I actually started a post a while ago about making the Stitch N Bitch Hot Head Hat in the round but hadn't gotten around to finishing it. Now that FletchersMama posted our first ever comment (yipee!) asking about it, here goes.
Drum roll please...Hot Head Hat in the Round
First off, I bought some new sixteen inch Crystal Palace circular needles (#10.5 & #11) because I've been making so many hats lately that, even though I have the wonderful Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles, I decided having a couple sets of dedicated hat needles was worth the expense (and I love, love, love knitting with Crystal Palace needles!). Anyway, I have perused a lot of hat patterns and those knit in the round seem to always call for sixteen inch needles, which of course, makes sense because you want a needle that is slightly smaller in diameter than the diameter of the finished product. In addition, you'll need a set of dpns in the same size (or close to it, I used 10.5 circ & 10 dpns) (unless you want to use two circs instead, in which case, have fun with that! you're on your own there). As you can see in the pictures of my post about Steven's hat, I used four of the five dpns that come in a Crystal Palace set.
So, basically follow the pattern with the exception that you need to join in a circle after you cast on. Make the majority of the hat as described in the pattern (k2, p2 ribbing around and around and around...). When you get to the decrease rows transfer to your dpns after the first or second decrease row. Even if you've never transfered to dpns from a circ (and if you're smarter than I am) you might realize that the easiest way to transfer to dpns is to just work a prescribed round with one dpn after the other acting as your working needle, rather than with the other end of the circ (if on the other hand, you're like me, you might not think of that until after you painstakingly transfer each little stitch to a dpn in between working rounds.)
Shaping the Crown:
The "Shape the Crown" section of the pattern is where the difference is between flat and in the round knitting. I didn't do this properly with Steven's hat so the very center of the crown of his hat looks stockinette stiched rather than ribbed (but I figure the guys I am making hats for are so tall no one will see the top but everyone would see a messy side seam!). I forgot to use double-reverse math* (my term) on the "flat" directions to make them "in the round" directions (I used "single-reverse math" by accident instead). So here goes, this should work...
Knit the first row as instructed (k2tog, p2). On the second row, however, you need to reverse the knits and purls twice so you'll k1, p2tog across (rather than k2tog, p1). For row three just follow the pattern (k1, p1 across). Row four is the tricky one because the directions in the book for row four are exactly the same as for row three which shouldn't work for flat knitting (that row has always bothered me and I've never done it as prescribed). So I would do round four exactly as the book describes it because to my mind it is already reversed. Make sense? I thought not. Rows five and six I've never liked either because they would create a garter stitch in flat knitting. So five and six in the round would be (k2tog, p2tog) around. Yipee skippy, you're done! Almost...
Break the yarn off and with a tapestry needle draw the remaining stitches off the dpns and pull tightly to close the hole and weave in end (blah, blah, blah we know all this right?)
Then look back at the end where you first started. If you knit like I do (or maybe this just happens to anyone knitting in the round) you'll have a one stitch gap in the first round where you joined. Just weave your cast on tail through it to close it. Presto! A lot easier than mattress-stitching (sixteen times because you (I) can never get it right the first time!) an entire seam closed!
And now, in the second half of our regularly scheduled program, we'll move on to a segment I like to call...
How to Avoid Making the Dreaded I-Cord
No, I have never made an I-Cord. I started to once...cast-on 4 stitches okay, slide to other end of dpn, okay, pull
yarn across blah, blah, blah, okayokayokay...I managed about 4 rows before I knew that I was crazy enough without trying to finish the damn I-cord.
Fortunately for me, the pattern (Stay-On Baby Booties from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas--I love this book!) I was working from provided options other than the dreaded I-Cord (I'm guessing Melanie and Kristin know how some people feel about I-Cords).
How to avoid making an I-Cord (by Barbara, adapted (in part) from the above mentioned pattern):
- have someone else make it for you (good luck there!)
- Cast on six-gazillion stitches then bind them all off (what I like to call the Magic-Tie-No-I-Cord-Cord). This is the method I used for the bootie ties (I cast on 100 sts & then bound them off). The ties were a lot smoother than the bumpy I-Cord I never finished. The problem with this method is, if you need a big cord (like a purse handle anyone??) you would practically have to make a small scarf, especially if you're planning on felting.
- Crochet. Yes, I said it, crochet. If you are going to felt it no one will know the difference! Chain that gazillion stitches then do a few single/half-double/double or triple crochet rows and you're done!
- make something called a Monk's Cord that I read about in Knitting in Plain English that requires three times the amount of yarn as the length of whatever you want to make, a pencil (or a hand held egg beater), a book and a doorknob. This one I can't help you with. I read the instructions. They require you to walk back and forth across a room three times. I kept expecting to read something about a cauldron or bats or lizard tongues. And try as I might I could not grasp the pencil/book/doorknob contraption that was supposed to make the whole cord magically appear once you get the torque right.
- and finally, knit things that don't require I-Cords (this is the plan I'm following).
And finally, in closing, since another SKP has met the same fate as mine...I'll reveal the nature of my SKP: It's a SCARF...it's a WRAP...IT'S A CLAPOTIS! (clap-o-tee) by Kate Gilbert. This pattern won the Knitter's Review 2005 Design of the Year Award (even though it was published in 2004) because EVERYONE in the knitting/blogging world made/ismaking/wantstomake one (with some exceptions, of course). With my recent addiction to all things knit I kept tripping over this pattern (so to speak) when reading knit blogs. So I had to try it myself. Poor, poor Clapotis...perhaps I'll try to make another one someday...