Friday 13 April 2018

FO Friday: #USSstrike hat

Another week, another FO! This one is a special one as it was requested by my very knitworthy brother.

In March a lot of the universities in the UK were taking strike action in an effort to safeguard their pensions. My brother works in the university sector, and wanted a special hat to show solidarity with his fellow strikers. During the strikes, a twitter account had been created for a character called the Dinosaur of Solidarity in support of the strikers, and someone had created a pattern to knit a hat featuring the Dinosaur, which my brother requested.

The hat pattern wasn't the greatest - it suggested 5 mm needles and sock weight yarn. Erm no, that's quite a mismatch! So I ordered some aran weight yarn (a much better match to the needle size) and waited for it to arrive. Of course the yarn got delayed in the post (this was always going to be one of those projects), and when it did finally arrive and I swatched with it I realised the chart was going to be way too tall to fit on the hat at aran gauge, so I had to rummage through the stash to find something else that might work. I came up with some sportweight yarn (Bergere de France Ideal, which I have worked with recently enough to know which needles and gauge would work well with the yarn), and made a few adjustments to the pattern (I cast on 126 sts and removed the serifs from the letters; I also recharted the design so that it had row and stitch numbers, both of which make a chart a lot easier to follow).

The knitting was easy enough - I used a combination of intarsia and stranded colourwork to minimise ends - but I had to do quite a lot of maths when I got to the crown as I only had a few rows to work with when I got to the end of the chart (decreasing at 14 points always seems like a lot!).

Too tall, unravelling required...

The finished hat is great (both kids wanted it - they have no idea what it's about, but loved the dinosaur!). It needed a good wash and block to even out the colourwork, but is now with my brother, who says he likes it. And I've decided that I'm going to knit him another hat with the aran weight yarn I ordered...


#USSstrike hat Ravelry project page (I've included full details about what I did, as well as a copy of my updated chart; I hope they're of use to someone)
Pattern: USS strike hat by Nicki Clarkson
Yarn: Bergere de France Ideal in Alpin (21821), Myosotis (20841) and Linaire (20933)

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