Sloper: Basic pattern (and knitalong!) for a sleeveless sweater

Sloper: Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater - free pattern

The pattern: Sloper by Karen Templer (free pattern)
The knitalong schedule: Start now or whenever. Knit at your own pace!
The hashtag: #sloperKAL

Ok, today’s the day a bunch of you have been waiting for — the day I tell you how to knit my little sleeveless turtleneck sweater — but this is unlike the patterns you’re accustomed to. More like a Japanese knitting pattern, what I’m giving you (this is a free pattern, friends, ungraded) is a stitches-by-rows chart of the garment, which you can use to either knit the exact same sweater or resize/modify it into whatever sort of sleeveless sweater you might like. I’m calling it Sloper, which is a term from the sewing world for a set of raw, bare-bones pattern pieces that might be sized to fit a particular person precisely but that can be used as the building blocks or jumping-off point for any number of variations and adaptations. (Click to download.)

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RELATED LINKS:
How to work a slipped-stitch selvage
How to work the sloped bind-off
Sloper pattern at Ravelry
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I’m presenting it to you literally as a scan of pencil marks on knitters graph paper, because I want you to understand that’s how simple this is. And I hope what you’ll take away from it, the ensuing posts and knitalong is the underlying process for modifying just about anything. The garment is two pieces of fabric — a front a back — each 42 stitches by about 74 rows, and in chart form you can see what happens to each and every stitch as you knit your way up through the rectangle of the body into the shaping for the arm and neck holes. So you can knit it exactly as charted (working RS rows from right to left; WS rows from left to right, as with any flat chart), or you can literally print it out, grab a pencil and some whiteout (or your own Knitters Graph Paper Journal), and move those stitches around in the grid however you like.

This will make a lot more sense to you if you’ve knitted a (flat/seamed) sweater before and have a basic grasp on how shaping happens. If you have not knitted a garment before and you want to give this a go as written, I think it’s quite doable. (I wouldn’t advise trying to modify it in any way if you’ve never knitted a sweater before — knit it once as is, then attempt changes after seeing how it works.)

EASY VARIABLES

Over the next couple of days, we’ll talk about doing just that — how to change the sizing (through gauge, or by adding/subtracting stitches and/or rows), and ideas for tweaking the armhole and neck shaping and neck treatment to achieve different results. But even simply working from the pattern exactly as it is, you can still change it up in any number of ways through your choices with regard to these details:

Fabric: The versions pictured are solid colored. You could add stripes, colorblocking, stranded colorwork or intarsia, or even a stitch pattern so long as it’s in keeping with the pattern gauge. (We’ll talk about playing around with the gauge later.) Also, these samples are knitted with worsted-weight yarn held triple for a very dense fabric; you might opt to knit lighter yarn at the same gauge, for a looser, drapier fabric.

Seams: Just by playing around with the seams, you can have an impact on the look of the garment. The black version has a 3″ split hem and traditional seams, meaning the seam allowance is on the inside of the garment. The camel version has fully seamed sides (no split hem) and exposed seams at the shoulders. You could easily also make your back piece a few inches longer from cast-on to underarm for a high-low effect, paired with a split hem.

Neck: The pattern includes instructions for either a crewneck or a turtleneck, so those are two different looks right there. We’ll talk about more drastic changes to the neckline in an upcoming post.

YARN AND GAUGE

So step one is to knit and block a swatch and find a fabric you like that matches the pattern gauge. You could try a superbulky yarn; a strand of bulky with a strand of DK or worsted; or three strands of DK or worsted held together. (This could be a good stash-buster!) Suggested needle size is US15/10mm, but as with any knitting project, you’ll need to swatch to find the right needle size for you to match gauge. Always measure your gauge over at least 4 inches on a blocked swatch.

In reality, your gauge might not be an exact match for mine, and that might be ok. For one thing, I’ve rounded to the nearest quarter inch and the stitch gauge is technically more like 2.3333. At this scale, rounding to 2.25 versus 2.5 has a big impact on the resulting size info. As does blocking the finished garment, where manipulation is possible. (There is always that wiggle room.) So the measurements in the pattern are all given as approximations. Whatever your gauge is, multiply it by 42 stitches (the width of the front piece), double that for total circumference, and subtract for seam allowance*, and that’s how big around your sweater will be at your gauge. If that’s not a measurement that will work for you, we’ll talk tomorrow about how to manipulate it.

