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Monday, October 22, 2007

Jayne Hat earflaps

I am really enjoying this journey of creating a Jayne Cobb hat for T. If you haven't been following, and are interested in the process , you can read the series of posts:

Yarn for the Jayne Cobb Hat:
Jayne Hat started:
Jayne Hat earflaps:
Jayne Hat earflaps continued:
Pom-Pom minor update (scroll down):
Pom-Pom completed:
Jayne Cobb Hat completed:

I've completed the orange and yellow sections. I think the orange section is about 3.75 inches long and I began decreasing the yellow section at around 3.5 inches. I wonder if I should have made it a smidgen longer, but not too much longer as I didn't want to make a conical stocking cap.


Now I needed to determine the best placement for the earflaps. That is what those pink and blue stitch markers were for. I was playing around with different configurations; pink indicating the side of the earflap closest to the front of the head and blue indicating the side of the earflap closest to the back of the head.

I knew right away that I did not like making the earflaps equal width (viz. 1/4 the circumference or 25% of the stitches cast on) as the non-earflap sides of the hat.

In the 1st version I came up with, I allocated 22% width for the earflaps and 28% for both non-earflap sides. After placing the stitch markers at those locations, I placed the hat on DH and thought it seemed too wide, that the earflap came too far forward into his temples.

So I came up with a 2nd version where the earflaps were 18%, the front was 36%, and the back was 28%. So I picked up stitches using the red yarn. I had the right side of the hat facing me as I picked up the stitches, it just looks better that way cuz the backside of picked up stitches is really sloppy looking and you don't want that to show on the right side of the hat. I started knitting stockinette, with the stockinette side outwards so that the earflap would curl in the correct direction. After a few rows, I felt the earflap wasn't wide enough.

In my 3rd version, I allocated 20% towards earflaps, 32% towards the front, and 28% towards the back. Picked up stitches, knitted a few rounds of stockinette, and did not like the result.

So I went back to my 1st version, picked up stitches, knitted a few rounds and I thought this was good to go.

I only had a minor setback when I discovered a little oopsie a few rows back. See that hole near the left edge a few rows above the needle? I seemed to have added an extra stitch along the way without realizing it, since it's not like I actually count my stitches as I knit the row.


I had to start thinking about what type of shaping I wanted the bottom of the earflaps to have. I already had some ideas, these three were the leading ideas, and it was just a matter of choosing one:

1. Simple K2Tog/SSK P2Tog/P2Tog-tbl along the edges of the earflap.
2. Keep it even simpler and just use K2Tog & P2Tog at the edges of the earflap.
3. Use a central double decrease at the center of each row.
4. Use a central double decrease at the center of every other row.

I liked the idea of using Option 3 because it was a little different. But did I really want the stockinette stitches to have that obvious slant (inwards towards the center) that would result from doing this sort of decrease?

The little guy in my head was telling me to keep it simple by choosing Option 2. But I always have an itch to do something less obvious, so....

This was Option 3 where I did a centered double decrease in each row, placing this double decrease in the middle of the row. I picked up an odd number of stitches and worked the following for the earflap:

Right Side: Knit to the center 3 stitches. Slip2 stitches together, knit 1 stitch, and Pass the 2 slipped stitches over. Knit to end of row.

Wrong Side: Purl to center 3 stitches. Purl 1 stitch & return it to the left-hand needle, then pass the 2nd & 3rd stitches on the left-hand needle one-at-a-time over the 1st purled stitch. Then return the purled stitch back to the right-hand needle before purling to the end of the row.
I'm not sure I like how obvious the decrease stitches appear (see photo above) at the tip of the earflap.

And I'm not sure I like the indentation that results from doing this sort of decrease on every row. You get a little concave "bowl" on the front side which isn't all bad, but you can see the indentation better on the back side (photo below) and I'm not sure I want the back side to jut out heel of a foot (for lack of better description).

I also think I started the decrease prematurely. This earflap is about 5 inches long from brim to tip. I should have made the earflap longer before starting the decrease. However after working this decrease, I now have a better feel for how much length I get in the decrease section and can adjust accordingly. After seeing Jayne in has hat (don't ask me how many times I've re-watched that episode of Firefly), I have come to the conclusion that the length of the earflap is definitely longer than the length of the orange section of the hat, so I definitely need to add more length to my earflap to achieve this goal.

Now I need to decide whether to pursue Option 4 for shishkabobs & giggles, or jump straight to Option 1. Which do you think I chose?


I'm a bit bummed that Elann has decided to discontinue the orange color I am using for this Jayne Cobb Hat. Just when I thought I found a nice combination of colors for the hat and was thinking of making several more (DH wants one now). They're sold out of the yellow color or maybe they've discontinued that too since I didn't get to see ALL the colors that are being discontinued. But I already have plenty of the red in my stash. What to do, what to do....

I had to update this as I just discovered (thanks Benne!) that the yellow was also discontinued. Waaah! And that Elann sent an email heads up to people who bought a HW Shade Card -- which I did on 3/7/07, but I never received an email about it from them -- so I might have been able to get 10 oranges and 10 yellows if I had known ahead of time. They're really out to get me. So depressed. Need chocolate...


3 stitch(es):

junior_goddess said...

can't wait too see this on a human

Anonymous said...

Oh, that hat is looking like fun...

About that discontinued yarn - I have had great luck in the Swap Center. Give it a try...


hakucho said...

Every hat my mom would knit for my boys as babies had ear flaps, whether the pattern called for it or not. She would just do it. I have no idea how she did them so thanks for the how to's. If I ever want to make ear flap hats it will certainly come in handy :)