Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quick Tip Tuesday: Picking Up Stitches for the Colvin Hat

Years ago I wrote up a free SUPER BULKY hat pattern named The Colvin Hat and put it up for free in Ravelry. When writing the pattern, I had several goals:

  • Use up a some of the thickest yarn I'd ever seen that was in my stash and do make the hat out of one ball.
  • Write the pattern in such a way that I could use it to teach beginning "ish" knitters how to cast on, bind off, count rows, pick up stitches, and work on double points for decreasing.

I recently received a question from a knitter about the picking up stitches portion so I thought I'd use this week's post as a tutorial. (Please note that the images for this tutorial do NOT actually show a Colvin hat being made, but instead a project I had laying around. But, the steps are all there.)

The pattern instructs you how to knit the bottom garter stitch brim. After you bind off your stitches, you are supposed to overlap the first 4 and last 4 stitches of the brim and then pick up the stitches THROUGH both layers for these 4 stitches. (See the above photo for an example of the overlap.)

To picks up the stitch through both layers, insert your needle through the edges of the front and back overlapping sections.

Wrap the yarn around the needle as if to knit and then bring the stitch through your insertion point in the back, shown in the following photo...

...and continue to then bring the wrapped yarn through the front overlap, as follows:

Now you have a new picked up stitch on your needle! Repeat these 3 more times for the overlapping area and then move on to picking the rest of the stitches through only one layer. As you get more and more stitches on your needle it will start to look like this...

Eventually, you will have all the stitches on your needle and it will complete a circle and you will then knit up the body of the hat. 

A side note about the yarn for this hat. It calls for Plymouth Encore Mega, which I believe is no longer made. It is SOOOOOOOO so thick. You really have to get 2 stitches to an inch and about 1.5 rows to get the pattern to come out right. If you use thinner yarn, the hat will result in a much smaller hat. Many knitters have gotten by with a still thick yarn, but have had to add extra rows for depth. It is on my "list of things to do" to re-release this pattern using a yarn that is still in production. I just have to find the time!!!

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