My husband and I are two of the coaches for our local university women’s soccer team. He’s the head coach and I’m the strength and conditioning coach, at least to read the formal documents. With the two other coaches we have a pretty collaborative structure that really works.

cabled knit hat improvised from the top down

The season is short and intense, trying to fit in the games before the snow is permanent. Last season we experienced some weather that had me coaching in my knee-length parka and 3 pairs of leggings. (I just don’t handle cold well at all.) This summer I decided that I would knit two hats for Rainer, one in each of the team colours: blue and gold.

I knit the blue one as a simple slouchy hat using the Scant pattern from Lee Meredith. It’s a hat I love to knit. Needing no swatch, you nevertheless can knit a hat in any yarn for any size head.  Brilliant, no? Especially for late nights when you know you just want to start something without complications. It’s done top-down so that you can measure your gauge and do the computations as you go, all clearly laid out in her pattern.

I’ve knit it a lot. And I’ve wondered what would happen if I occasionally did the increases purlwise and started to throw some ribs and cables in. This hat is the result. I really just winged it. Threw in a snake cable I’ve never done before, a neat twist on the more commonplace rope cable. Then I started adding a waffle rib. Then a pair of two fat plain ribs. At that point the hat was big enough and I went for a generous slouchy hat.

At that point I realized I was running low on yarn, and the pompom* was going to be an issue.  The hat needed a pompom because the ribs were interacting with the rate of increases in a way that was producing a gnome-ish point rather than a rounded top.  Using the other end of the yarn, I made a ball instead of the pompom.  I had knit the Jester Hat years ago and loved the little ball (stuffed with a loosely wound ball of yarn).  I adapted it to keep increasing a bit more since I was using sport rather than bulky yarn, and I’m really pleased with the result.

improvised handknit hat with cables and texture

*Pompom.  Ponpon. Pompon.  I’ve seen this a lot of ways.  Apparently its whimsy extends into spelling.

Just winging it
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