Tuesday, March 21, 2017

An Ombre GENEie Pussyhat

The Pussyhat Project was about the creation of pink square shaped hats (to give the appearance of cat ears when worn) for the Women's March.  Crafters were able to knit, crochet and sew hats to create thousands for the participants of the march.  This created a nationwide shortage of pink yarn, so if I wanted to create something in Pink I had to dye my own.  I am not a huge fan of the color pink, but I really wanted to create a Pussyhat that represented me.  I designed and knit the first GENEie Pussyhat, a pussyhat with a cable DNA on either side.  The first hat was knit as an adult size L for a friend who loves pink.  I wanted to create a slightly smaller hat for myself using one of my favorite dyeing techniques, breaking Wilton's violet food coloring.

When I was dyeing the ombre broken violet gradient, I knew that I wanted most of the yarn to be pink.  The original GENEie pussyhat used 67 g of yarn.  I didn't want to have only a tiny bit of pink at the top of the hat, I wanted to make sure it carried through.  

I did consider knitting an undyed hat and then dip dyeing the finished hat.  I was a little afraid that this would look too tie dye.  Plus, the undyed worsted weight yarn I like to use was on back order from KnitPicks until March 16.  I did have some worsted weight sock blanks ready to go, so I decided to dye the gradient before I started knitting.  I cast onto size 6 knitting needles and got started on my GENEie Pussyhat.  

Awe, man!  I should have weighed the cake of yarn after I finished winding the pink.  Whoops!  

The color transitions are really gradual.  As I was knitting, I didn't really notice the changing color until I was fully into the next section.  

I was knitting a smaller hat than the original GENEie Pussyhat knitting pattern.  (I have updated the pattern page with these modifications.

  • Cable Round 1: Skip all of the M1 stitches in Cable Round 1 (staying at 100 sts). 
  • All Cable Rounds will be as follows: K10, Knit 9 sts of Chart Row, K62 sts, Knit the 9 sts of Chart row, K10 (100 sts)

I knit the same hat of the height.  (Rounds 1-26 twice and then Chart Round 1 one more time.)  The great thing about the pussyhat shape is that you can knit until the hat is long enough, there are no decreases to worry about!  I like my hats to cover a lot of my head so you might want your hat shorter.  

I am not sure if I could have planned a more perfect gradient for this hat.  The major colors each take up approximately a third of the hat!  I used 61 g of yarn (134 yards) in this hat, so I have a reasonable amount of pink remaining to use in another project.

I was already in love with my GENEie cables, but I am even more in love with this design now.  I think that I want to create another broken violet gradient to make a GENEie (Cable Version) with this gradient.  However, this project will have to wait until after the March for Science.  I have some other GENEies to create!  

I have had a lot of people contact me to discuss alternate hat sizes, yarn weights, and gauges.  The GENEie Pussyhat is the easiest hat design to create in any colors because the only gauge consideration is for how many stitches you need to fit around your head.  The DNA double helix cable pattern is 9 stitches wide.  The cables are located off center on the hat.  (The placement is symmetrical so you can wear the cable on the right side or the left side of the hat.)  

If you want to use a bulkier yarn, you may want to only include one cable on your GENEie Pussyhat.  This way you don't have to worry about the spacing and decide as you are preparing to stitch (or graft) the top closed where you want your cable positioned.  

The size difference between the GENEie Pussyhat Large (pink) and M (ombre)
I have never knit a hat that represents me as much as this one. I am a woman. I am a scientist. I am a wife and mother. I am a stay-at-home-mom. I knit. I dye my own yarn. I design. I am ChemKnits. I will stand up and resist.