Sea urchin hat

Well, I got my wish for another cold snap so I could wear the felted rose hat, which is growing on me, despite the fuzziness. So I thought I’d have a go at another hat, as they’re so quick to knit.

This time I went for a pattern by Scottish designer Ysolda Teague, based on a sea urchin’s shell (left). I’d bought a few balls of Gedifra Baldini Colori in the sale at John Lewis because I loved the colours, but wasn’t sure what to do with them. The yarn is a bulky bouclé with very thick slubs (55% acrylic, 45% wool). The recommended needle size is 9mm, but after knitting a tension square (I do learn from my mistakes!) I used the 7mm needles listed in the pattern.

The pattern introduced two techniques that I hadn’t used before. The first was provisional casting on using waste yarn. This is undone at the end and the ‘live’ stitches are grafted on to the last row, resulting in a seamless appearance. I followed the method recommended in the pattern, which uses a crochet hook, and it worked very successfully.

The other new challenge was wrapping. The hat is knitted sideways in garter stitch as a series of wedges, so the length of the rows needs to decrease to shape the wedges. When you knit a shorter row and turn, leaving the remaining stitches on the needle, you have to wrap the yarn around the stitch where you turn to avoid large holes appearing.

Ysolda doesn’t include instructions for how to wrap in the pattern, but I found a clear explanation here, with diagrams. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and it’s an interesting and effective way of shaping. The final result is shown below.

knitted hat

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4 thoughts on “Sea urchin hat”

  1. I also want to make this hat in plain mauve for my daughter who specializes in sea urchin biology but the instructions are confusing. When Ysolda says “Graft seam as follows…” she refers to “needles” – are those knitting needles or darning needles? Good for you that you figured this pattern out. Your help would be welcomed!

    1. Hi Liz,

      It’s been a while since I made this hat, but I’m pretty sure the grafting is done with a darning needle.

      You will already have two knitting needles – one with the last row of knitting, and one with the stitches that remain after you have undone the provisional cast-on stitches. So the instructions for grafting are telling you which direction to insert the darning needle through the stitches on the front (knitting) needle and the back (knitting) needle.

      Too many needles – I can see how the confusion occurred! 🙂

      Hope your daughter likes the hat!

      Kim

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