The same goes for row gauge. If your row gauge is bigger than mine (fewer rows per inch), your armhole depth will be longer. Divide the number of rows (31) from armhole to bind-off by your row gauge to see what your depth will be, and adjust as needed. For example, if your gauge is 3.5 rows per inch: 31 ÷ 3.5 = 8.9″. Subtract a row or two (between the armhole and neck shaping) if that’s too long for you. Same with the neck depth.

YARDAGE

How much yarn? That’s harder to say, as it depends on what you’re using and what kind of changes you might make. The black Lark sample used 9 (50g/134-yard) skeins (technically 411g, not the full 450). Since it was held triple, you could think of it as three 400-yard strands of worsted, so if you were just using one strand of superbulky, it would be more like just 400 yards. For the pattern size. If you make it 10% or 30% or 50% bigger, you’ll need that much more yarn. My advice is always, always to buy more yarn than you think you might need. As long as it hasn’t been opened and wound, you can almost always return any unused skeins (but inquire wherever you’re purchasing.)

THE KNITALONG

This is a super casual knitalong — no prizes or deadlines or anything. Just knit! Ask questions here and I (or anyone else) will answer as best I can. And share your progress on Instagram using hashtag #sloperKAL and on Ravelry by linking your project page to the Sloper pattern listing. I’ll be monitoring that tag fairly religiously for the next couple of weeks (more loosely after that) and can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

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So tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll talk about resizing and modifying. If the existing pattern size (37-38″) works for you (or you don’t need no steenking advice to alter it!), feel free to dive right in! Please also favorite or queue the Sloper pattern on Ravelry.

For a glimpse at what I’m planning for my knitalong sweater, see my last Queue Check. I’ll talk more about how I’m accomplishing those changes in the next couple of days.

OK, let’s do this—

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*Traditionally, mattress stitch is worked such that you lose one stitch at each edge (two stitches per seam) into the seam allowance. At this gauge, some people will work into the center of each edge stitch instead, so you only lose half a stitch per edge (a total of one stitch per seam). You can do whatever you like, but I do it the traditional way, regardless of gauge, which means 4 body stitches total disappear into the seams. But really, what you lose in seaming can also be made up for in blocking. Numbers are squishy!

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Photos by Kathy Cadigan

How about a mini sleeveless turtleneck knitalong?

How about a mini sleeveless turtleneck knitalong?

Dear friends, I know you feel I’ve teased you with promises to publish the pattern for this sweater (see v1 and v2) over the last couple of years, and it was never my intention to withhold it from you. Look, Kathy even shot these photos for me a year and a half ago! When I was knitting the two of them, I kept what I believed to be very detailed notes and diagrams for this very basic pattern. But when I finally got time to pull out those notes with the intention of writing it up, ages later, it turned out to be, mmm, lacking. I have my work cut out for me getting it deciphered and written, and then there’s tech editing and laying out the pattern and all the other stuff that comes with … and I just don’t have the bandwidth!

But in the meantime, I had a thought. I know a lot of you really want to have a better understanding of how to manipulate patterns — and I want you to have that, too! — and this one, being so broad strokes and bare bones and sleeveless, is a great opportunity to experiment with it. So here’s what I’m proposing. On Monday May 1st, I will publish this in the simplest possible form: a chart and some footnotes. Kinda like a Japanese pattern only minus the inscrutable annotations. I’m calling it Sloper — the name sewers use for a basic pattern/template with no seam allowances that you can manipulate as you wish. I’ll spend a few blog days, I imagine, walking you through how simple it is to make key changes — to widen it, lengthen it, add waist shaping, tinker with the armholes and neckhole and the finishing details, make it a crewneck instead of a turtle. And then we’ll do it as a mini-knitalong! (Hashtag #sloperKAL) That way everyone can see what changes everyone else is making to suit their size and shape, and we can all learn from each other.

