Monday, February 19, 2007

I wrote a pattern!

My cousin, Wendy, was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before Christmas. She recently had a mastectomy with reconstructive surgery and will be undergoing chemotherapy soon. She has had a wonderful attitude throughout the entire ordeal and I am in awe of her for it. Her family and friends have been incredibly supportive and I want to do my part, too.

I knit hats only occaisionally. The last one I knit was for Peanut, a cute little pink number. I decided that, since Wendy will be losing her hair, I would knit her a couple of awesome hats. They will be lovely and feminine because I think that losing one's hair must not detrimental to one's femininity. The only problem I forsaw was that I wanted to use very high-quality yarn that is, of course, expensive. So I asked my mom and my sister to donate the money, I asked Auntie, Wendy's mom, for color recommendations, and I'm the one making the hats.

I found two wonderful yarns: Louisa Herding Grace, a lovely silk-woll blend in cream, and a grey baby cashmerino by Debbie Bliss, which is a blend of merino wool, cashmere, and microfibre. The silky stuff is luxurious and decadent and I wanted a hat that wasn't too simple, but wasn't too complicated either. And I wanted to knit in these pretty goldish beads I got at Joann Fabric and Crafts. I couldn't find a pattern that I was happy with, so I wrote my own. It has cables, which is something I had never done before but turned out to be frighteningly easy. The hat is gorgeous and here's the pattern for it:

Wendy Hat with Cables and Beads, copyright 2007 by Courtney U

Gauge: 23” head circ. @ 6 sts/in = 138 sts
Pattern: four stitch cable
Place bead: bring yarn and bead to front, sl 1 purlwise, bring yarn to back, leaving bead at front
pm: place marker
C4F: sl 2 onto cable needle and hold at front, k2, then k2 from cable needle

Thread beads onto yarn before casting on
CO 130, pm every 10
1: *k2, p2, k4, p2* repeat around to 1st marker
2: *k2, p2, k4, p2* repeat around to 1st marker
3: cable: *k2, p2, C4F, p2* repeat around until 1st marker
4: *k2, p2, k4, p2* repeat around to 1st marker, placing bead after every marker
Repeat rows 1-4 four times or until the desired number of twists are achieved.
For all rows after cables are done: *k2, p2, k4, p2* repeat until hat measure 5.5 in. from bottom. Remove all markers except first.

1: *k2, p2tog, k4, p2tog* repeat to first marker
2: *k2, p1, k2tog, k2, p1* repeat to first marker
3: *k1, k2tog, k2, k2tog* repeat to first marker. All sts after this row will be knit
4: *k11, k2tog, pm* repeat to first marker
Knit every stitch, knitting 2 together before every marker until 7 or so stitches are left on needles. Thread yarn through remaining stitches and tie off. Weave in ends and the hat is done!

I'm very proud of this pattern. It's not perfect and it probably has a few kinks that need to be worked out, but it's mine and I'm happy with it. Next up: the grey cashmerino hat. I'm going to knit a simple rolled-bottom hat and make some knitted flowers to attatch to it. This the the hat that matches Wendy's business suits, so it will be professional with a touch of girly embellishment.


angie said...

thanks for sharing the pattern! i do hope you post a picture of the hat since i have seen it and it's GORGEOUS! love ya.

Shanghi said...

I think what your doing for your cousin is wonderful. Haven't knitted anything since I was 14, but I crochet a lot. Never tried to make hats, but my daughter does. I showed her how to crochet a baby afgan when she was pregnant with her first and she took off from there, She does booties, hats, mittins, as well as afgans. And she catchs on to new patterens frightenly easy.I just know a couple and thats it.
Would love to see a pic of the hats, they sound lovely. :)

Emily said...

Just stopping by to say Happy Birthday, Courtney.

Sarah said...

Sweety dont forget to say how many beads to put on the yarn for the hat :D

Courtney said...

I was going to mention that for beads, but because the cables can be done for however many repeats the knitter wants, I didn't want to nail down a specific number. I'm hoping that people can just figure the right number out on their own. :)

Lisa said...

The hat is beautiful! I hope you consider it an honor and compliment when I some day use your pattern to make a hat too.