpns, set of five

If 16”/40cm needles are not available, dpns can be used throughout.

Tapestry needle

Gauge

15 sts = 4”/10cm in garter stitch

Size

One size fits all.

Note: to work garter stitch in the round, you knit one round, then purl one round, repeat.

Abbreviations

k = knit

k1fb = knit into the front and back of stitch (increase made)

k2tog = knit two stitches together (decrease made)

Instructions

On smaller needle, CO 70 sts and join for working in the round. Place a marker for beginning of round, and work 8 rounds in garter stitch.

Change to larger circular needle and work an increase round, as follows: *k9, k1fb; repeat from * around. (80 sts)

Work one round even.

Work increase round: *k10, k1fb; repeat from * around. (90 sts)

Work even in garter stitch until hat measures 8”/20cm from CO edge, ending with a purl round.

On next round, work a decrease round, as follows: *k10, k2tog; repeat from * around. (80 sts)

Work one round even.

Work decrease round: *k9, k2tog; repeat from * around. (70 sts)

Work one round even.

Switching to the dpns when it becomes necessary, continue in this manner, with each decrease round working one less stitch before the k2tog, and alternating decrease rounds and even rounds until there are 21 stitches left, ending with a decrease round.

On the next round, work a decrease round again (eliminating the plain round. 14 sts)

Next round: *k2tog, repeat from * around. (7 sts)

Break yarn and weave end through remaining sts. Weave in ends.

I’ve made you an easily downloadable PDF, too, if you’d rather—here it is: Big Slouch.

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Aside from my fevered dreams of having coffee with Jake Gyllenhaal, and in addition to the beautiful girl you are and also the other ones in your life, I think this hat is so multi-purpose that it will do for virtually anyone on your holiday list. 

Call this one The Rembrandt:

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The Cabbie:

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Count Vronksy:

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Suspicious Elf:

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The Goofy Grandad:

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The Jeeves:

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And (this one is a very advanced maneuver, don’t try it without a spotter) The Triple Stack:

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The yarn to make this hat was sent to me by the lovely Lesley from Black Sheep Wools, thank you so much, Lesley!  You can get this yarn here, or other chunky yarns that will do just as well here.  As for the boots, you’ll just have to be patient.