Tweedy Cabled Cap
Started: March 4, 2008
Completed: March 6, 2008
Materials: Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK
Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm. I used 5 DPNs throughout. Kept things very clear on the 4-section cap.
This pattern is an original design, with influence from Cathy Campbell's
Between-Seasons Cap (from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders). I really liked Campbell's use of left and right twists along the decrease lines, so I lifted that technique.
The pattern for my cable braid is a 15-stitch, 8-row repeat. You do off-set, continuous CF6s and CFBs at rows 3 and 7, respectively.
Day One: I cast on 16 stitches for the band, putting an extra RSpurl on every row to anchor the cap. Knit the band for 19-1/2 inches to fit my head, cast off, and sewed the band together. You can knit the band to whatever length you need to wrap your noggin.
I decided to use US 7 needles instead of the 6s specified on the wrapper, and I'm really happy with that choice. Definitely better for the cabled band, which I had started on 6s but frogged because it was too dense and hard. I stuck with the 7s on the cap portion, too, in hopes that it would move me along more quickly and prevent me from running out of yarn. This was critical because I only had the 1 skein, which I found on a discontinued table but couldn't pass up. (Discontinued colorway 424.) I really didn't want to purchase more off ebay — where shipping charges would bring the entire project back up to pre-discount prices anyway. (Who wants to have their great bargain turn into a not-so-great bargain?!)
Day Two: Picked up 100 stitches around the RSpurl edge and started the cap. You're picking up roughly 3 of every 4 purl-edge stitches. Be careful not to skip more than one stitch at a time. If you have a bigger head, you'll probably want to increase the number of stitches you pick up. It really doesn't matter how many stitches you pick up as long as it's divisible by four (that's what I did, anyways — you can make as many top sections as you want) and you plan your decrease rows accordingly to get the shape you want.
I put equal numbers of stitches on each of 4 DPNs, and I plotted the LT/RT decrease line to land in the MIDDLE of each needle. This made it so I wouldn't have a decrease/twist line running up the front-center of the cap... not a look I like. With 100 stitches picked up, on each needle you knit 9 stitches before doing the LT/RT decorative sequence, then you knit the 9 remaining stitches.
Day Three: Didn't get a chance to knit again until after dinner.
I started my decreases when the cap hit about 5.5" (k2tog/ssk on either side of the LT/RT decorative sequence), and I decreased every other row until I needed to intensify the shape of the bend.
When you get down to about 13 stitches on each needle, you'll start doing more K2/ssk decreases per row than just around the decrease line — and you eliminate the LT/RT within about two rows of this. Plot the decreases to work down all knit stitches and LT/RT stitches. When each needle has just three stitches on it (you'll have just completed a row of K2tog P1 SSK), then cut the working yarn and use a tapestry needle to draw together the remaining stitches.
Finished it before I went to bed. Didn't run out of yarn. It fits great. It looks great. I love it!
Of course, I'm not set up to photograph myself wearing it (read: I didn't feel like getting cleaned up), so I recruited a darling model.
This is what she thinks modeling is all about... I give you C's "Blue Steel":
Please forgive this proud parent for gushing, but I'm more partial to this sweetie look.