Avail by Hunter Hammersen


November 2017
yarn held together
Aran (8 wpi) ?
24 stitches = 4 inches
in blocked stockinette
225 - 300 yards (206 - 274 m)
See notes below, at 6spi, fits a head of about 19.5 [21.75, 24.75] inches
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Avail verb
- to be of use or advantage, to serve

I spent a lot of time being sort of worried about short rows. They seemed like they were probably complicated. Possibly even hard. And I just sort of assumed I’d mess them up.

But then I had a little moment where I told myself firmly I was working short rows every time I turned a heel. And that they just weren’t that fiddly. And that they were the only way to do the cute thing I really wanted to do. So I decided to stop being scared and just give it a try.

And, as you might expect, it just wasn’t that hard. All you do (for this set at least) is stop knitting in the round for a little while and instead knit back and forth. That’s it…that’s really all there is to it. Anything more is just refinements on the technique. If I can do that, you can do it too.

And if you do, you can make this awesome wavy hat which is cuter and easier and ever so much more fun to make than it has any right to be.

And if you’re feeling really really really nervous, start with the cuff instead. It’s tiny enough you can’t possibly be scared of it (and it’s cute enough you’ll be all motivated to do the hat too)!

You can do this, I have complete faith in you.

The hat is written in three sizes (castons of 102, 114, and 126 stitches), and you should feel free to adjust your gauge a bit to fine tune the fit of the hat. Just be sure that you’re working at a gauge that gives you a fabric you like with your chosen yarn (I’d go for something with a bit of drape because I think this looks best a little slouchy).

I recommend working at something around 5.5, 6, or 6.5 stitches per inch, and I’ve included a table to help you figure out what gauge you’ll want to use for your size. With that range of sizes and gauges, the hat will fit a head between 18 and 26.5 inches (with lots of points in between).

You’ll be using two different yarns. I used about 150 yards of worsted for the main color (gray) and about 75 yards of laceweight yarn held double for the contrast color (green), but having 200 yards of the main color and 100 of the contrast color on hand would be an even safer bet. The cuff takes even less…more like 100 yards of the main color and 50 of the contrast.

This is perfect for you if:

  • You’re in the mood for something mellow, but still adorable
  • You have some extra bits of fancy yarn you’re looking to show off (those stripes are perfect for using up little bits of leftovers)
  • You’re done being scared of short rows

It’s not for you if:

  • You don’t like charts (the pattern uses charts)
  • You hate swatching (you need to swatch to check your needle size)