Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Frogs in These Waters

Posted by mtmom on April 25, 2010

I finished the Bayerische Cap — for the first time, but not — I hope — for the last time.

< < Here (left) it is modeled by piper Mac (himself bought from a booth at our local Celtic Fair a few years back).

As you may suppose, his head is rather smaller than my own. . . .

And here (right) >> is the cap on youngest DD, modeling while she consumes a chicken “nugget”.

Her head is also, as you may suppose, rather smaller than my own.

(Do you get a sense of where this is all going?)

Here is a shot of the top of the cap, while we’re at it.

You can see the in-pattern decreasing, with all lines converging to the center top.

I had 2 main goals for this project:  trying out twisted-stitch knitting and learning more about decreasing rates in rib-based patterns.  Those goals led to my eventual decision to. . .

. . . rip back to before I began decreasing, and consider this a DD-cap instead of a mama-cap.

No, it’s not a tragedy.  Really.  (Although I am sad that it won’t be MY cap any more.)

I’ve reconditioned the yarn (i.e., held it over a steaming kettle to de-kink it), found my place in the chart (round 4), and resumed knitting.

I really do enjoy this style of knitting (goal #1).

And now I can move forward having progressed on, but not mastered, goal #2.  (I didn’t just want a cap, I wanted a lesson!)

Cap-top Decreasing — Theory.

When knitting a cap bottom-up in stockinette, a decrease rate of about 8 stitches every other round yield a nearly-flat top.  This usually curves on a head nicely.  You can do as few as 6 or as many as 10 decreases every other round and still get a good result IN STOCKINETTE.  (The same rates work for increases in a top-down cap.)  But, when knitting in cables or ribs (including twisted and traveling ribs, like in this cap), you have many more stitches in every horizontal inch, but not so many more rows/rounds in every vertical inch.  So, you get to the top in the same number of rounds, but have more stitches to eliminate while on your way there.  Thus, a faster decrease rate is called for.  (This is much more clear to me now than it was before!)

Another point:  a ribbed cap always looks skinnier when unstretched than a stockinette cap, so appearances can be deceiving as you’re knitting along with no head in the hat to stretch out the ribs.

Application:  How many decreases should I average on this cap and where should I place them?  Those have been big questions.  This is my current thinking:  I want to begin the decreasing later and then do it faster and more evenly.  (I think it squeezed in too soon, making the cap creep up her head, and that I had too many near-even rows in the top portions, making it pointy.)

I’ll continue to post, as things develop!

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