Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The Classic Cloche
As I was looking through the first few entries of my blog, I realized I haven't shown one classic cloche. This is one of my personal favorites because of the neutral color scheme and the "knit-in" hat band. The flower is actually a pin that can be taken off for the classic look, or left on for the bonnet look. This hat looks great on everyone. The flared brim is about two inches and the hat is a medium size, about 22" around. I start the knitting on the outside edge with 95 stitches, knit 2" and decrease 10 as follows: (k7, k2tog) x 10, then k5. Then I knit another 2" and decrease another 10 stitches: (k6, k2tog) x 10, then k5. That leaves a nice 75 stitches with which to knit the dome of the hat. I knit this for 8". Then I begin the crown by decreasing the next row by 10 as shown above, then knit a row, then repeat. Once you get to 55 stitches you decrease 11 times around on every other row until you end up with 11 stitches. Slip the yarn through the last 11 stitches at least twice and then weave the end in. For the band I used an alternate yarn for 4" immediately after completing the brim. I don't usually follow an exact pattern as I am always making adjustments for yarn, hat band width or other small style variations, so don't be afraid to experiment. Any flower pattern works, because the flower is a separate item. This flower is crocheted. I don't actually follow a pattern for it, but I really do need to write one at some point. Both are felted in the washing machine for 10 minutes with hot water, a little soap and an old pair of jeans. I allow them to go through a cold rinse and the spin cycles. Then it is pull, stretch, and form onto the hat form. (If you don't have a hat form you can use your head or a bowl.) It should take about a day for the hat to be dry and ready to wear. Because different yarns felt differently, always knit and felt a square to see how it shrinks. The primary yarn in this hat is Fishermen's Wool (Cream Color) by Lyon Brand and the hat band and flower are "Iceland Print" (Roses) by Crystal Palace. Remember that making felted hats is not an exact craft. It is an art. Each hat will come out with its own unique personality. Happy knitting!