This is a fun one to play with, especially since it’s multiple strands held together, and a total blank canvas begging to be messed with. You can play around with marls, colorwork, stripes, whatever comes to mind, if you want. And this is such a quick and simple knit, it’s great for a spring quickie — and your finished garment will prove useful in the transitional weather and air-conditioned offices, etc. I’m willing to bet you’ll make more than one!

What do you think — are you in?

To get the wheels turning in your mind, and so you can do some advance planning: The [CORRECTED] gauge for the pattern is 2.25 sts and 3.75 rows per inch (aka 9 sts and 15 rows over 4″). You can use any yarn and needle combo that will give you that gauge, measured after blocking. The black sample is knitted in Quince and Co Lark (in Sabine) held triple on US15 / 10mm needles, and weighs 411g, so just over 8 skeins. (The flax one is discontinued yarn, also worsted held triple.) The sample size is 38″, but again, the point will be to show you how to adapt that to whatever size you want!

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PREVIOUSLY in Knitalongs: Top-Down Knitalong

Hats for skill-building and gift-giving

Free hat patterns for skill-building and gift-giving

It’s that time of year when two things are happening: new and beginning knitters are looking for ways to learn, and knitters of all skill levels are looking for great hat patterns for gift and charity knitting. (Not to mention those of us who are just always on the lookout for a great hat!) As it happens, there’s a whole series of free patterns right here on Fringe Association that can satisfy all of the above! Last year, I had the idea to do a hat knitalong every other month, mostly to force myself to knit something other than sweaters — and have your company doing it — but the collection evolved into a pretty amazing little master class, as these hats escort you from the most basic knits and purls up through lace, colorwork and cables, with lessons in swatching, chart-reading and stranding along the way! So whether you’re looking to fill out your skill set or your gift pile, we’ve got you covered—

1. KNITS + PURLS: Audrey by Jessie Roselyn

2. KNIT-PURL TRICKERY: L’Arbre by Cirilia Rose

3. LACE: Hermaness Worsted by Gudrun Johnston

4. STRANDED KNITTING: Laurus by Dianna Walla

5. CABLES: Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn

6. CLEVER CONSTRUCTION: 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes

Or scroll through the entire Fringe Hatalong Series. Depending on yarn choice, nearly all of them are unisex, and I can personally account for their popularity: My Audrey is one of most repinned posts in the history of the blog; my niece kept my L’Arbre; and my husband laid claim to my Laurus.

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PREVIOUSLY in Holiday Knitting Cheat Sheets: A hat for every head / Cowls all around / Warm hands, warm hearts

Improv: Basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

Improv: Basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

When I first published my top-down tutorial in early 2013, I’d only been knitting for about 17 months, hadn’t yet struck on my basted knitting theory, and didn’t take much care with the tutorial photos. In the interim, I’ve published many related posts about various details of the process. And I also never imagined how popular the tutorial would be or how many countless sweaters would be knitted from it! So in 2016, I felt like I owed it an update — factoring in some deeper thinking and linking — which is now in place. (And which also feeds into the Top-Down Knitalong!)

I also realized what was missing was a short and sweet outline/pattern for how to knit a seamless top-down sweater — without all the explanation and elaboration — which would be sufficient for sweater knitters who’d simply not done it from scratch before, while also serving as a gateway to the full tutorial for those who need it. So that’s what follows. And both the short-form version below and the full tutorial now contain specifics on how to incorporate basting stitches and/or flat knitting for those (like me) who choose to add seams to their seamless knitting, to get the benefits of both!

I can’t wait to see what you make with this pattern and tutorial! Please link your Ravelry projects to the new Improv pattern page. And if you’re participating in the knitalong, please use #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 wherever you share. Enjoy!

Improv: Basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

Improv: A basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

Knitting a basic sweater from the neck down is one of the easiest ways to gain an understanding of how sweater shaping works, which builds your confidence as a knitter and enables you to begin modifying published patterns to your liking or to knit without a pattern. And it’s so simple that, as I said in the original tutorial intro, if you can knit a fingerless mitt, you can knit a top-down sweater.

For this pattern, you may use any yarn and needles you like; you may choose between a pullover and cardigan, as well as the specific details thereof; and you’ll establish your own stitch and row gauge.

