Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Charlie - A Fishy Baby Hat

Martha Johnson from Fiddlestyx has some incredible baby designs.  These simple silhouettes contain embellishments that elevate these hats to an amazing level.  I knew immediately when I saw the Charlie pattern that I needed to make it for my son.  Our "nursery" theme is under the sea, so our first born absolutely needs a fishy hat!

I selected KnitPicks Comfy Worsted in Ivory (42 yards), Light Blue (29 yards) and Planetarium (33 yards) for this hat.  I wanted to start off knitting a few of the fish embellishments as recommended in the pattern so I could make sure the stripes were the correct width later on.  I knit these fishies on size 2 (2.75 mm) knitting needles.  (After spending so much time knitting fish for my tessellated fish blanket, it feels funny to be making a fish in Planetarium again!)  I used p2tog-tbl and SSK where needed to make the decreases more symmetrical on the fish.

I don't always test gauge for baby hats, but I decided to test out my gauge to see whether I wanted to use size 5 or size 6 needles for the body of the hat.  With size 6 needles, I got 11 sts/2" over stockinette, but easily stretches to the desired gauge of 5 sts/inch.  I will stick with size 6 (4.0 mm) needles.

I am knitting the 0-6 month size hat because my baby is likely going to be a big one and this way the hat will likely fit him for some portion of time!  (13" around).  Since my gauge is a little small, it should fit him as a newborn.  I will try to knit a bit loose to increase my gauge.  

Notes from Construction
  • Stripe 1 - 8 rows completed rows (inc CO) to get to 1.25"
  • Each fish is about 1" wide at the widest point, so 1.5" stripes should be sufficient.
  • Stripe 2 (dark blue) - 10 knit rounds after the purl round.  
  • Stripe 3 (light blue) - 10 knit rounds after the purl round.
  • 9 rows of cream before starting the top shaping.  The hat measures 5.5" total with brim rolled out.  
  • After the top shaping, the hat measures 7" long with the brim rolled out.  6" with the brim rolled up. and 6" wide.    

Each fish is 1.5" wide.  I think that I will want 5 fish for each row and then 2 of each color for the topper, which would be 7 of each fish.  We'll see what I think about the placement once I have them made.  

Sewing the fish to the hat was a bit laborious because I wanted to make sure to have even placement.  I found it was best to pin the fish to the stripe before starting any sewing.

The second row was much easier, since I placed them in the other direction between the fish from the first row.

For the ties at the top of the hat, I decided to make a crochet chain with double strand of the cream yarn and a size D hook.  Icords can be pretty, but I'm not sure if it would really add something to this project.  I pulled the double strand of yarn through the top of the hat, tied it and then chained 2-2.5" before sewing the fish to the chain. 

I am so happy with this finished hat, it is perfect for a coming home outfit for my little boy!