Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Swiss Miss


I recently started knitting again and through trial and error I created the Hat "Swiss Miss" or "Swiss Mister"!

Since its creation was through default- replicating it a second time proved to be a little challenging. But I built upon what I learned during the process and now I can hopefully teach others how to knit this hat!

You will need:

bulky weight yarn (I bought 2 skeins of 125 yds each- and I used 1 skein and more than half of the second skein- this will vary based on the size of your head.)

pair of 8 needles (I used rounds because it makes life easier)

A large button

Large sewing needle.


The 1st PIECE- the main body of the Hat:

Basically you are going to make a large rectangle.
You will cast on based on the measurement of your head taken from your jaw line on the right side of your face up and over your head to the other side ending at the jaw line on the left.
IE almost the circumference of your face. 

Cast on based on your stitch to inches measurement- I generally cast on between 50-60 stitches- or about 17-18 inches. Since this is such an easy hat to make you really can wing it as you go. 

As I am casting on- I take what I have cast and check its measurement by placing it around the top of my head- from ear to ear- to make sure I have cast enough on that the ends reach from jaw line to jaw line. (note it will stretch as you knit).  AGAIN about 50-60 stitches does the trick. 

I used a basic Garter stitch when making this hat. But I'm sure you could use whatever stitch or pattern you like- just remember it will end up on its side. (refer to picture of hat to see how the stitches are running down the head as opposed to horizontally)

Then Knit Knit knit!  (about 9 inches or so)

AGAIN this next measurement is custom to your head so you can check it by trying it on after you have knit about 8-9 inches. When you try it on- the needles will be at the back of the head. 
What you are deciding is how much you want the hat to cover your face. If you have knit on 9 inches its safe to say you are almost done with this rectangle.

To achieve the pixie point of the hat you will fold one side of the back of the hat over the other making a little slope in the back- and creating a pocket (see last image of hat in green for detail). So take this into consideration as you are measuring the hat on your head. If you have enough material that it fits comfortably- then bind off.

NOW you have your crazy huge rectangle!

Now you take the right side of the bottom of the back of the hat and lay it over the left side. You can do this while it is on your head so you know how much it needs to be taken in- in the back to make the point of the hat stand up.

Secure this "over lap" by pinning the pieces together with a knitting needle.  You will take your LARGE sewing needle and flip your hat inside out and sew the seam of the back of the hat together- starting at the top of the hat at the pixie point and working your way down to where the overlap occurs - continue to sew the hat together on the inside of the hat along the slope of the interior seam, or edge-  this will allow for the little overlap to create a fun little pocket on the outside of the hat (see image for details).

Then sew the overlap together at the bottom "hem" of the hat.

2ND Part:

Now you will make the bottom part of the hood. Again this is really straight forward.

I did a stocking stitch so it would curl under. (the purl side with be on the outside-allowing it to curl under).  You will cast on based on the measurement of your hat- roughly 18+ inches. You can cast on more stitches if you want the two pieces to  meet more snugly at your chin- covering more of your neck like a scarf.

Once you have determined how long you want this to be (from side to side ie about 18 inches)- knit and purl! until you reach the desired height. Take into account that this will curl up quite a bit so you might want to err on the side of caution and make it a little longer so it really covers the back on your neck! plus the bulky-ness of your yarn will also effect how much it curls up- ie the less bulky the more it will curl (that's been my experience).

I recommend making this piece over 4 inches. You should have a piece that measures 4x18+ inches when done.
Bind off.
Then take single knitting needles and pin this second piece to the hat in the back. 

Take your sewing needle, thread it with you yarn and attach the pieces together on the inside of the hat- to hide the stitches and the seam. (like you did with the first seam)

Then attach a button to the front of the neck piece using your needle and yarn.
And then make a loop on the opposite side. I braided my yarn together to make my loop then I pulled it through and knotted it to the side of the neck piece, weaving in any extra.  

The Knitty- Gritty!

Once you have tried your Swiss Miss, or Swiss Mister hat on- you might want to make some adjustments. And here's one that I made after the fact on both of the hats I made.

If the neck piece is a little full and frumpy in the back and you aren't getting as tight of a fit as you would like- flip it inside out and weave in a piece of yarn at the back of the neck piece to cinch it together a bit more. You can do this by hand with out a sewing needle, but you can also use the needle if you'd like. (you can see how its gathered in the last picture of the green hat)

Loop the thread through a stitch and tie it to this existing stitch and knot it. Then skip a few stitches and loop it through the next stitch- repeat this for about 2 or so inches in the back. Here you can tighten the back piece based on your preference.
Then Finish by knotting the end of your piece of yarn to an existing stitch. 

This cinching should make the hooded part more fitted. (keeping more cold air out!

Let me know how this goes or if I can help along the way to clarify any step!

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