Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tom Panciarello's Troop Cap

Here's the written pattern for Tom's hats - and the video is coming.

Tom's hat pattern uses circular knitting to avoid seams.  It's generous-sized, with a hem that folds up to cover ears in lots of warm layers.

Today I was all thumbs with the video filming, and consequently, I knitted several hats as I worked out the filming issues.  I had already knitted a few...  Well, more for the soldiers!  These are a pleasure to knit, and a good project for self-striping yarns:

Here's the directions:

Materials:  4-ply worsted yarn, 2 ounces
Machine:  8 mm bulky with ribber

Set racking to H3
Set machine to plain knitting
Main bed - needles 17L to 17R
Ribber - needles 17L to 16R
With tension 0 knit zigzag row, hang comb and weights
Set machine for circular.  I used T6 on both carriages, but Tom used T8 - and our machines are very similar.  My machine will not close a hem on T8 - it jams - so I had to adjust. On T6, it closes fine.  If you run into this problem, you can keep working on your hat by hand knitting that first row after hanging the hem.
With waste yarn, knit about 20 rows (10 rounds).  Mark the first stitch on the main bed, which will help you fold the hem without twisting the knitting.
Knit 2 rows (1 round) with ravel cord.
Row counter to 000
Change to main yarn and knit 50 rows, if adding contrasting stripes.  Continue to row 88 to fold hem.  (if you can use Tom's looser tension, it will be 44 rows/76 rows). 
Remove weights and comb, and open up space between beds to furthest "click"
Bring up the waste yarn you knitted first from the bottom through the center.  Hang the stitches from the first row of the main color on the main bed, beginning at the end where you put a marker.  Hang all the main bed stitches, then all the ribber stitches - a second loop on every needle.
Hang weights, using weight hangers (Tom and I used 4 large weights!  You need lots of weight on circular knitting.)
Knit circular to row 68 (56 in the looser tension).  Lengthen or shorten here, if necessary.
Tighten carriages one whole number.
On each bed, do a full-fashioned decrease with triple transfer tool (decreasing 8 stitches per round).  I found Tom's tip helpful: do one row's decrease and put those 3 needles on each end in hold before knitting the row.  
Do the same for the next three rounds, decrease tension one full number.   After four rounds of decreasing, which is 8 rows on the row counter, you will have decreased 32 stitches, which makes a nice taper to the crown.
Knit 6 rounds (12 rows) waste yarn and release from machine.  Remove waste yarn in cuff of hat and close top by gathering up stitches.  Hide ends.

Look, no seams!  You're finished!

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