Last year I searched for a hunter orange yarn so I could knit hats for my kids who live in New Hampshire. Whenever hunting season is open – and it is regularly open year round for various animals in NH – walkers, hikers, bikers and anyone who ventures into the wilderness needs to wear hunter orange, aka safety orange, or an equally bright color.
Last year I was unsuccessful in finding the perfect, brightly colored yarn. This year I believe I have found it!
I came across the colorway “Kid You Not” by Hedgehog Fibres, in aran worsted weight and took a chance and bought two skeins from Eat, Sleep, Knit. Later, I found it at Wool and Company and was a bit less expensive. Hedgehog Fibres yarn is hand-dyed and comes from Ireland. It is beautiful, but pricey. What I also love is that it is superwash. Some people I knit for will not hand wash.
Knitting the Cabled Hat “Habitat”
Because the yarn is a semi-solid color I wanted to knit some cables. I searched through many cable hat patterns and ended up with the “Habitat” by Jared Flood. I’ve knit his “Skiff” cabled hat a few times, so I suspected this pattern would be similar, and it is.
I love the way the cables criss-cross up the hat, but that means lots of various cables to do all throughout the project. I do okay until I have to switch and use the DPNs, but the end product is always worth the work.
Shorten the Cable Descriptions
This pattern is charted only, which can be a bit intimidating, but not too tough to figure out. Every cable used is listed on the right-hand side of the chart, with a description of how to make that cable. The chart and cable description prints out on the same page.
The printing is tiny – too tiny for those of us with older eyes to see well – so I use a pen and make each cable easier to read at a glance. This can be seen beneath the pencils in my photo below.
For instance: C3Lp = Slip 2 stitches to CN (cable needle) and hold in front. Purl 1, and knit 2 from the CN. That description is written out, but I make my note to simply say: 2F, P1, K2. When I get to this cable stitch in the pattern, a quick glance tells me what to do.
Coloring the Cable Chart
The next order of business before knitting this cable design, is to get out the colored pencils. I’m sure some tech-savvy people can do this using some sort of spreadsheet, but I color the chart by hand. (I do use Knit Companion and I think this can be done with “Magic Markers” in the program, but I haven’t tried it. I do like having a paper printout too, just in case technology is down.)
Next, I go through each cable listed and find it on the chart. Each of the seven various cables used in this knit will get it’s own color coding. Doing this is time consuming, but totally worth the effort. The C3Lp cable which I mentioned, is colored pink for my chart, so every time I come to a pink colored cable in the pattern, I know at a glance to do 2F, P1, K2 ……. 2F (hold 2 front on CN), P1 (purl 1 from the normal needle), K2 (knit 2 from the cable needle).
When I am knitting each row from the chart, I use a sticky note to mark my place. I find this way of knitting the cables to be quite easy to follow.
Needle Sizes I Used
This hat is being knit for my daughter who has a small head. The hat is offered in two sizes, but that only means the length will change, not the diameter. Because of this, I dropped down a needle size and used a size 6US to cast on and knit the short brim. In general, I am a tight knitter, so I hope that will help with size reduction. I switched to size 8US for the cables.
The difference between the Small / Medium and Large sizes is a cable section which is done right after the brim. Choose the shorter, Chart A for S/M or the longer Chart B for size L. Whichever chart is chosen, it will be knit only once. This is a set up section before moving on to the longer, main hat chart.
Habitat Hat Knitting Photos
After a few inches of knitting, the cables begin to show. There are a lot of cables to do in this pattern. The yarn is beginning to remind me of Cheetos!
Switched to DPN’s on row 25 which is not a cable row, to make things easier.
Cabling on the DPN’s and keeping track of the cable sections got a bit difficult, but I hate DPN’s in general.
My Last Remarks About Knitting “Habitat”
Loved the pattern and the yarn. Although this hat comes in “two sizes” there is not much difference between them. I may go up a needle size if I want to make a larger hat, but cables are stretchy.
I know from my experience knitting Jared Flood’s “Skiff” hat that I can do cables. This hat was similar, but was a quicker knit because there is no long brim.
Brooklyn Tweed patterns are full of information but sometimes it’s spread out on various pages. It is imperative that time is taken to read through the entire pattern carefully before beginning any project. I take a highlighter and mark all the important information as I read.
I used the sm/med size which makes the hat shorter only, and not by much. I knit it for my daughter, but for myself, I would knit the large size to make it a bit taller – only 4 more rows, so not a huge difference. I may do a rolled brim next time.
It’s fun to experiment with photography and as soon as I finish weaving in the ends (and sometimes before that!) I grab the iPhone and begin to get the shots that will be added to this blog and my Ravelry project page.