Before I show you Vanguard, a few things… scroll down past this text to the picture if you just want to see Vanguard :)
This post is very belated; as I’m posting about the third club pattern, the fourth hat is currently in the mystery-knit-a-long stage. Things have been hectic, but also, I feel like the blog is less important these days, to the point of maybe being so completely unimportant that it can kind of be phased out completely…? I’m not quite there yet, but we’ll see how things go. For now, I’m planning on basically just using it as a space to show some extra photos of new patterns, and to talk about design process in some cases. I’ll be trying to keep new pattern posts shorter than they’ve often been in the past.
So with that said, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be catching up on pattern posts: after Vanguard there will be Chilli, my new Skykomish cowl from Stranded, and Silencio when the mystery is revealed, and then I’ll probably do a small life-update post (if you follow me on social media, you know I’m in school now!). The best way to keep up with leethal stuff these days is your choice of twitter, instagram, or facebook (which is mostly just select reposts from instagram).
Vanguard is an any-gauge, modular, garter stitch, custom-fit hat, meant to make with some kind of basic colorwork (self-striping or variegated yarn, stripes, or color blocks).
The pattern includes details for how to work with stripes or color blocks.
The hat is custom sized based on the first section; there’s no need to make a gauge swatch before you start knitting!
The design started out based on an early failed prototype which became Barry (rav link), a few years back. That prototype was way too big, weirdly shaped, didn’t work at all, but I took some elements and wrote a new pattern that became Barry, and then I went back and took other different elements from it and rewrote it into a totally different new pattern that became Vanguard! Here are Barry and Vanguard side by side:
Both are started with a point, working sideways, increasing up and across until you get a good size for a custom fit to your head, and then they go off in different directions from there.
I ended up making two different sport weight samples in two different gauges – a standard kind of gauge on size US 4 needles (above left), and then a very loose gauge on size US 8’s (above right and below). I did the standard gauge one first, and it totally worked fine, but then I started thinking about how much I love my super loose-gauge sideways garter stitch Unbroken hat (rav link), and even though that one is worsted, the yarn has a similar tightly-twisted feel to it as that variegated sport weight yarn… so I thought a loose-gauge version would have a similar feel to it, super stretchy and comfy. So I made another one, and I was right, I love it! It provides just a wee bit of warmth, perfect for a bad hair day kind of hat, when I don’t really need the warmth.
Those two samples are in Socks that Rock Mediumweight by Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which has tons of variegated colorways that would work great!
That striped sample is in two aran weight wooly yarns I bought in Scotland: Aran 100% Wool by New Lanark Wool & Textiles and Scappa Aran by K1 Yarns.
The self-striping sample is Liberty Wool by Classic Elite (worsted weight).
And the color blocked sample is in two bulky weight yarns: two colors of Groovy by Dream in Color, and one color of Chunky by Malabrigo.
You can see lots of different looking Vanguards on ravelry, knit by VIP club members. This is a really fun hat to knit, all garter stitch, lots of short rows, each section is smaller than the previous section so it goes by faster and faster as you knit it!