November 2007

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Russian Princess in Exile

Download the pattern here

The Russian émigrés were so influential after they fled the revolution. They brought different perspectives and new fashions west and east and helped people learn to think in a new way. They also knew a thing or two about how to stay warm. This hat would not be for those who brought their fortune with them – leave the fox and mink for them; this is for those who made it out with their lives and had to make a life how they could that meant wearing wool, but wearing it like a princess, which is what I suggest you should do too.

DIFFICULTY: Intermediate

SIZE: M[L] (shown in size L)

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS:
Around head: 20[24] inches
Crown to brim: 8[10] inches

MATERIALS:
Rowan Big Wool [100% wool; 87yd/80m per 100g skein]; color: Best Brown; 1[2] skeins
1 set US #17/12mm straight needles
Tapestry needle

GAUGE:
7.5 sts/10 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch

ABBREVIATIONS:
C8B: put next 4 sts on cable needle and put at back of work, K4, then K4 from cable needle
C8F: put next 4 sts on cable needle and put at front of work, K4, then K4 from cable needle

PATTERN
All sizes:
CO50[62], turn.
Row 1: K1, *C8B, K4*, repeat between * 3[4]times, K1.
Row 2 and all wrong side rows: P.
Row 3-5: K.
Row 7: K5, *C8F, K4*, repeat between * 3[4]times, K1.

Size M only:
Row 9 (dec row): K1, * put 4 sts on cable needle and hold to back as if to C8B, k2tog 2 times, k2tog 2 times from cable needle, K4*, repeat between * 3 times, K1 (34 sts).
Rows 11-13: work even.
Row 15 (dec row): K1, *K2, put 4sts on cable needle and put to front of work as if to C8F, k2tog, k2tog 2 times from cable needle*, repeat between * 3 times, K1 (22 sts).
Row 16 (dec row): P3 together 7 times, P1 (8 sts).

Size L only:
Repeat Rows 1-5.
Row 15 (dec row): K1, *K4, put 4 sts on cable needle and hold to front as if to C8F, k2tog 2 times, k2tog 2 times from cable needle*, repeat between * 4 times, K1 (42 sts).
Rows 17-19: work even.
Row 21 (dec row): K1, *put 4sts on cable needle and put to back of work as if to C8B, k2tog, k2tog 2 times from cable needle, K2*, repeat between * 4 times, K1 (27 sts).
Row 22 (dec row): P3 together 9 times (9 sts).

FINISHING:
Draw end of yarn through remaining sts, draw tight to close the crown.
Using tapestry needle sew the seam from the brim to the crown with mattress stitch; weave in loose ends.
Photo credit: Jonathan Cross

It has occurred to me that I have so many more ideas for knitting projects than I will ever be able to complete that perhaps I should share them and others can carry them out if they feel so inclined.

One of the most pressing design challenges I have at the moment is how to make a throw blanket using every weird scrap of yarn I possess, but making it look good and be warm. I both want a throw and space for more yarn in my back closet. This may be a lost cause, but imagine how proud of myself I would be! I am contemplating the Catherine’s wheel crochet stitch from Teva Durham’s, Loop-d-Loop Crochet, if I made it on a big enough hook could it be made of different weights of yarn and still be right?

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