Bespeckle by Hunter Hammersen


April 2019
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
22 stitches = 4 inches
in blocked stockinette
175 - 225 yards (160 - 206 m)
Written in four sizes and four gauges to fit most anyone (see notes below for more).
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Bespeckle verb to mark with speckles

This was supposed to be a pompom. No really, stick with me here!

I was looking for an excuse to finally sit down and write out all the stuff I want folks to know about pompoms (how to get them super full and round, how to make them detachable, how to incorporate stripes or polkadots, what tools I use to make mine). And I had just about talked myself into putting it all into a pattern and calling it a day. But it turns out you’re not allowed to have a pattern for just a pompom all by itself!

So my first thought was ‘no problem, I’ll just do a totally plain hat to go along with it, then I’ll be following the rules and still get to play with the pompoms.’ But then…well…then that seemed boring.

So I decided this would be the perfect time to explore adding random speckles to my knitting (sort of like thrums, but without the bulk that usually has). Because if we’re going discuss the finer points of pompoms, we’ve already decided we’re comfortable with the whimsical, why not bring speckles in too?

The pattern is tremendously detailed and gives you lots of possible variations to experiment with. It starts out with a lengthy photo tutorial on how to create and place the speckles, then another on how to finally get your pompoms really full and round (including my favorite way to make them detachable), and ends with details of how how to make both striped and speckled pompoms.

The hat is written in four sizes, and you should feel free to adjust your gauge a bit to fine tune the fit. Just be sure that you’re working at a gauge that gives you a fabric you like with your chosen yarn!

I recommend working at something around 4.5, 5, 5.5, or 6 stitches per inch, and I’ve included a table to help you figure out what gauge you’ll want to use for your size. With that range of sizes and gauges, the hats will fit a head between 18.4 and 24.5 inches (with lots of points in between).

Oh, and just to help you plan, I used about 140 yards of the main yarn (gray) and about 15 yards of the speckle yarn (pink) to make a hat for a large adult with occasional speckles. If you’re making a bigger or taller hat, you might want more like 175 yards of the main color and 20 of the speckle color.

My pompoms are made on a 55 mm maker, and each one took about 60 yards of yarn (they are little yarn beasts, but that’s what makes them so cute).

This is perfect for you if:

  • You want to get your pompoms really full and fluffy
  • You absolutely must have a pompom…but only sometimes
  • You suddenly want tiny speckles of color infiltrating your knitting

It’s not for you if:

  • You want something serious and proper and impressive that will wow the slightly intimidating ladies at the scary knitting group
  • You hate swatching (you need to swatch to check your needle size)