First: With the exact yarn and needles you intend to use, knit a large swatch (swatch “in the round” if you’re knitting your sweater in the round), measure your stitch and row gauge once, then block the swatch and measure it again. The blocked dimensions are what you’ll base your sweater on, but if your counts changed with blocking, bear that in mind when trying on your sweater as you go. (And if so, you might find it worthwhile to steam your sweater whenever you’re trying it on.)

Read through the entire pattern below before starting. Reference the “Target Stitch Counts” section below that for calculating the numbers used throughout the pattern, see the notes below that for including optional basting stitches, and click through the linked pattern subheads as needed for the corresponding tutorial for that step.

Materials:

  • A sweater’s worth of your choice of yarn (see yardage requirements for comparable sweaters or consult a source like Stashbot)
  • Needle Size A: in size needed to achieve your main fabric gauge, one 24″ circular needle for neck/shaping and start of yoke; one circ slightly shorter than your intended body circumference for yoke and body; DPNs or preferred method for small-circumference knitting in the round for sleeves
  • Needle Size B: in size needed to achieve your edging fabric (ribbing, or as desired), one 16″-24″ circular for neckband; longer circ for hem edging; DPNs or preferred method for cuffs in the round
  • Optional Try-On needles: Second long circular needle gauge or smaller than Needle A for trying on sweater in progress (See: Save time at try-on)
  • stitch markers
  • waste yarn
  • tapestry needle

Note: If you are knitting a cardigan and are a Magic Loop knitter, you can knit the entire sweater with one long circ

Gauge:

  • Taken from blocked swatch, see headnote above

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DIRECTIONS

1. CAST ON AND MARK RAGLAN POSITIONS
CO [A] sts for neck edge, placing markers for raglan positions (and any “seam” stitches if desired) on this or the next row. (See Basting Stitch section below if using)

2. WORK NECK SHAPING ROWS
Improv: Basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

Work back and forth in rows, increasing on both sides of each raglan on every right side row (or as desired) and at front neck as needed for your intended neck shaping (every other row for crewneck or shallow V; every fourth row for deeper V; or as desired).
(8 sts inc at raglans, 2 at front neck, per inc row)

For crewneck pullover: Continue neck shaping until you’ve worked to your desired neck depth [B] and have completed a RS (inc) row. Count back neck sts and front neck sts (combining the two fronts), and subtract to get the difference — this is your additional CO count. Placing a marker (BOR) in the center of them, CO the number of sts needed to make front and back equal, then join in the round.

For V-neck pullover: Continue until your front sts combined equal the number of back sts. At end of the inc rnd that brings them equal, place a marker (center front neck, BOR) and join in the round.

For cardigan: Work neck shaping as above but do not join in the round; continue working back and forth in rows.

3. COMPLETE YOKEImprov: Basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

Continue working in the round (for pullover) or back and forth in rows (for cardigan), increasing at raglans as needed until desired st counts are met for front and back [C minus F] and sleeves [D minus F], then work even until desired yoke depth [E] is met.*

4. SEPARATE BODY AND SLEEVESImprov: Basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

Dropping raglan markers as you come to them, and dividing any sts within the raglan seam between body and sleeves as desired, work to first raglan marker; transfer left sleeve sts to waste yarn; CO underarm sts [F], placing a marker at the center of the underarm; work across back sts to next raglan marker; transfer right sleeve sts to waste yarn; CO underarm sts [F], placing a marker at the center of the underarm; work to BOR marker (for pullover) or end of row (for cardigan).

5. COMPLETE BODY AND SLEEVESImprov: Basic pattern for a top-down seamless sweater

Body: Continue knitting the body with shaping as desired until intended length before hem treatment. Work hem treatment and BO.

Sleeves: Return sts to needle, making sure you’ve got the correct number. Pick up and knit one st in each underarm-cast-on st, placing a marker at the center of the underarm, and join in the round.** Continue knitting the sleeve with shaping as desired until intended length before cuff treatment. Work cuff treatment and BO. Repeat for second sleeve.
(To minimize holes at the corners of the underarms, pick up and knit one extra st in the gap between the cast-on and held sts, then decrease it out on the next round.)

