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Vasily

Knitting
October 2011
Sport (12 wpi) ?
36 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in double-knit cabled pattern
US 4 - 3.5 mm
421 - 497 yards (385 - 454 m)
20, 22, 24"

Vasily is the Russian name for St. Basil, the Catholic saint whose name unofficially graces the colorful Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin on the Moat in Moscow. While working on this piece, it reminded me of the patterns on the domes of St. Basil’s cathedral, so I thought it only fitting I name the piece after him.

This piece is time-consuming but all-in-all not terribly difficult. The double-knitting itself is mostly a matter of matching the row below, and the reversible cables are just that. In addition, for most of the pattern, there are two rest rounds between each cabled round. If you can do basic double-knitting and cabling, this hat won’t pose too much difficulty (in theory).

What’s New?

This hat is already done in a lightweight yarn, and I feel that even with the cable twists, it’s not overly heavy. However, I was dissatisfied with the way it fit on my models’ heads. The cast-on sort of splays out a little bit, and I feel like the rest of the hat doesn’t grip as well as it would if it were a little taller. It’s also not substantially different on the other layer, so there’s a perfectly reasonable question as to why it’s done in double-knitting at all. So I opted to go taller, but also to make a nice double-knitted brim for it. I discovered that the cable techniques actually shrink the fabric’s width by 1/3: a repeat that’s 18 pairs wide in the cabled section matches the width of a 12-pair wide double-stockinette section. So the brim was an easy thing to add; vertical 2-pair stripes become 3-pair stripes just before the cables begin. The brim may seem unnaturally tall, but keep in mind that there’s no way to see the cables underneath it when it’s folded up, so why bother making them? The hat fits better this way as well. The original version is also on offer here for those who like the style.