Here you go, and I’ll try to get a better photo of it in the sunlight. This is what I finished for my local House representative, a woman, in our knitters’ campaign to ask Congress to speak to and of each other with civility and a sense of decorum: for we knit softly and carry a big bag of sticks.
At the brim: a line of cables leaning to the right, a line of cables leaning to the left, a purl stitch dividing them, but when they’re relaxed, the purl disappears into the fabric and they come together in an interlacing effect as one.
I figure that’s pretty representative of what I’m trying to convey to them.
Congressperson hat pattern, version 1.
(Note: version two would be to use a heavier yarn in, say, a dark color for a male recipient and only pick up 2/3 of the stitches as noted below for a beanie effect above the brim. It would be fewer rows upwards, too, thus faster to make; I wanted this one to have extra height and width above the brim to go with that knit/purl pattern for a slouch effect, and to protect my congresswoman’s hair from being matted down by allover tightness.)
Yarn: worsted weight. I used Misti Baby Alpaca Royal (apparently now discontinued), 86 g out of two 50g skeins, a very soft, very drapey yarn, but very fine and thin to my hands for worsted weight.
No gauge swatch necessary, although a measuring tape pretty much is.
Needles: I used US size 6, 4mm.
Cast on 17 stitches. You can use a temporary cast-on, or later just pick up the stitches of the side of the strip; I found it easier to do the temporary cast on.
Row 1 and all wrong side rows: Purl 2, k2, p4, k1, p4, k2, p2.
Row 2: K2, p2, k4, p1, k4, p2, k2.
Row 4: k2, p2, slip two stitches onto a dpn and hold in back of work, k2, knit the two stitches on the dpn, p1, slip two stitches onto a dpn and hold in front of work, k2, k2 from dpn, p2, k2.
Repeat these four rows till the strip is the length you want to go around the head. Hat size chart, again, is here.Â Remember to take into account that the strip will have a bit of give to it; on the other hand, it will, if you make the hat long enough, be folded up over another layer, taking up just a little of the give. On this particular hat, the cable part can be folded up as high as a person wants to go as there is no right or wrong side above the cabled strip.
I did 25 repeats of my cable pattern to get what looked like 18.5″ sitting there but easily stretched to 21″. If it’s a little loose on the person, they can always just fold the cabled part up higher.Â End with a cabling row.
From here, I undid the temporary cast-on, putting those stitches on one needle and the live stitches at the other end of the strip on the other needle and did a three-needle bindoff to work the short edges of the strip together; then, I picked up the stitches around the top of the now-circle.
For a standard hat, you pick up 2/3 of the stitches. For this one, wanting a slouchy hat that wouldn’t compress a coiffe, and given that I had a good drapey yarn that matched that concept, I picked up all of the stitches: 100 stitches. (Remember, 25 repeats times four rows.)
I knit five rows.
Then I purled five rows.
I repeated those ten rows till I had, facing me, four sets of purl rows alternating with five sets of knit rows.
Row 1: P2, p2tog, p1, repeat across row.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: P1, p2tog, p1, repeat across row.
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: P2tog, p1, repeat across row.
Row 6: Knit.
Rows 7 and 9: K2tog across row.
Rows 8 and 10: Knit.
Row 11: P2tog.
Row 12: Purl.
Row 13: P2tog.
And then I think I did one more p2tog row–I ended up with five stitches and cast those off. I wove the end in a little and added a “Created with Pride by” and then my name on the tag on the inside of the hat and wove the strand in just a little more.
Note: When I knitted the light pink hat with the braided cable out of the King George yarn from DBNY, I picked up all the stitches as well: cables tend to shrink the size of the fabric by a third, roughly, so picking up all rather than 2/3 of the stitches worked–but the cables are slightly stretchedÂ when the hat is worn, at least in that pattern on my needles.
And when I knitted this bright pink one, the hat that started this whole thing, I picked up 2/3 of the stitches and made it shorter than the red one is because it had no extra width for a slouch effect; on the head, it simply comes out as knit/purl stripes.
The yarn was a gift from Sandi at Purlescence: awhile ago, to my great surprise, she handed me a bag of this cashmere-with-sparkles in a heavy worsted and told me that I would know the right thing to do with it.
I don’t know if any of my three Congresswomen want bright pink sparklies. What I do know, is, playing with that yarn got me familiar enough with this pattern that I could go play with it comfortably and offer up my own version in the pattern above in hopes that others run with it, or with whatever pattern they like, and help to create a little peaceableness in the halls of our Congress.
And one other thought: I want our representatives to know that people care about them personally as they go about their work serving us all.
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