6. FINISH AS NEEDED
Block your completed sweater and finish as needed for your specific sweater:

Neck: Pick up sts and work as desired for your preferred neckband/buttonband treatment. BO.
(This can be done at any point after the neckline is complete — for a pullover, I prefer to do it shortly after the neck is joined.)

Weave in ends; close up any gaps at corners of underarms with a tail of yarn; seam anywhere you included a basting stitch or knitted a sleeve flat. Wear with pride!

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TARGET STITCH COUNTS AND DIMENSIONS

A / CAST-ON COUNT
[back neck width x sts per inch] + [~30% of that number for sleeve top x 2] + [1 front neck st x 2] = CO
(See how to subdivide with markers for raglans in the tutorial.)

B / NECK DEPTH
desired drop from back to front neck edge x rows per inch = neck depth
e.g. For 3” neck depth at 5 rows per inch, you’d work 15 rows

C / FRONT AND BACK ST COUNT (at underarm/chest)
1/2 chest circumference x sts per inch = front or back st count***
e.g. A 44”-circumference sweater is 22 inches across; at 4.5 sts per inch that would be 99 sts for the front and 99 for the back
NOTE: subtract F from this number to get the number you are increasing to during the raglan shaping. E.g. if you’ll be casting on 16 underarm sts, you’ll work raglan increases in the front/back until you have 83 sts, then 16 will be cast on at the underarm, giving you 99.

D / SLEEVE ST COUNT (at underarm/upper sleeve)
desired sleeve circumference x sts per inch = sleeve st count***
NOTE: subtract F from this number to get the number you are increasing to during the raglan shaping; see above.

E / YOKE DEPTH
desired distance from shoulder to underarm x rows/rounds per inch = yoke depth****

F / UNDERARM CO COUNT
desired underarm width (rule of thumb is ~8% of body circumference) x sts per inch = underarm CO count

For how to calculate sleeve shaping and body shaping, see the sweater shaping math section of the top-down tutorial.

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FOR BASTING STITCHES (optional)
Yoke: Add one stitch in center of each raglan (do not include in any target stitch counts), work in reverse stockinette for duration of yoke
Sleeves: Give the extra yoke stitches (above) to the sleeves on the separation round; use them as the two extra selvage sts needed for flat sleeves, or decrease them out right away for circular sleeves
Sides: Work one stitch at each side seam marker in reverse stockinette
– Mattress stitch after blocking finished garment. For the basted seams, work mattress stitch back and forth under the bar on either side of the basting stitch for the length of the “seam”
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ABBREVIATIONS
BO = bind off
BOR = beginning of round
CO = cast on
circ = circular needle
inc = increase
rnd(s) = round(s)
RS = right side
st(s) = stitch(es)
WS = wrong side

*You may reach your desired counts in the sleeves before the front/back, or vice versa. As desired counts are met, simply work even in that portion of the sweater.

**Or for seamed sleeves, knit flat as described here.

***You may need to round up or down on either your target count or your cast-on count, so that both are either even or odd numbers. Every increase is an even pair (2 sts) and you can’t increase evenly from an odd number to an even number, or vice versa. Use whichever your stitch pattern requires, if applicable.

****Make sure you have enough rows to work the number of increases it will take to get from your cast-on counts to your target-minus-underarm counts.

Plait Hat

Plait Hat by Karen Templer (free knitting pattern)

I thought it might be nice to kick off the new year with a little free pattern — the one I’ve promised you for this easy peasy hat!

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Plait Hat pattern

BY KAREN TEMPLER

For this super simple, super warm hat, you need approximately 190-200 total yards of worsted-weight yarn held triple. By knitting with three strands, rather than a single strand of superbulky, you get to create the sweet little braided loop detail up top. You can either wind off three balls of 65 to 70 yards each (i.e., one half skein of Lark per ball), and knit with them held triple. Or, for the safer and easier approach, wind your yarn as usual and use the Navajo Ply method to create the tripled strand as you go. If you Navajo Ply, when you get near the end of the crown decrease section, pull out a crazy-long loop — like 6 feet — to be 100% sure you can finish the knitting and break the long tails for the braid without encountering the bend in your loop. I’d also recommend splicing on the second skein when you come to it.

