Refraction by Hunter Hammersen


no longer available from 1 source show
August 2019
both are used in this pattern
yarn held together
+ DK
= DK (11 wpi) ?
22 stitches = 4 inches
in 1 x 1 twisted ribbing, blocked
200 - 250 yards (183 - 229 m)
Written in three sizes and four gauges to fit most anyone (see notes below for more).
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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.

Refraction noun change in direction of a wave passing from one medium to another

This is a companion to Incidence (the brioche hat in the picture at the bottom of this page).

This is the knitting equivalent of opposite day. Wait, that takes a little explanation.

So, earlier this year I fell hard for brioche. I was (and remain) hideously smitten. Had a hard time knitting anything else. But, I know not everyone shares my current obsession. Which I suppose is fine…probably (but really, have you tried brioche? It’s keen…).

But, as I was playing with brioche, I realized that brioche is basically just 1x1 ribbing with some peculiar yarn overs thrown in there. And that means that a lot of the stuff you can do with brioche, you can do a version of with just 1x1 ribbing.

So, when I got done with Incidence, I figured I’d try and do a version in ribbing instead of in brioche. But I wanted to really run with the whole opposites thing. So for this one I made it super thick and cozy (instead of light and wispy), and I gave it a delightfully deep folded brim (instead of just diving right into the pattern with no brim at all). The result is a hat that is somehow the total opposite of the first hat…but one that I love just as much!

The hat is written in three sizes (castons of 80, 96, and 112 stitches), and you should feel free to adjust your gauge a bit to fine tune the fit of the hat. 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 hat will fit a head between 18.5 and 24.5 inches (with lots of points in between).

I made mine with a strand of dk yarn and a strand of laceweight mohair held together, because I wanted that fuzzy, fluffy, halo that mohair gives you. Working with the second strand of yarn is totally optional though, you can absolutely just use one if you prefer.

It took me about 200 yards of each yarn to make a hat with a deep folded brim for a large adult head. You can likely make any size with 250 yards (quite possibly less if you’re not doing a folded brim or if the head your knitting for isn’t quite as big as mine).

This is perfect for you if:

  • You’ve not (yet) fallen prey to brioche fever, but blast it all you still love a pretty hat
  • You think hats are more fun in sets, and the idea of making two hats that the the opposite of each other just amuses you more than it should (guilty!)

It’s 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)