Back in May, I showed you pictures of the blue Spruce Mittens (from Robin Hansen's Fox and Geese and Fences). They didn't have a planned recipient at the time, but as I was finishing them, Kendra, the niece of some friends, fell in love with them. And they fit her perfectly, so clearly they were meant to be hers. And I still had quite a bit of the blue and yellow yarn, and Kendra had mentioned how she liked warm knitted things and hated being cold, so I said, 'and would you wear a hat that matched?' and Kendra delightedly said she would. I cast on for the hat that same day, but with one thing and another, only got around to finishing it this weekend.
There were two challenges with this- the first being that I'd never really figured out how to make the decreases look right on the mittens. After considerable futzing around I decided that going down two stitches at time, using a sl 1, k2 tog, psso decrease was the way to go. It's neat and symmetrical, and I refrained from getting too persnickety about exactly matching things since I'd cast on before realizing I'd need a number of pattern repeats divisible by four to get all the decreases to match around the hat. (The hat has 11 pattern repeats- vexing, that.)
The second was that I decided I wanted to try a stockinette rolled brim. I thought it would look good on Kendra and it was an edge technique I hadn't tried before. I expected it to roll- what I hadn't completely internalized is that it really doesn't stop rolling unless you make it happen. Perhaps in a hat that was all one yarn it wouldn't have mattered so much- the wearer could simply pull it down to the right level. But for this hat it does matter- if the brim rolls too far, it shows the yellow floats on the inside. So I started dreaming up ways to stop it rolling where I wanted it.
Of course the obvious way would have been to have put in a few rows of seed stitch at the end of the stockinette section, but that meant ripping out the whole hat. And that was my fallback plan. But after trying out various ideas I hit upon another way. On the inside of the hat, I picked up two stitches two rows apart and pulled a piece of yarn through. Then ran the needle around it again to pull those two stitches together. Then I passed the yarn through the next stitch and sewed two loops from the next stitch over.
(In this picture, I'm halfway through the sewing- see how it rolls less on the right side?)
It's not a perfect solution- you get a ridge on the right side (mostly hidden by the rolling brim):
--and a series of small knots on the inside of the hat. These were noticeable in handling, but not especially when I tried it on. But it did stop the rolling before it exposed the floats, so I'm declaring it a victory. (All the same- next time, I'm trying the seed stitch band instead.)