Materials:

  • 2 skeins Quince and Co. Lark (134 yards / 123 meters per 50g skein, pictured in Sabine) or approximately 195-200 yards worsted-weight yarn, held triple throughout (see note above)
  • 16″ circular needle and set of DPNs in size needed to match gauge (suggested size US13/9mm)
  • 16″ circular needle two sizes smaller for ribbing (suggested size US11/8mm)
  • 3 stitch markers and 1 contrasting Beginning of Round marker
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Measurements:

  • Gauge: 10 sts and 18 rounds = 4″ in stockinette stitch
  • Size: 18″ circumference at brim (unstretched); 8″ tall

DIRECTIONS

Using smaller needle and the long-tail method, and holding three strands of yarn together throughout the pattern, cast on 44 sts; place BOR marker and join for working in the round.

Work k2/p2 ribbing until piece measures 2.5″ from cast-on edge.

Switch to larger needle and stockinette stitch: knit all stitches, all rounds, until piece measures 5″ from cast-on edge. (For a slouchier hat, knit more rounds before beginning crown shaping.)

Shape crown
Setup round: *k2tog, k7, SSK, place marker; repeat from * to end of round. (8 sts decreased; 36 remain)

Round 1: Knit
Round 2: *k2tog, knit to 2 sts before marker, SSK, slip marker; repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat last two rounds (switch to DPNs when needed) until 3 sts remain between the markers.

Next round: *k2tog, k1, slip marker; repeat from * to end. (8 sts remain)

Next round: *k2tog, drop marker; repeat from * to end. (4 sts remain)

Next round: k2tog, break yarns leaving an 8-10″ tail of each strand; thread all three strands onto tapestry needle, thread them through the remaining three sts and pull to cinch hat closed.

Create braid
Remove the strands from the tapestry needle and braid them loosely for about 2″. Holding the braid securely, form a loop with the three strands (right at the end of the braid), pass the tails through and pull tight to secure braid in the knot. Now thread the tails back onto the tapestry needle and pass them down through the center top of the hat — it will stop at the knot, leaving you with a braided loop atop the hat and the tails inside. Now weave in your ends, block as desired, and wear it in good health!

<< Fave/queue the Plait Hat at Ravelry >>

Fringe Hatalong No. 6: 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes

Fringe Hatalong No. 6: 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes (free pattern)

Have you ever heard of Christmas at Sea? When DG and I were manning our Fringe Supply Co. booth at Stitches South last spring — back when the Fringe Hatalong Series was brand new — I kept seeing him chatting up these two really cool women who had a nearby booth. Their sign said “Seamen’s Church Institute” and I couldn’t figure out what that could mean, much less what it had to do with knitting. Well, it turned out to be a really interesting story! The Seamen’s Church Institute is a centuries-old advocacy organization for mariners — all those men (mostly) who work on the countless cargo ships that make our way of life possible. It’s a life of dangers and difficulties most of us have never thought about, and SCI provides job training and free legal aid and interfaith chaplains and … Christmas gifts! Every year every mariner who enters a US port gets a present, many of which contain hand-knitted hats and socks made by who-knows-how-many charitable knitters. To that end, SCI has developed knitting and crochet patterns that they know to be what the mariners need and want — free of worksite hazards like pompoms! — including this really cool earflap hat called the 1898 Hat (the year Christmas at Sea began), which was the result of a design contest a couple of years ago sparked by the men’s repeated request for ear flaps.

I loved the story almost as much as I love the hat! And since I had planned to feature a hat charity with each installment of the Hatalong, I was extra thrilled that this one was built in. Thankfully Paige, who runs the Christmas at Sea program, was on board (no pun intended) with the idea of featuring it as a Hatalong pattern.

You can download the free 1898 Hat pattern here.

Backstory aside, there’s a lot to love about this hat – and it’s a great gift hat, whether you give yours to a mariner or a loved one: it’s perfectly unisex, despite its origins; incredibly warm with its double-thick brim and flaps; and is constructed in an intriguing way that will make it fun to knit! You might be thinking it’s all short rows and I-cord, but nope — none of that! It starts with the garter-stitch headband part, which is knitted sideways. The earflaps are shaped with simple increases instead of short rows, and a slipped-stitch ridge along the center of the piece becomes that beautiful thick lower edge once the band is folded in half. It’s brilliant! So that gets folded together, you pick up stitches all the way around, and from that point upwards it’s a basic stockinette cap.

