I’ve always loved Noro.
The combination of colours and the luxuriousness of the natural yarn mixes…
But I’ve never really been able to decide what to DO with it.
Until I stumbled across this little tutorial on the Berroco blog. And suddenly, those two balls of contrasting yarn I’d been eyeing up had a purpose.
My yarn is a little different from their James C Brett Northern Lights, so my needles and stitch numbers are different. I used, initially, 2 x contrasting 100g balls of Noro Shinryoku (in colours 04, and 08), which I found on eBay for, I considered, a rather bargain price of £6.95 a ball, with minimal postage. It is 70% wool, 30% silk and it’s FLAMING DREAMY. By the time I’d got to the end of those 2 balls, though, it still wasn’t long enough, so I ordered a couple more. I wasn’t long into those two, however, when I decided it had reached optimum length for either 1) one wrap around the neck and long ends over the tummy under the coat, or 2) two wraps around the neck and tuck the short ends into the coat collar at the neck.
Having so much left, I knitted a hat to match which, with hindsight, I would probably have knitted a little longer for a squidge more slouch, but it fits perfectly and is super SUPER warm.
So, without further ado, this is how to knit it:
With 5mm needles (you can use straights, circulars or a couple of DPNs – whatever floats your boat) and colour 1, cast on 41 stitches.
Row 1: [K1, P1] across. As it’s an odd number, you’ll end on the same stitch you started.
Row 2: Slip the first stitch and continue in pattern – Knit the Knit stitches and Purl the Purls. You are going to Slip the first stitch of EVERY row from hereon in.
Row 3: Colour 2. Slip the first stitch (which is still colour 1, of course) and continue in pattern, introducing colour 2 after you’ve slipped the first stitch. Knit the Knits, Purl the Purls.
Row 4: Still colour 2. Slip the first stitch and continue to the end in pattern.
Row 5: Back to colour 1. Slip the first stitch and continue to the end in pattern.
Row 6: Still colour 1. Slip the first stitch and continue to the end in pattern.
Repeat rows 3- 6 until your scarf is the length you require (mine is 225cm). Bind off in pattern (yarn back for K stitches, forward for purls), and sew in ends.
You can see how the different ball colours provide the slowly changing, alternating, graduating stripes.
And here are a few more gratuitous pictures of the beauty as it progressed:
OK, so now to the hat.
With 5mm circular needles – I use at least 80cm long and use the magic loop method which, essentially, means working with half the stitches on each needles, pulling the cord through and working one side, then pulling it through to work the other – cast on 80 stitches. I used the knitted cast on method for this as I folded the brim when it was long enough and actually knitted it folded, which provides a super thick, squishy, cosy brim which won’t come undone. But if that sounds too complicated, just knit it and fold it up afterwards, like a normal foldover brim.
Next comes 22 rounds of [K1, P1] rib. You are going to knit these rounds in the same way as the scarf: 2 stripes of each colour.
When you get to round 23 you are switching to stocking stitch, so you are going to knit around and, if you are feeling brave enough, fold the brim over and pick up the corresponding cast-on stitch with each stitch, knitting both together. The knitted cast on provides a little ‘loop’, almost an eyelet, where each stitch was made, which makes it super easy to identify which is the next stitch to be picked up and knitted together with the next stitch on the needle. This will permanently fold your brim. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture until I’d very nearly finished this process, but here is what it will look like:
Here is a picture from a fair isle hat I designed – the Owl and the Pussycat – which shows the cast on stitch being knitted together with the next live stitch on the needle:
The most important part is to keep the brim lined up, so that it doesn’t get sewn up skewed.
As I say, if this feels too ambitious, just work the 22 rounds of rib and then carry on in stocking stitch. You can just fold the brim back like a regular hat, or even sew it closed after you’ve finished if you prefer.
Tip: in stocking stitch (stockinette) for a ‘jogless’ stripe, i.e. a stripe that doesn’t look like it’s off-kilter when the knitting is done, knit the first round of the next colour as usual, but slip the first stitch of the second round rather than knitting it, and continue as usual. This will line the stripes up a little better.
Now you will knit the rest of your hat, continuing in stripes. If you prefer a relatively fitted beanie, knit about 23cm before the decreases (15cm from the top of the brim – the beginning of the stocking stitch). If you prefer it slouchier, knit at least 30cm before the decreases (22cm from the top of the brim – the beginning of the stocking stitch).
[K6, K2tog] around
[K5, K2tog] around
[K4, K2tog] around
[K3, K2tog] around
[K2, K2tog] around
[K1, K2tog] around
Cut a longish tail, and, using a darning needle, sew the yarn through the remaining live stitches, pull tight and secure. Sew in ends.
Now, get out there in the snow and stay warm! ❤
Happy knitting 🙂
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