Just a reminder, today is the last day of the introductory sale for my Dotty Cake pattern. It’s 15% off through midnight tonight on Ravelry, no coupon code needed.
I’m really happy with Dotty Cake. But it took a while to get there!
I knew I wanted to use the Dotty stitch pattern I developed for the Dotty Cowl that I designed for Knit Picks last year. And I loved the Chroma Worsted combination of Natural and Pegasus, so I wanted to use that again, too.
I cast on a guesstimate of stitches, based on my gauge from the cowl. The number seemed a bit big, but not totally unreasonable. I have a big head.
I knew I wanted a herringbone braid for the bottom edge of the hat, but I was going to have to be canny about it. I had planned to use it for the cowl, but when I was knitting the braid last year, the soft, single ply low-twist yarn wanted to drift apart in the first row of the twisty braiding process. I figured a hat had fewer stitches, so maybe it wouldn’t have enough time to drift apart.
And that’s when I finally realized…if I made the braid point in the opposite direction, I’d be tightening the twist on the first row, and then loosening it back to normal on the following row. Problem solved.
I finished the braid and began the Dotty stitch pattern, which is simple and easy to memorize. The shifting color was mesmerizing, too. This was great mindless travel knitting as I went to Vogue Knitting Live in Columbus. But as I knit, I started wondering how the heck I was going to finish the top of the hat. The Dotty stitch pattern wasn’t going to play well with my usual swirly crown decreases.
What about a pointy Santa-style stocking cap? I kept knitting as I pondered how to make that work nicely with the Dotty stitch pattern. I wasn’t inspired.
Well, what about a straight up cylinder, kitchener stitched across the top, and then bringing the two corners together like an envelope fold? I kept knitting to get the extra height I’d need, but I started to think that an all Dotty stitch hat with that much height was boring.
And then I tried on the hat and realized it was too big, even for my big head, and needed to be frogged. I had 9 inches of knitting when I finally realized this. Blergh.
So I ripped it all out.
I added more braids to the second version of the hat to make it more interesting, and that’s when I noticed that it looked like a layer cake. That was a happy accident!
Still, the crown shaping had to be addressed. And it needed to work for two sizes. The diretionality of the swirl was giving me fits, so I decided to go with paired decreases for each section of the hat. Perfect!
I needed to knit a smaller size for heads smaller than mine, so I could make sure the crown decreasing would work for that, too. I used the Malabrigo Worsted that wasn’t working for the brioche project I was playing with earlier this fall.
Sometimes a design jumps right off the needles. And sometimes you wrestle it to the ground. Dotty Cake took a while to work out, but I’m so glad it did. Happy knitting!