If you do want to donate yours (or one of yours) (I’m guessing there will be lots of multiples with this one) make sure you read through the Christmas at Sea guidelines with regard to yarn and color choice, and where to send it. And if you don’t donate your hat, I hope you’ll consider making a small donation of some kind — from money to toiletries — as a thank-you to SCI for the great free pattern.

Remember to share your progress with hashtag #fringehatalong wherever you post. Also be sure to fave/queue the pattern at Ravelry. I’ll be on the lookout for photos, and will be answering questions posted in the comments below. (There’s no way to guarantee I’ll see it if you post it elsewhere.)

I can’t wait to see your hats!

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PREVIOUSLY in Fringe Hatalong Series: No. 5 Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn

Fringe Hatalong No. 5: Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn

Fringe Hatalong No. 5: Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn (free pattern)

I knew from the outset that I wanted the October hat for the Fringe Hatalong Series to be a cable hat, and one of my favorites is by my friend Kate Gagnon Osborn (of Kelbourne Woolens, distributors of The Fibre Co. yarns). When I asked her if there was any chance of using it, she suggested designing a whole new pattern for us, and the result is Seathwaite, modeled here by Kate herself. Seathwaite is a gorgeous beanie with a toasty double-thick brim and allover cable patterning that looks jaw-dropping but is doable even if you’re new to cables. There are only three different cable crosses involved, with cabling on every other round, so it will be easy if you’re an old hand, and a good challenge and lots of great practice if it’s your first time. As noted in the preview, the pattern is written for The Fibre Co’s new Cumbria yarn, which is a fantastic blend of Merino, Masham and Mohair, and I’m super excited to knit with it. Thank you so much for creating this hat for us, Kate!

See the preview post for additional yarn guidance and download the free pattern to get started. And be sure to share your progress everywhere with hashtag #fringehatalong.

HOW TO SWATCH FOR SEATHWAITE

Gauge for this pattern is given as 20 sts (one chart width) = 2.75″, so what you can do is simply knit one repeat of the chart and 4″ of row height and measure that. To keep the edge stitches from being wonky and throwing off your measurement, cast on a couple of extra stitches at each end and work those in garter stitch. Then just measure the 20 pattern sts in the center to get your width. You’ll also need to swatch “in the round.” (See Ysolda’s tutorial if that’s new to you.)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Charts: Everything I said about lace charts holds true here — working from the bottom right corner, how to make it less intimidating, etc. So review that if needed. (See also the chart-reading tutorials on the Kelbourne Woolens blog.)

Provisional cast-on: Kate has posted a tutorial on the Kelbourne blog for their preferred method, which is the crochet method. You may use any provisional cast-on you like for this hat.

Knitting cables: See my intro to cables, for beginners, and Kate’s how to cable without a cable needle if you want to advance your skills

Fixing cables: If you cross a cable the wrong direction and don’t notice it right away, never fear — it can be repaired! The Yarn Harlot’s tutorial taught me this incredibly empowering technique and changed my knitting life in the process. Mistakes are awesome growth opportunities!

FEATURED CHARITY

For those inclined to donate their hats, this month I want to highlight another group providing warmth and aid to Syrian refugees, organized by knitting designer Laura Nelkin and functioning as Knitting for Munich. You can see all the details at that link, but their next shipment will be going out in mid-November so the timing is good for helping with this effort! If you’re planning to donate, email knittingformunich@nelkindesigns.com for where to send your hat.

DOWNLOAD THE SEATHWAITE HAT PATTERN and remember to share your progress with hashtag #fringehatalong wherever you post. Also be sure to fave/queue the pattern at Ravelry. I’ll be on the lookout for photos everywhere, and will be answering questions posted in the comments below. (Sorry, I’m not able to reliably answer questions across multiple platforms!)

Happy cabling!

Fringe Hatalong No. 5: Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn (free pattern)

Photos by Anna Dianich