Message in the Static by Lindsey Spoor
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Message in the Static

Knitting
March 2015
Bulky (7 wpi) ?
15.5 stitches and 23 rows = 4 inches
in hat body texture pattern
US 8 - 5.0 mm
120 - 160 yards (110 - 146 m)
Women's Medium/Large
This pattern is available for $3.00 USD buy it now

When the local yarn shop owner challenged me to find a pattern to make use of a very particular yarn, nothing in my searches of existing patterns seemed to really stand out. So I grabbed some remnants in a solid color and made a turned hem. Then I grabbed the “target yarn” – Dale of Norway/Dale Garn Condor - and decided to work it on the same needles as the hem. To my surprise, the yarn produced stripes and zigzags in both color and texture when worked at a gauge tighter than suggested by the ball band – a sort of “message in the static,” if you will. And lo, this hat was born.

It’s an easy hat in two versions: a very slightly slouchy beanie and a super-slouchy tam. Both start with a no-sew turned hem for stability and contrast color, then move to a hat body that uses the combination of tighter-than-expected gauge and simple texture to make the stripes and zigzags show up.

This would be a great stashbuster for worsted-weight leftovers and those fantastic bulky-weight skeins that somehow made it into your stash when you weren’t looking. It’s also a good way to make the most of variable-texture yarns or wildly-colored skeins – or even some of that uneven first handspun you have hanging around! Added bonus: it knits up quickly and makes an excellent option for last-minute gift knitting.

Sizing information: Sizes are listed as women’s Medium/Large, but the hat is unisex. When finished and washed/blocked, measurements are as follows:

  • Medium hat (slightly slouchy beanie - the hat with the green hem in photos) has a 17.5”/44.5 cm hem circumference when unstretched and measures 8”/20 cm from the purl edge of the finished hem to the top of the hat
  • Large hat (super-slouchy tam/beret - the hat with the maroon hem in photos) has a 22.5”/57 cm hem circumference when unstretched and measures 9”/23 cm from the purl edge of the finished hem to the top of the hat

Skills required: Knitting in the round, picking up stitches, decreasing

Materials:

  • 80-100 yards of a bulky-weight yarn (80 for the Medium, 100 for the Large); this hat was designed specifically for Dale Garn Condor, but a thick-and-thin-spun yarn (see other options above) would be an ideal substitute
  • Approximately 65 yds of worsted-weight yarn in a solid or mostly solid color
  • US8/5mm 16”/40 cm circular needle and US8/5mm DPNs (or needle size required to get gauge)
  • 2 stitch markers, one of which must be removable (plastic “padlock” style or a knitter’s/coilless safety pin)
  • tapestry/yarn needle