Friday 16 January 2015

Rikke Hat - Take 2

I have loved the Rikke Hat pattern by Sarah Young since I first saw it, probably on The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast. I even knit it in July 2014, but sadly it wasn't the right yarn match for the project, so I ripped it out and waited for the right yarn to come along.

Then at the end of August I ordered a skein of Semi-Precious in Granite from Babylonglegs, one of my favourite dyers (she's currently on hiatus but will be coming back). Sarah got in touch a day later and said she couldn't find the skein and was it ok if she dyed up a new batch and sent that when it was done. I agreed quite happily, as I had no deadline project in mind for the yarn (in fact, it's still not knit up). Then a few minutes later, I had a brainwave. I thought if Sarah was preparing a grey dye bath this would be a great opportunity to try out her lovely MesMerino base (Superwash Merino DK), which I knew would be perfect for the Rikke pattern. I got back to her and she was more than happy to throw a skein of MesMerino in with the Semi-Precious.

I wanted to do a grey Rikke hat because I have a dark grey, full length woollen Winter coat. I knew the hat would go with any of my scarves/shawls and mittens/gloves, as grey is my favourite neutral. Within a month, I'd cast on the hat.

I struggled to get gauge on the first version of this hat. I decided to push down the needle size for the brim even further and use a 3.25mm needle, but leave the main body of the hat knit on 4mm. The resulting hat is very, very slouchy.

However, because the knit fabric is more robust than the first version, it sits much better.

It hugs the nape of my neck so nicely and it feels soft and squishy around my head.

The back of the hat has very quick decreases and is then pulled tight with yarn threaded through the final stitches. I like the shape it makes at the back of hat.

The yarn really is perfect for this project and I know I want to knit in this lovely yarn again.

It's got great stitch definition and I know it would great used for cables, or just plain stocking stitch or the garter stitch I used in the hat. I really want to knit a garment in this. I also want to knit another Rikke hat, but this time in a variegated yarn. I have seen lots of versions knit in variegated yarn and it looks wonderful. The only skein I have that may work is Unwind Yarn Company Touring DK in Gracie Pearl.

Though this yarn is gorgeous, part of me wants to use some handspun yarn instead, as I think a handspun rikke hat with be wonderful too. Funnily enough, the most suitable handspun is in merino/silk in a one of a kind colourway from Unwind Yarn Company.

I think this may probably be an ideal match, it certainly has enough bounce. What would you use?


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