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Onward and Upward!

August 27, 2012

Hello, Knitalong-Knitters!

Neighbor Elizabeth stopping by to share a little bit about the Chinese Lantern Hat design, and to give a few more tips about the chart and shaping stitches used.

Knitalong hat with chart completed, viewed from the RS.

Knitalong hat with chart completed, viewed from the WS.

Background

I wanted this hat to be not only interesting to look at, but interesting to knit also. While designing, I considered several things:

  • The lanterns should appear to grow and rise up the sides of the hat.  That is why the “stems” for each lantern continue in the Half-Fisherman’s rib pattern used for the edge.
  • The hat should appear as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside. To achieve that goal, special care was taken to select just the right combination of stitches that would maintain the flow of the stitches being shaped on both sides.
  • The hat should be visually interesting from all angles. This is why the lanterns appear to be embossed on the surface of the hat, and why I chose the Outer yarn to bring added texture and dimension to the appearance. The Chinese Lantern Hat is meant to be a bit rustic and fun! The flower at the crown punctuates this playfulness. 😉
  • The one thing I did change from my original concept was to knit the hat flat, rather than in the round. Why? Because both the cast-on and the blocking for this pattern are difficult, in my opinion, when knitted in the round.

I guess that’s enough background; now, let’s get back to those tricky stitches!

Upper Portion

So far, we’ve completed the ribbed band in Half-Fisherman’s Rib stitch, and we’re ready to move on to the upper portion of the chart, beginning with Row 16.

Updated Chart

Before we continue, though, let’s make sure you have the most up-to-date version of the chart. While writing this blog post, I realized there were errors in the chart. I have corrected these, and you can download a new copy of the pattern, if you’re not sure.

Increases

Looking at the remainder of the chart, have you noticed much of the shaping – increasing and decreasing of stitches – happens on wrong side rows? You might be scratching your head, wondering if that’s right? It is. In lace knitting, shaping can happen on one, or both, sides of your work. The direction, or even if the stitches will slant, is determined by the type of increase/decrease used.

All of the stitch increases for the Chinese Lantern Hat are done on the WS, and are accomplished by increasing multiple stitches from one stitch. The number of stitches increased varies:

Inc to 3 – Adds two stitches.

Inc to 5 – Adds four stitches.

Inc to 7 – Adds six stitches.

Decreases

The pattern calls for multiple types of one-stitch decreases:

K2tog on RS – Rows 37 and 43.

P2tog on WS – Row 32 only.

SSK on RS – Row 37 only.

SSP on WS – Row 32 only.

SSP on RS – used only once, in Row 37

SSK on WS – Rows 22, 34, and 40.

K2tog on WS – Rows 22, 34, and 40.

All of the two-stitch decreases are Centered Double Decreases. The stitch count decreases by two, producing no visible slant when viewed from the RS, but, rather, a centered, vertical line.

CDD on RS – Centered Double Decrease worked on and viewed from RS.

CDD on WS – Awkward to work on the WS; the resulting decrease will be a perfect match to the previous photos, when viewed from the RS.

Hopefully, things are a lot easier to visualize now! Continue to work all the way though the chart, and be sure to let me know if you have questions. I am always happy to help over on Ravelry, in the Friends of Spud and Chloe Group – look for the Chinese Lantern Hat knitalong thread.

Next Week

Seams to me, we might be ready to block!

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