Thursday, 24 March 2011

Garter Stitch hat

I have to admit here and now that I don't have a load of experience of babies, but I do have this idea for a simple garter stitch hat.  This doll's head is 14 and a half inches (37cm) round just above the ears.  According to various size charts I have seen this equates to about 6 months (or quite a sizable baby doll). 

Garter stitch is very stretchy and when I place a ruler across the front of the hat as it lies on the desk it measures only about 15 cm wide (about 30cm unworn, unstretched circumference).

If you are are a beginner and thinking of having a go, read this post right through and then you'll understand what you are aiming for.

Cast on  35 stitches in DK on  3.75mm  needles
Knit 4 rows
Change to a different colour and 4mm needles.  This means that the first few rows are slightly tighter and hold the hat in place. 

Knit garter stitch straight until the whole thing measures 11cm.  This is the front.

Change to a lighter colour yarn as the back of the hat is a different colour and knit down the back.
As it gets longer try folding it widthways at the point of the colour change so you can see how far to go before you reach the colour change at the bottom of the front. 
When you get to the colour change you need to change back to 3.75 needles and knit 4 rows so that when it is folded in half widthways back and front are the same length.

Cast off, fold it in half widthways (at the colour change) and sew it up the sides.
Wrap some spare yarn very tightly round the corners to make 'ears'.

Really important thing to remember is that if you decide to decorate the hat, make sure that everything is sewn on really firmly so baby can't pull it off and swallow it and make sure the yarn is really soft and not at all scratchy.

This idea could be adapted to any size doll by reducing the number of stitches cast on and the length.  In another post I'll have a go at adjusting the size for a different doll and let you know how I did it.

Remembering that garter stitch is very stretchy and that babies move about a lot I shall experiment casting on with 3.25mm needles to see if a tighter fit at the bottom is better.  I've still got to locate a baby to test it on.