I’m back to knitting hats, and this pretty cable hat caught my eye. It’s called the Skiff Hat by Jared Flood. The hat can be knit as a Beanie or Watchcap and I chose the beanie as a trial. I’m not an experienced cable knitter and had to see if I could figure this out. I could… it’s easy, but it’s all in chart form, and I had to do some pre-knitting preparation.
Many previous Skiff Hat knitters remarked that their hats came out very big. The pattern calls for Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn, which is a worsted weight. I’ve never knit with Shelter, but I have knit with Quarry, which I think is similar only chunkier.
One suggestion was to use DK yarn instead of worsted and go down a needle size, or more (yes, more). I used the size called for on the ribbing and went down one needle size for the top. I could have gone even smaller.
For this trial knit, I choose to use up some yarn in my stash. The lighter blue is Madeline Tosh “Baltic” and the darker color is “Dubrovnik”, I think, and both are DK weight.
The semi-solid blue is very pretty, but the color stained my fingers and my bamboo needles! I wasn’t too happy about that. The yarn would also occasionally split when I was trying to do some of the stitches.
End Thoughts on Knitting “Skiff”
The beanie did come out large. It’s loose around the cuff and tall on my head, and I consider my head to be average size. I am still waiting for it to dry, but I don’t anticipate it to become smaller.
The hat is knit from a chart with perfect explanations for each of the cables. One of the cable stitches uses two cable needles, but it’s pretty easy to do and I enjoyed seeing the twisting of the stitches bring this beauty to life.
Directions for a tubular cast-on are included with the pattern and I found it difficult, so I used the Old Norwegian / German Twisted cast-on.
Before I began knitting, I went through the pattern Legend, showing all the stitches, and cables, and I used color pencils to differentiate each type of cable on the chart.
I also wrote out the cables next to each color on the Legend page, such as 2F, K2, K2 for the pink color – So when I saw the pink cable in my row, I would know to slip 2 onto the cable needle and hold to the front, knit two regular, then knit two from the cable needle. This was a big help for me, because the printing is tiny on the pattern, and my eyesight is poor.
DPNs Work as Cable Needles
I used DPN’s in place of cable needles throughout, which worked fine. At the crown I used 3 DPNs to hold the stitches, one to knit, and another to do the cables. Five DPN’s is all you need. I also did one extra round after the pattern ends, with a K2tog all the way around. Otherwise you are left with an enormous number of stitches to pull up with yarn to close the opening.
The Watchcap version is the one I want to make, with a wide roll brim and pompom. I’d like to make it for my daughter, who has a small head, so I’ll have to figure out how to knit it differently. I definitely need to use smaller needles and possibly fewer stitches around the brim, with an increase before the cable pattern begins.