April 12, 2016

New pattern: Route 99!

Have you seen that there’s a brand new online knitting magazine? It’s called Stranded, and I have a pattern in the first issue!

Route 99

This is Route 99 (ravelry link), a fingering weight, modular, slip-stitch-colorwork, vintage turban style hat.

Route 99

These beautiful photos are from Stranded (copyright Andi Satterlund), which has 6 patterns, 2 tutorials (a knitting one by me, and a non-knitting craft tutorial), an interview with Cirilia Rose, and other fun knitting-related articles and content. The whole thing is $16, and it’s only available for one year so get it while you can! It’s here on ravelry.

Route 99

My main sample is the large size, knit to accommodate the model’s fabulous hair, so it’s a bit too large on me, but you can see here how it can be worn different ways with the panel in different places around the head:

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Because of how this one is too big, I think it actually looks best on me with the panel in the back, turning it into a kind-of-bonnet style look:

Route 99

The yarn used, Spud & Chloë Fine fingering weight wool/silk blend, is a perfect fit, with the silk adding a bit of drape for the scrunched-in shaping.

Route 99

My first prototype sample can show you how the pattern looks in a more fitted size (this is size medium), in a different kind of yarn (100% wool Made in America Yarns Wayfarer), and in a different kind of colorway:

Route 99

Again, how it can be worn in different ways…

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And also how it looks with different kinds of hair! Below are from my first round of photos, back when I first made this prototype about a year ago:

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Which brings me back to the design process… The hat was inspired by looking at Art Deco designs, and combining the stitch patterning ideas with an idea for a turban-style hat, like styles that were popular in the 20’s and 30’s, and again in the 60’s and 70’s.

Route 99

The construction is using the same modular concept as my Unbroken hat design (below left), but with different shaping/ratios so that the panel really cinches in the body of the hat, making the turban shape. The modular sections are joined with short rows, increases, and decreases, so there are no picked up stitches, and no seaming.

Unbroken hat! Route 99

The stitch patterning is entirely made with slipped stitches and cables, so you’re only ever using one yarn at a time.

Route 99

There are three sizes – small, medium, large (measurements are given in the pattern) – but the circumference and the height are made independently, which means you can mix and match your circumference size with a different height size if you want to. The samples shown are large/large and medium/medium; if you have a bigger head circumference than I do but you don’t want your hat to come down quite as much as the orange one does on the model, you can make the large circumference with the medium height, for example.

Route 99

I thought this hat would be a good fit for Stranded’s warm weather issue, which has a road trip theme, because it’s not a super warm hat – it’s perfect for just covering up a bad hair day, keeping your hair in place while driving with the windows down, or throwing in your bag in case you need a little warmth after the sun sets. It’s also a great summertime knit since it’s a small project in lightweight yarn.

Route 99

I also contributed a tutorial to this first issue of Stranded, on cabling without a cable needle, which I definitely recommend using when making this hat!

A few quick technical things:

  • I strongly recommend using the crochet provisional cast-on technique shown here (click for tutorial & video).
  • It is very highly recommended that your darker color is the MC, lighter color CC.
  • The pattern only gives the gauge in the stitch pattern; so that you can estimate if your yarn/needles will be a good fit, my stockinette stitch gauge in the same yarn/needles was 27.5 sts and 34 rows per 4 inches / 10 cm.
  • Markers are used throughout the pattern to keep track of everything; sometimes they are placed and then not mentioned again – they are there to either keep track of pattern repeats/segments, or increases/decreases which always happen on the other side of the marker from the rest of the row stitches.
  • The whole pattern is written and charted; the cable crosses are all written out for using a cable needle but it will go much more quickly if you cable without one (well, it won’t go quickly no matter what, but you know, it’ll be really extra slow if you’re using a cable needle for all those little cables).

Route 99

So that’s Route 99! This pattern is really outside my usual design boxes, with its lightweight colorwork, but I am SO happy with how it turned out and I REALLY love the hat. It’s not a quick or simple knit, it takes awhile – Stranded describes it as “approachably complex” – but I think the time and effort is worth it for the finished object. I hope you do too!

Filed under: hats,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 7:30 am
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