Miriam is a knitter who crochets. Amy is a crocheter who knits. We both came to crochet first, as children, and we both learned to knit about fourteen years ago. We share an appreciation for the inherent beauty of both knitting and crochet. Miriam loves lace and designs intricate patterns that enthrall knitters with their form and flow. She's designed over two dozen shawls including two published here on Knitty. Amy designs crochet garments that combine fit and wearability with captivating constructions. She has a particular fondness for hats. Amy naturally picks up a hook when she's thinking of designing something new, and Miriam reaches for her needles, but we each enjoy the challenges of both knitting and crochet.
It seems like every time we've met at yarn-y gatherings -- trade shows or fiber festivals -- we've chatted about how we would like to write and design a collection truly combining the best of knitting and crochet. Sure, as a knitter you might know that a crochet hook is good for picking up dropped stitches or putting a stabilizing edging on your work, and crocheters might know that for stretch, nothing beats a knitted ribbing. Many of us have done both for years but haven't thought much about how the two mediums can lean on each other. What we want to do is explore the attributes of both knit and crochet fabric that make them play well together, and then create something new and fun as a result.
In this column, we'll bring our collaborations to life and you get to try your hand at what we discover. Part of the fun of this project has been working as a duo on design -- something that's typically a solitary enterprise. Amy is in Juneau, Alaska, and Miriam is in Salt Lake City, Utah. So, from desert and rainforest, we come together through the magic of Google Hangouts. We dig virtually through our yarn stashes and find what we have in common. We text pictures of swatches to each other, comparing fabric and stitches.
We also pay attention to how knitters and crocheters around the internet have been mixing media. We'll point you to techniques we find where people integrate crochet into their knitting in innovative ways. For instance, Franklin Habit, fellow Knitty columnist with an eye for the unusual and arcane -- and a knitter unafraid to brandish his crochet hook in public -- has been working on a pair of Victorian bathing drawers to bring along on his upcoming nautical knitting cruise. Recently, he posted on his blog from an undisclosed location, and showed us all his leg openings where crochet is playing beautifully with the knitted body of the drawers.
One of the places where crochet shines as a medium is in working small rounds of fabric starting at the center. Using crochet to start the crown of a hat means you don't need to fiddle with multiple needles holding just a handful of stitches. You can start with a tiny chain or just a loop of yarn. Enter the Hybrid Hat. We've created a hat that uses crochet for the crown and knitting for the ribbed sides.
In this hat, if you're new to crochet, you'll become accustomed to working in the round in one of our favorite stitches: single crochet through the back loop (sc-blo -- see image below). Often, crochet is worked in reversible stitches: that means it looks the same from both sides, but it creates a much thicker fabric (similar to garter stitch in knitting). This is where the notion that crochet eats up more yarn than knitting comes from. Some crochet stitches do tend to gobble up yarn, whereas others are pretty equivalent to their knitted cousins. Working in just the back loop of the stitch in the round creates a soft flexible fabric with a clear Right Side and Wrong Side.
by Amy O'Neill Houck
+ Miriam Felton
for crocheters for those new to it
This hat is worked from the crown down to the brim, so the crown will be increased to the full hat circumference. For these increases to spiral, we're simply stacking one round of increases on top of the previous round in the same way that you would stack decreases on a bottom-up knitted hat. You will work the increase (2 sc in the same stitch) in the 2nd stitch of the increase from the round below. Once you're comfortable spotting the increases, you may not need stitch markers, but if it's helpful, you can put a split ring marker (or coil-less safety pin) in the 2nd stitch of each increase, and just move it up each round to keep track.
Another advantage of crocheting the crown of this hat is sizing. Starting a circle from the center has the same advantage as building a garment from the neck down. You can try it on and size it as you go. To size the Hybrid Hat, you'll need to measure your head. You'll want a full circumference an inch smaller than what you've measured so the hat will stay on. If you just want to make a basic hat, you can go for a finished circumference of 22 inches which is an average head size. This means you'll increase until the crown measures 21 inches.
Measuring the circumference of a piece of fabric can be tricky. It's much easier to measure the diameter. So, we've used a calculator to convert diameter to circumference. You can do the same. Just be sure to measure from one increase point to another. Then do the math to see if your hat is the right size.
model: Kerry Neely
One size, adjustable to fit
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: Circumference: For a 21" target circumference, work the crown until it has a diameter of just under 6.75" measured across increase points. Depth: 5" from edge of crown.
Recommended needle size [always use a hook or needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
1 H-8/5mm/ crochet hook
1 16-inch US 7/4.5mm circular needle
removable stitch marker
Since you're crocheting to a particular circumference instead of a number of stitches, you can work this pattern in any gauge. As long as you finish the crown shaping with a full round, then you should end with a multiple of 6 sts and the Filet Round and 2 x 1 ribbing will work out. If you use a different weight of yarn, pick a hook that creates a nice, soft fabric. Choose a needle one size smaller than your hook for the ribbing.
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
Ch: chain Dc-blo: double crochet in the back loop only Inc: 2 sc-blo in the same back loop of the next stitch Sc-blo: single crochet in the back loop only
For new or newish crocheters, here is some online assistance:
Using crochet hook chain 4 and join in a ring.
Round 1: Ch 1, 6 sc in chain loop, mark start of round with removable marker.
Round 2: Inc 6 times. (12 sts)
Round 3: (1 sc-blo, inc) 6 times. 18 sts.
Round 4: (2 sc-blo, inc) 6 times. 24 sts.
Round 5: (3 sc-blo, inc) 6 times. 30 sts.
Round 6: (4 sc-blo, inc) 6 times. 36 sts.
Round 7: (5 sc-blo, inc) 6 times. 42 sts.
Continue increasing evenly until the desired head circumference is reached. You can use this site to help you calculate the correct diameter for your desired finished head size. Lay the crown of the hat flat and measure from increase point to increase point. Remember you want a circumference 1 inch smaller than your head measurement.
Work even in sc-blo for 2.5 inches.
Filet Round: Ch 2, dc-blo in first stitch of the round, ch 1 (skip next stitch, dc-blo in each of two following stitches, ch 1), to end, slip stitch in top of beginning chain-2.
Work 1 round in sc-blo, ending with a slip stitch in both loops of the first stitch of round.
Remove crochet hook and place last loop on the knitting needle.
With the needle, pick up and knit 1 st through the back loop of each crochet stitch
Place marker for start of round and join for working in the round.
Count your stitches. You need a multiple of 3 sts for the ribbing.
Knit 1 round, working an increase or a decrease at the end of the round to adjust stitch count.
Ribbing round: K1, p1, [k2, p1] to last st, k1. Note: the 2 x 1 rib echos the pattern of the filet row, the k2 lines up with the 2 double crochet.
Work ribbing as set for 2 1/2 inches.
Bind off using Jeni's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.