Friday, March 7, 2014

Hat Knitting Steps Part 1 - Ribbing

I'm teaching a great group of Knitters how to knit their first hat at Ziraldo Alpacas.  Hats are a great beginner project; they are quick to knit and in a small project you have the chance to learn lots of new techniques. 

In this Knit'n Purl Hat we learned a new cast on, the Alternating Long Tail.  By casting on knits and purls you are setting yourself up nicely to continue with the ribbing while still keeping the stable but stretchy edge of the Long Tail cast on.

alternating long tail cast on in k2, p2

Once you have cast on and carefully checked that there are no twisted stitches you join your knitting in the round and begin your k2, p2 ribbing. This is a good ribbing pattern for new knitters to be able to see the knit and purl stitches versus k1, p1 where the purl stitches disappear behind the knits never to be seen unless you stretch your work to see them. 

an example of k1, p1 - see no purl sts (the pic is sideways for some reason, sorry)

once you stretch your work apart you can see the purl sts

Once your ribbing is the desired length one round of increases is worked to bring us up to the number of stitches we need to work the body of the hat.  We do this because the ribbing is worked on less stitches to ensure a nice snug fit but now we need those extra stitches added on the needle so our hat will be the size that we want and to have the correct number of stitches for the stitch patterns in the body of the hat.

Our original gauge swatch was knit in ribbing so this is a good time to double check your gauge.  Remember that having too many stitches per inch will make a smaller hat, having less stitches will make a bigger hat. Also, take a look at your knitting.  Do you like how it is knitting up?  Does it seem to loose or to tight? Now is the time to make adjustments to your needle size and if you have to reknit your ribbing that is fine.  A little extra practice casting on and joining your stitches is a good thing (really it is!) and you will have a finished hat that you will love wearing!

4.5 sts per inch will make a larger hat

5 sts per inch will make a smaller hat

Happy hat knitting!!

1 comment:

kathy b said...

So is it okay to knit the ribbing , then increase on the st st row and use the same needles size for the whole hat?