Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Honeysuckle Hat

The summer of 2012 was the Summer of "Foyle's War" for me.  It was the series I'd play on the laptop while I knitted on my backyard patio. If you haven't seen the series and you tend to enjoy shows like Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife, I would highly recommend Foyle's War! 

The only reoccurring female character on the series is Samantha, played by an actress named Honeysuckle Weeks. I enjoyed the period costumes of the series, set in the first half of the 1940s, as England was fighting WWII.  Sam's wardrobe was always fairly simple, often wearing her military uniform which included a flat-topped brimmed hat.  It inspired me to imagine all sorts of ways I could make a knitted hat in a similar shape but incorporate something decorative and lovely on the sides of the hat.  The Honeysuckle Hat is the result of my military-hat daydreams.
This hat is written as a "one size fits most" pattern, but modifying the hat circumference is very easy and will not require you to do any math.  The cabled band would be a little deep to try to attempt this hat for a baby, but I think it would work for anyone aged 5 or older with a modified circumference.  Most teens and adults will fit comfortably in the 22.5" circumference the pattern is written for.  
This hat uses fingering-weight yarn held double for a sturdy, thick fabric.  If you strongly prefer using a single strand of yarn, you should be able to get stitch gauge using dk-weight yarn and small needles (Size 2 is recommended, but you should use whatever size gets you closest to pattern gauge.)  
The bill is reinforced with a layer of craft foam, available at any craft store and in my local Walmart's craft department.  
Instructions for the cabled band are both charted and written.  Two options are provided for seaming the band - either use a long-tail cast on and sew a seam to connect the CO and BO edges of the band into a circle, or begin with a provisional CO and use Kitchener stitch to graft the band into a circle.  The choice is up to you!  A video link is provided to demonstrate how to Kitchener cables so the seam is invisible.  
I consider this an intermediate level pattern.  Previous experience with simple cables would be helpful.  You will also need to work increases & decreases, pick up stitches, sew on the brim, and either sew a seam in the back or use Kitchener to graft the back together.  
Many, many thanks to test knitters, schmitt642, Eskimostitches, querie and mzpaul071506, for all your hard work and valuable feedback!

The Honeysuckle Hat pattern is now available on Ravelry & Etsy!

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