Vanguard by Lee Meredith
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Vanguard

You’ll Need

  • yarn in the weight and colors of your choice: approx 150-200, 130-180, 90-140, 60-110 yards / 140-190, 120-170, 80-130, 60-100 meters total in fingering, sport, worsted, bulky weight; in a self-striping or variegated colorway, or in two or more different colors
  • needles sized to match your yarn, either a long circular needle, or a 16”/40cm circular needle and your choice of needles for a small circumference
  • 4 stitch markers (different colors or types)
  • a tape measure
  • a calculator (app) for some basic math

Yardage used in sections 1a/1b, 2, 3, 4, 5 is approx 23/23%, 30%, 12%, 8%, 4% of the total. (This can vary quite a bit from hat to hat.)

The four samples are in: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight (It’s a Supernatural Thing!, 100% superwash merino wool, sport weight) variegated; New Lanark Aran Wool (Sandstone/Pebble/Ecru, 100% wool, aran weight) and K1 Yarns Scappa Aran (Mackenzie, 100% shetland wool, aran weight, no longer available) partial skeins for stripes; Dream in Color Groovy (Purple Rain & Strange Harvest, no longer available) and Malabrigo Yarn Chunky (Bobby Blue, all 100% merino wool, bulky weight) leftover mini-balls for color blocks; Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool (Meteor, 100% washable wool, worsted weight) self-striping.

Gauge
This pattern is for any gauge, and it’s sized as you knit, so there’s no need to make a gauge swatch or to ever measure your gauge.
A very loose gauge can work well with this hat, especially if your yarn is tightly plied like the variegated sample, for a super stretchy, comfy fit.
If you want to make sure you’ll get a good stretchy garter stitch fabric, make a swatch in your choice of yarn and needles to test them out. Or you can start knitting and treat the first few inches as a swatch.

Sizing
Sizing is determined by the first half-section, which is stopped when it’s half of your hat’s circumference measurement (there are more details in the pattern). The hat is proportional to that first section; you won’t make any sizing decisions or take any measurements throughout sections 2-5.
Unstretched hat circumferences of approx 16, 18, 20, 22 inches / 41, 46, 51, 56 cm will result in heights of approx 7, 8, 9, 10 inches / 18, 20, 23, 25 cm, but this can vary depending on gauge and yarn/fabric specifics, and on blocking.

Colors
You are meant to use some kind of basic colorwork in this hat, but that can be pretty much any kind of color changes, from using a variegated or self-striping yarn, to making stripes, to switching between solid colors in big color blocks.
Using one skein of yarn: Use a variegated yarn with short-ish color runs (4+ inches / 10+ cm) to get a movement throughout the hat, going in different directions; the pattern prevents pooling that may occur in other kinds of patterns with the same yarn. Or use a long-color-run self-striping type of colorway to get lines and different widths of stripes throughout.
Using more than one yarn: This hat works well with stripes throughout, switching yarns near the beginning of each right-side row, or with color blocks made by using a new solid color for each section. The pattern has notes for either kind of colorwork. Stripes will make lines going in different directions, with fun movement from section to section. For color blocks you could use five colors, a new one for each section, or fewer (just two colors will work fine), switching between colors from section to section.

Extra Notes
The pattern includes process photos and diagrams to show the construction.
The difficulty level is not high, as long as you trust the pattern; If you’re using multiple yarns in any way, it gets a bit harder since there’s more to keep track of.


This pattern is currently only available as part of the VIP club 2016 hat pattern collection; it will be made available for sale individually one year after its initial release date, in June 2017.