Thursday, March 8, 2012

Peggy Hat

I actually made this hat a while ago. It must have been last October when we really started getting into hat weather up here in the Pacific Northwest. I call it the Peggy Hat because it's inspired by a dress Peggy wore on Mad Men. It's actually a confluence of influences. I watched a lot of Mad Men with my husband and knew I wanted to do something with all the inspiration. I also love the way Zooey Deschanel dresses especially when she mixes blues and reds and all of her sixties influences. Then I saw this skirt tutorial at Sew Delicious (where you can also see a screen cap of the original skirt inspiration). I'm really not much of a sewer though and I'm definitely not brave enough to make my own skirt. Then I saw this pleated knit hat at Susan B. Anderson and an idea was born. 

This is a pretty simple slouch at it's core. I don't have a real pattern, but I do have a methodology. Use your gauge and measurements and preferences to make your own version. I do this because I so seldom find patterns that work exactly the way I want them to or that work with the yarn I want to use and I feel that in many cases a method would work better for me than a rigid pattern. 

Here are my original project notes which will probably do more to confuse than clarify. You'll also get a glimpse at my somewhat muddy knitting process. Below that are some notes that may help, but will probably also be confusing. Please comment or email me with any questions or comments or anything. 

I used a provisional cast on to knit the hat from the top of the brim up circularly. Then I folded over the pleats and applied a simple 2x2 ribbing at the base.

The red is a simple rectangle of color worked using circular intarsia. I don't like the way the stitches look at the edges of the color work (they look stretched out to me, maybe I'm doing it wrong) but this is covered by the pleats. I just googled to find a circular intarsia tutorial. You could also knit this portion flat and then seam it inside one of the folds. I worked a row of purl stitches in blue at either side of the red to make sure I had nice folds around it. 

The purl line crease and circular intarsia stitch irregularities
I didn't want the rise of the hat to get much wider as it went up, so I worked decreases into the rise to account for the decrease in the amount of cloth folded over the red portion. These decreases are also folded into the pleats. For a 20" head and 2" of red: cast on 24" worth of stitches because some of the blue will be folded over: 2" worth of red and 2" worth of blue to be pleated: 1" at each side of the red. At the end of your pleated color portion, you want to have eliminated the extra inch of blue at each side. You want to work decreases evenly up the rise to get rid of the fold. I worked my decreases starting at 1" from the red on each side so that they would follow the fold of the pleat and work toward the purl crease. At the upper most decrease I worked a decrease instead of the purl crease to make it look more seamless if that portion is shown. 

Work the top as you would any other hat. 

For the ribbing: Use smaller needles to make a tighter brim. You will be knitting three layers of stitches into one at the pleats. You cannot simply pick up the provisional cast on stitches as they were cast on because you won't have any pleats. I recommend folding the hat as you want it and pinning the layers in place. Then carefully place your stitches onto new needles using a different set of needles for each of the 3 layers: one for all of the outer stitches, one for the blue that are folded under, and one for the red stitches. Knit around one layer to start the ribbing. Do not purl or else red will be visible in the ribbing. When working the pleat stitches onto the ribbing: treat it like a three needle bind of, except that you're taking stitches from 3 needles and knitting all of them together instead of the typical two. This can be rather tricky so go slowly. 

Knit ribbing until it is long enough for your liking. Bind off. Add a large button and weave in ends. You're done! 

I had a really hard time finding a button large enough and in the right color. I ended up using the button shaped lid of a container of buttons I found at Michaels in the dollar bins. 

I hope this explanation isn't excessively confusing. It's a really simple hat, but my process is muddled. Thanks for reading! Please email me or comment if you have any questions or anything!

1 comment:

  1. Wow I love it! It looks great! Thanks for linking to my skirt - all those Mad Men costumes are so inspirational, and I love Zooey's style as well!