Thursday, February 12, 2009

Felted Brim Hat Construction

I spent weeks searching for the perfect felted hat pattern. I wanted a shape that was bell-like with a brim. I found this pattern: Crystal Palace Yarns Iceland + Splash Felted Cloche Hat. The shape of the hat was exactly what I had been looking for, but without the fuzzy trim.

Looking at the pattern I was a little dubious, as 80 STS felted was around the width of the felted oven mitts I've made, and would not be nearly large enough to fit on my head. Rather than change the stitches of the pattern, I decided to knit with two strands of wool of the Andes yarn without changing the needles size. In my experience, projects shrink more in the length than the width, so I made the hat very long:

The pattern is cute before it was felted, with a horizontal stripe form the garter stitch and almost vertical stripes from stockinette (This effect is still apparent after I felted the hat).

As knitted, the hat would work (pre-felting) if it were folded up with a brim. As you may notice, this hat fits pretty well before I started felting. I do my felting by hand anyway, so I kept a close eye on the progress to ensure that it would still fit my head.

Overall, I'm very happy with the results. If I were to repeat this project, I would increase the number of stitches, and star the decrease sooner. It is a little long for my head, and poofs up when the back hits my jacket. However, this hat is WARM. Additionally, since it fits snuggly, the wind does not rip it off of my head, unlike other winter brimmed hats I've owned.