In my life as a knitter I have made plenty of objects with a smattering of oddness, or less than usual special requirements. (the socks "with you know, holes" spring to mind) So, I was only slightly befuddled when my friend Darren wanted a hat, you know, with a brim.
"A brim?" I said, "Like a part that folds up?"
"Well sure, that would be fine."
"Is that what you meant?"
"well, no." he said, "I meant a brim. Like a baseball cap."
"Oh. So you want a knit base ball cap?"
"No. like a knit hat, you know, with a brim."
"Oh." I said."Ok. I've seen hats like that before."
"Can it have a cool graphic on it?"
"Sure. You want a knit hat, with a brim, and cool graphics."
"In guy colors. I don't wear bright colors."
"Ok.... a black and "something else manly" hat, with a brim, and with cool graphics."
"Yes." he said, "but not wool. It's hot in Florida."
One would think at this point I would say "forget it." Instead, I accepted the challenge. The results are pretty good!
Name: Darren's Hat
Pattern: my own, with a smattering of inspiration from other places
Yarn: Berroco Comfort DK in 2734 and 2747, 1 ball each
Needles: HiyaHiya circs, size 5
Notes: Ummm... this is one giant cluster fuck of a hat. I tried to find a pattern to make a ski cap with a brim. Evidently, even thought these are in stores all over, no knitters have made a pattern for one yet. SO I was flying blind. How hard can it be? My original idea was to cast on at the brim, do some stripes, then work in short rows for the brim, leaving it open to insert a "stiffener", knit up the hat - inserting "cool graphic" before closing up the top, inserting brim thing, and sewing up the brim hole. Yeah. I made it to "do some stripes". I tried three times to knit a short row brim effectively. It looked like a giant toe off the front of the hat.
Instead, I left a giant button hole and decided to figure it out later.
Hat knitting commenced, and I stole this color work graphic from "Son of Stitch 'n Bitch".
The brim was another story. In addition to the three short row brims, I also knit two other brims before just saying "fuck it" and going with this one. Its kind of a smattering of three directions from different knit baseball cap patterns. Then I had to sew that damn thing up. This took as long as knitting the whole freakin' hat! I crocheted, I sewed, I seamed, I almost stapled. I finally went back to crocheting.
I guess it looks ok. The brim "stiffener" is literally a brim. Dollar stores rock. I ripped that sucker off another hat and inserted it into my hat. I like shortcuts. The only down side was that when I went to sew the brim into the hat, it became obvious that I was going to have a very floppy brim unless I stitched the fabric brim into the seam as well. Sigh. One sewing machine and 10 minutes later, I was finally brimmed. I would not say this technique is easy. In fact, I would not recommend it to anyone. Maybe someone I don't like, but that's another story.
Anywho... I like the yarn. It was a challenge to find an easy care - cause its for a guy- yarn, in "manly colors". Oh, and that I wanted to knit with. Life is too short for squeaky yarn. The Comfort DK was nice. It almost feels like it has some soy silk, or bamboo in it. I would use it again. If I were to make this hat again, I'd use wool. Because I like wool better.
I'm shipping the hat off today to Florida. Hopefully he'll like it, or at least have the decency to lie to me and say he likes it. If he doesn't, he can send it right back, 'cause I have a dozen people here who want it!