Vortex by Lee Meredith


January 2009
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
16 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette St
US 9 - 5.5 mm
218 yards (199 m)
Child (17") & Adult (21")
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for free.

From Knitty:
Long ago in my knitting life I came across Tychus here on Knitty, my first discovery of short rows. It took me a while to grasp the concept well enough to be able to incorporate it into my own designs, but once I started playing I just couldn’t stop. One design idea led to another, getting crazier with swirls and waves, and then I thought of how I could make the swirls pop more by switching between two self-striping yarns in contrasting colorways.

After some more playing, finally Vortex was born - the pointed version - and I loved it! Got tons of compliments too, with its swirl design twisting up and up to that high peak. But I knew it wouldn’t be for everyone, so I made some modifications to create the slightly more conservative no-point version. A great thing about using two balls of yarn for the stripes is that you only need half of each, so you could make yourself matching pointed and no-point hats!

Of course the possibilities are endless for color/striping options with this hat - it would look great with two solids, or one striping yarn paired with a solid yarn. Or, for a more subtle swirl design, use just one self-striping yarn alone and get a whole different look!

I can tell from the stares I get from knitters that this design looks much harder than it is. Don’t be scared by the seeming complexity; it’s a very simple hat once you get the hang of it. Constructed of wedges, the brim and swirls are formed by increases and decreases, garter stitch and stockinette, with simple short-rows for shaping, no wrapping of stitches needed. Stitch markers and the pattern’s noting of how many stitches in the brim within each row keeps track of your place, so it’s an easy pattern to follow while watching or listening to something. And it’s so much fun to see the stripes form into swirls and become a hat!

Although it’s called the no-point version, the second hat does have a little bit of a peak. You can get rid of it almost completely with blocking, or you can choose to pull it up into a mini-point if you wish.