Rainbow Indigo Fisherman's Beanie by Janet Stimson

Rainbow Indigo Fisherman's Beanie

June 2020
DK (11 wpi) ?
26 stitches and 36 rows = 4 inches
in Stocking Stitch
US 3 - 3.25 mm
219 yards (200 m)
One size: to fit 22" head circumference
Flag of English English
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

This is the sixth in a series of hats designed during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.The complete series includes one hat in each colour of the rainbow, a symbol representing hope during a dark time in our lives, made bearable by the spirit of resilience and fellow feeling of family, friends, neighbours and complete strangers.

This hat was inspired by the traditional ganseys, or sweaters, worn for centuries by the fishermen of the north-east coast of the UK, near where I live. Each fishing community had its own combination of patterns, legend having it that any drowned sailor could be identified by his sweater. The patterns on the sweaters represented elements of the seafaring life: ropes, flags, anchors, ladders, steps, paths, nets etc.This particular pattern has cables, representing ropes, diamonds representing fishing nets and textured stitches representing ladders.

Originally knit in 5 ply gansey wool in the round on long double pointed needles, the sweaters were knit to a very tight tension, helping to block the wind and rain of the high seas. Gansey wool is available even now from specialist suppliers, but tends to be expensive. To make it more accessible to the modern knitter, this hat is knit in Drops Karisma, pure wool DK, on circular needles, to a tighter tension than usual. I also tried it with 2 strands of Drops Flora (light fingering) held together and using the same size needles. I achieved a slightly smaller hat, but with a denser fabric. As usual, it pays to check your tension.

There are more stitches on the needles than is usual for DK wool, but this is because it is designed to be knit at a tighter tension to make for a denser fabric.

Because of the large number of stitches to each repeat of the design, it is only practical to offer it in one size. A smaller or larger hat could be achieved by using smaller or larger needles to a different tension.

I used exactly 2 balls of the Karisma (with only a couple of yards to spare) and 2 balls of the Flora, held together.

Please make sure you download version 2 of this pattern, which has amended tension instructions. Sorry about that!

Copyright for the Victorian prints by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe belongs to the Sutcliffe Gallery, who have given permission to reproduce them here. Prints are available from: http://www.sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk/