Exigencies by Hunter Hammersen


no longer available from 1 source show
April 2020
both are used in this pattern
Aran (8 wpi) ?
18 stitches = 4 inches
in blocked stockinette in the main color
125 - 300 yards (114 - 274 m)
Written in six sizes and five gauges to fit most anyone (see notes below for more).
Flag of English English

This pattern (along with most of my earlier work) was retired in the summer of 2022. However, it may be available for a few days once or twice a year. Read on for details!

In the summer of 2022, I realized that maintaining a back catalog of hundreds of patterns was kind of overwhelming. I couldn’t do it and still release new things. So I took my old patterns down so I could keep doing new work.

Since then, a handful of my favorites have come back, and lovely new things have come out. But the vast majority of the old patterns are retired and will no longer be generally available.

However, enough folks have asked about some old favorites that I’m planning to make many of the retired patterns available for a few days once or twice a year (most likely in late spring and then again in the fall around Thanksgiving).

  • If you see the buy buttons on this page, you’ve caught it on one of the days it’s available, and you’re welcome to grab it!
  • If you don’t see the buy buttons on this page, then it’s not currently available.
  • If you want to hear when the retired patterns will be available, subscribe to the mailing list or patreon, or keep an eye on my instagram.

Exigencies noun urgent needs, things required by the situation

I need a distraction. I need something that is pretty enough to hold my attention (and remind me that there are lovely things in the world), but not so complicated that it’s going to feel hard (because I just don’t think I could handle hard right now).

And this really does fit the bill. It’s mostly stockinette in the round. No seriously, I promise. Most rows you just knit knit knit with no counting and no tricky bits. And the occasional row where you do the magic? Well all I can say is they’re easier than than they look.

The fancy bits are all fake colorwork (the sort where you only ever use one color per row and all the cool stuff happen through clever slipped stitches). The only time you have to do proper colorwork (the sort where you use more than one color on the same row and therefore swear a lot) is if you want that star at the top. And even then, it’s only for four rows…you can manage anything for for measly rows, right? I promise, you’ll be surprised how mellow this is!⁠

The hardest part will probably be picking colors. I grabbed two bright solids from the scraps bin for my contrast colors, and I absolutely love how it came out, but you’ve got options. You could go a bit more subtle by using only one contrast color. Or try using your absolute loudest variegated yarn for the contrast color (seriously, even the hardest to use yarn can be magic when you use it in smaller quantities like this). Or maybe make every single stripe a different color (which seems like the perfect thing to do with that set of mini skeins you needed but haven’t used).

Go, raid your stash, I bet you have something perfect just waiting to be used!

The pattern includes the directions for both hats. They’re written in six sizes (castons of 72, 80, 88, 96, 104, and 112 stitches), and you should feel free to adjust your gauge a bit to fine tune the fit of the pieces. 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, 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 15.75 and 24.75 inches (with lots of points in between).

I used about 125 yards of yarn to make a hat for a small child (75 of the main color, 50 total of the contrast colors). If you’re making a hat for an adult, you will need more yarn (250 yards of worsted-weight, 300 of sport or dk-weight is a safe bet). The amount of contrast yarn you use is flexible (because you can decide how many rows of the contrast stitching you’d like to work, and how many different colors of contrast yarn you’d like to use), so it’s great for using up leftovers from other projects.

These are perfect for you if:

  • You like the idea of raiding the scraps bin for some little bits you can turn into something delightful
  • You think two hats are better than one
  • You really really really like spiffy hat crowns

They’re not for you if:

  • You don’t like charts (the pattern uses charts)
  • You hate swatching (you need to swatch to check your needle size)