Binary Cable Hat
The weapon for HAT ATTACK 2008. This pattern is free for personal use, and you are welcome to make them as gifts. Please contact me to make arrangements if you would like to sell one or more.
The inaugural Hat Attack weapon is a cabled hat, knit in the round using the method of your choice. It was designed for Lamb’s Pride Worsted, but other similar yarn can be used. For textural effect, the designer recommends a yarn with uneven twist (a single or multi-strand yarn) that knits up as \ | or | / instead of \ /.
A gauge swatch in stockinette should achieve a gauge of 5 spi and 6.5 rpi. The designer achieved gauge on size 8 needles, but please check your own gauge, as it can vary widely from knitter to knitter. Also, it is recommended that you check your gauge (as best you can) after you have knit several rows on the hat itself to make sure your gauge has not changed greatly upon switching to the rib pattern. Needles 1mm/two sizes smaller than those used to obtain gauge are used to knit the first three rows of the hat.
An optional Fibonacci-timed stripe pattern is included in the instructions. If using two colors, there is about a 2:3 ratio between them, so you will need about 40 yards of one color and 60 of the other.
Two versions of the hat are included in the release version; the 16-cable version which was actually used in the contest, and which is shown in the pictures at left, and a 32-cable version which was tested but not used. The 16-cable version has four cable cross rows, and represents the numbers from 0-15 in Binary notation, and the 32-cable version has five able cross rows, and represents the numbers from 0-31.
One-size-fits-all is never actually true, and so it is with this hat. As you can see from the pictures, depending on the size and shape of your head, this pattern can yield anything from almost a watch cap to a slightly over sized yarmulke. If you have a particularly wide or tall head, I recommend adding extra rows between the last cable row and the decreases to add extra length. The rib pattern is super-stretchy, so as long as it is long enough, the length will translate into width where needed.
As you can probably also see, the center of the decreases can sometimes have a “nipple” effect. Be careful when working the all-knit rows to work fairly loosely, then pull the yarn through the final loops very tight to avoid this.