As I was working on the second sample for Rockweed Pullover (yes, I made two of them!) I started thinking about how the lace pattern would look like on a smaller object. The thought wouldn't leave me alone so I had to grab a second pair of needles to try it out. And the result is here: Rockweed Beanie, a lace hat combining fingering-weight wool with fuzzy, lace-weight silk mohair.
Like its cardigan and pullover companions, Rockweed Beanie features an ornate stitch pattern with sharp double decreases that create undulating waves of lace. These waves are accentuated further by working a few rounds of garter stitch between each tier.
The beanie starts with a brim made in 1x1 twisted ribbing. To get a snug brim, use slightly smaller needles than for the main body worked in lace. The twisted ribbing on the brim flows seamlessly into the lace pattern, aligning centered double decreases and the center stitch of each repeat with a K1 tbl on the ribbing.
Rockweed Beanie employs the same trick for jogless lace as the pullover version of the pattern: on some lace rounds the last stitch of the round is borrowed to make the first repeat of the next round. This is sort of the same trick as shifting the motif in colorwork but applied here to lace knitting. Being able to read your knitting will help in keeping the lace pattern properly aligned.
The lace pattern is shifted by half a repeat after each lace tier. This gives the beanie some visual interest as the lace is not always stacked in the same position. Because of these two things — a lace pattern that straddles two sides of the beginning-of-round and moving the beginning-of-round itself — a locking stitch marker (or two) is more useful than a regular one.
Another trick is employed on the brief garter-stitch sections: jogless garter stitch in the round. The little step you'd usually get when switching from a knit round to a purl round or vice versa is masked by slipping a stitch with yarn in front. This mimics the look of purl bar and even I, knowing where the BOR should be, have a hard time picking it out of the line-up on the finished hat.
Crown decreases are also incorporated within the lace pattern, creating a cohesive and elegant finish to the beanie. My favorite tip for keeping your tension consistent and getting neat decreases at the top of a hat is to switch to slightly smaller needles for the last few decrease rounds. Both the lace pattern and the crown decreases come as charts and round-by-round written instructions.
Unlike Rockweed cardigan which is knit with fingering-weight yarn or Rockweed Pullover which uses lace-weight for the lace and fingering for the rest, Rockweed Beanie is worked with a smooth fingering-weight yarn (Yarn A) held together with a fluffy silk mohair (Yarn B). The double decreases can be tricky to maneuver in the best of times but even more so when working with two yarns held together. Be careful to catch both strands of yarn so that you don't accidentally end up dropping stitches!
tin can knits have a great blog post on the different effects combining mohair yarn can have on the overall look of the knitted fabric. Sometimes it's difficult to predict what the results will be but three general rules of thumb usually apply:
if the two colors are the same or similar: the overall effect is pretty much the same as if using a single yarn (except thicker and fuzzier)
if the mohair is lighter in color: a glowing, frosted, or marled effect depending on the the amount of contrast
if the mohair is darker in color: depth, richness, or saturation added to the base yarn
For my green beanie I combined leftovers from both the Rockweed cardigan and the Rockweed Pullover samples: Retrosaria Mondim (100% non-superwash wool, 385 m/100 g, 421 yd/3.53 oz) in the colorway #305 for Yarn A and Filcolana Tilia (70% mohair, 30% silk, 210 m/25 g, 230 yd/0.88 oz) in the colorway 326 Meadow for Yarn B. In this case the mohair was lighter in color, creating brighter highlights here and there on the finished hat.
And of course I couldn't just stop with one hat. For the rusty beanie I used Holst Garn Supersoft (100% wool, 287 m/50 g, 314 yd/1.76 oz) in the colorway Goldcrest (Yarn A) combined with Filcolana Tilia in the colorway 352 Red Squirrel (Yarn B). These were both leftovers from previous shawl projects: Spice Road and Taival, respectively. In this sample beanie the silk mohair was slightly darker in tone which gives a deeper, more intense color than if using the base yarn alone.
Rockweed Beanie comes in three sizes (S, M, and L) intended to fit adult heads measuring 51–53, 57–59, and 63–65 cm or 20–21, 22¼–23¼, and 24½–25½ inches in circumference with approx. 2.5–5 cm or 1–2 inches of negative ease. Hats are supposed to fit snug: around 10% of negative ease is usually a good measure to aim for. In addition to the sizes provided, you can customize the hat circumference and length within pattern. I've provided instructions on how and where to do these adjustments in the pattern.
This is a great pattern for stashbusting: the beanie takes up such small amounts of yarn that you can easily whip it out of scraps, leftovers, or partial skeins or leftovers of yarn. To knit the hat you'll need approx. 130, 150, or 170 meters or 140, 160, or 180 yards of both the fingering- and lace-weight yarns. The pattern is designed for two yarns held together throughout but you can also use just one strand of DK-weight yarn on its own.
The pattern for Rockweed Beanie is now available in my pattern shops on Payhip, LoveCrafts, and Ravelry (seizure warning). And don't forget to share your beanie with the hashtag #rockweedbeanie on Instagram!
On Payhip and Ravelry you can get the hat pattern at half price with the purchase of either Rockweed (the cardigan) or Rockweed Pullover. No coupon required — just add both patterns to your cart and check out.
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