Friday, January 1, 2016

Quarter Crown for Hats

(Click on photos to enlarge)
A fellow machine knitter Margaret, AKA as ‘HybridSJ’on Ravelry, posted a very interesting finishing for crowns of hats.  It involves dividing the hat body into 4ths, knitting triangles from each 4th section and joining together with SAYG (Seam As Ya Go).  It makes a flat, form fitting crown that lends itself nicely to beanies, helmet liners, chemo caps, or any hat crown where gathering isn’t always the best finishing technique.  And it goes much faster than decreasing across the row and moving stitches in.  Since she doesn't maintain a blog, she gave me permission to post it on mine so it could have more visibility.
So here’s Margaret’s post.  And I’ll add my own take on it afterward.  
Margaret’s Notes:
The quarter crown can be done at the end of a machine knit hat without removing from the machine, or you can take off on waste yarn, or even rehang stitches from an in the round hand knit pattern.
Last row of the body pattern should be divisible by four, so reduce or increase accordingly. For example, if you have 86 stitches, decrease two stitches evenly on the last row. If you have 87, you could decrease to 84 or increase to 88. I prefer to decrease.
If knitting straight on from the body of the machine, put 3/4 needles in hold. In the case of 84 stitches, that’s 63 in hold, 21 in work.
Decrease one stitch fully fashioned each end. I use the 2 x 1 tool to move 2 stitches over one needle each end. Knit that row and the next, i.e. two rows.
Repeat these two rows until 3 stitches are left. Thread yarn through stitches and take off.
Bring next 21 (or quarter) stitches into work. Knit decrease row. Hang stitch from nearest end of first quarter on end needle opposite carriage.
Repeat these two rows until 3 stitches are left. Thread yarn through stitches and take off.
Repeat twice more. Sew seam or follow instructions for knitting in the round.
Finishing from in the round
Hang quarter stitches and continue knitting as above for three quarters.
On last quarter, pick up stitches as before PLUS unworked stitches from first quarter. I am still experimenting with the best time to pick up the first quarter end stitches but picking up on the first or third row works with some “fudging”.
Or you can do a mattress stitch seam to finish. (only you will notice the slight difference and it is easier)
My Take:
I decided to try using a 1 prong tool decrease on the crown instead of a 2 prong tool. It worked well and gives a bit different look.  Both are totally acceptable, it’s just another option.
I worked the hat flat, not in the round, and used a Bickford seam to sew up the last triangles and the seam.  It is flat, virtually invisible and doesn’t leave the inside bulk that mattress stitching does.
So, thank you very much, Margaret.  It’s a keeper technique.