Pattern: My own top-down helmet, following instructions in Barbara Walker’s Knitting From the Top. A similar free pattern for heavier (worsted-weight) yarn is here (or in Stitch and Bitch).
Yarn: One ball of Rowan Felted Tweed in camel, bought on sale when The Yarn Connection closed. I think it was about $5, after discount.
Needles: Size 5 DPNs, and one bamboo Clover 16″ circular in size 5.
Project started/ended: February 5 to February 12, so about a week.
Notes: This is pretty easy to make. I’m not giving a formal pattern because the average person should be able to figure it out, but here’s the basic recipe:
Cast on about seven stitches, increase (k1fb) in seven “slices” using DPNs (increase a round, knit a round plain, repeat for a while). Measure gauge. Calculate how many stitches you would need to fit around your head, by multiplying gauge by the circumference of your head. Keep knitting. Slip stitches onto 16″ circulars when wide enough. When you have knit for a while, slip stitches off onto a spare piece of yarn (something non-sticky, like cotton yarn) and try on. Stop knitting about an inch and a half before you want the hat to end. Knit in seed stitch (k1, p1) for about an 1″ to 1.5″ (knitter’s choice). Stop knitting.
Try on again by sliding stitches onto a spare piece of yarn. Using scraps of string, mark (tie string between stitches, but not around the needle) where you want your ear flaps to go. Put stitches back on needle. Bind off in pattern (k1, p1) in the bigger sections between the markers (aka the front brim and the back brim). When you get to the ear flap markers, slide those stitches onto a spare piece of yarn. Continue binding off, slide next ear flap stitches onto a piece of string. Put one set of ear flap stitches back onto the needles. Knit a flap. (Seed stitch one row, and then decrease at the sides–k2tog at beginning and end of the row. Repeat until flap is longer than ear. Decrease rapidly by k2tog two or three times, then k a couple of stitches, then k2 two or three times, repeat until you have two or three stitches. Bind off. You may want to throw in a couple of rows of plain seed stitch between the decrease rows to give a slower taper to the triangle.) Repeat for other flap.
Knit two lengths of i-cord. Weave in ends on hat. Sew i-cord to each point of each flap. Wash and block. WAA-LAA!*
* I used to work at a magazine whose readers would post recipes in their online forums, and they would always end their recipes with the phrase “waa-laa,” and I could never figure out whether they were joking or didn’t know how to spell “voilà.” But I kind of loved it and think it’s much more dramatic than just “voilà.”
Note: If you’re interested in the cowl I am wearing, it’s my Ithacowl, which is my own free pattern. You can download it from Ravelry or here.
Photo shoot notes: Adam took me to Montauk for Valentine’s Day, which is on the tip of Long Island, and also where they filmed parts of Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind**, a movie that inspired many people (including me) to go visit in the winter. It was beautiful, and in the back of these pictures, you can see the famous Montauk lighthouse.
On the way back, we stopped by a grocery store where I saw this funny bag of fruits (above). I would say that those banana chips don’t look a day over seventeen, wouldn’t you?
** An astoundingly beautiful movie despite the fact it stars Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, two of my least favorite actors ever.