Gummy Worms Hat!
My 'Gummy Worms' hat shown above was made from Adriafil Scozia 'Lochness' (blue) for the ribbing, and my own handspun art-yarn 'Gummy Worms' for the main body, and topped with a Scozia bobble to match the ribbing. I have a new listing in my shop for 'Gummy Worms'. But you can use any bulky art yarn. 'Gummy Worms' is approx. 5 wraps per inch. That means it can be wrapped around 1" on a ruler, 5 times, comfortably. Obviously that's going to vary with many art yarns, that have thick-thin areas of spinning, with texture, so it may depend where on the yarn it is wrapped, but generally speaking 5wpi is the thickness for this particular project.
This project took 1x50g ball of 'Scozia' and almost 120 grams of 'Gummy Worms'. A smaller hat would obviously take less yarn. These directions are for a large sized hat. Measurements below....
I started by measuring round the head I was knitting for and knitting a guage swatch in the Scozia yarn on 5.5mm double pointed knitting needles. I'm not going to give that guage here because everyone's knitting is different. Basically whatever the circumference of your finished hat, count your guage stitches, and multiply until you have the right amount of stitches to go around the head you are knitting for. In this instance I needed 72 stitches for a 23" head.
Measuring: I measure around the head with a piece of string, and then measure the string. Do not pull it tightly. Start above the eye brows and go around the head where the ribbing will sit. I think you can see that imaginary 'line' in the picture below.
Just a word of caution. Hats tend to stretch. In my experience men prefer tight fitting hats that won't come off whilst they work, and women often like a looser hat that won't squash their hair too much.If I were knitting this as a tighter fitting work type hat, I would need to decrease the amount of stitches in both ribbing and stocking stitch.
I use extra long double pointed needles as I prefer them for hats because of the amount of stitches I end up with, but you might use shorter ones or circular needle. Extra long double pointed needles are not readily available on the high street any more, but can be purchased online. All my sets have been purchased from charity shops so keep your eyes open for them. People don't know what to do with them so they end up in the charity box! Choose the size that best feels right to you, in my case I chose 5mm for the hat ribbing.
The manufacturers of Adriafil Scozia recommend 7mm needles as it's classed as a 'chunky' yarn, and is 67 yards per 50gram (1.75oz) ball. Although 7mm would be good for most items knitted with this yarn, I decided on a much firmer ribbing.
I cast on 72 stitches on 5mm needles, using the 2 needle method after which, I spread the 72 stitches evenly between the 4 needles, and commenced knitting, k2, p2, for 4".
At the end of the ribbed knitting, I broke off 'Scozia' and joined on my 'Gummy Worms' yarn, changed needle size to a set of 7mm double pointed needles, and placed a marker on the knitting to show the start point. In the next round only I knitted 2 stitches, then knitted the next 2 together, and continued on round. The reason for this is because 'Gummy Worms' is a super-chunky yarn so the knitting would balloon out if the number of stitches were not decreased. You should now have 54 stitches on your needles. 'Gummy Worms' would normally be knitted on a much larger needle, perhaps 9 or 10mm, but once again, I wanted a very firm knit.
I then continued in stocking stitch with 'Gummy Worms' for a further 6.5" before decreasing for top shaping. I wanted this hat to be roomy, so my idea was to knit it straight until right at the top and decrease in just a few rows to bring it in quickly at the top. This creats a slightly 'bunched up' effect at the top, which was the effect I wanted.
1st shaping row: On the next round, I knitted 2 stitches together, then knitted 2 stitches in stocking stitch, then repeated that, all the way around. Keep moving your marker up your knitting so it's easy to tell where the 'beginning' is.
2nd shaping row: Next row, knit stocking stitch all the way around without shaping.
3rd shaping row: Next row do the same again, knit 2 stitches together, then knit 2 in stocking stitch, and continue right round like that.
4th shaping row: Then do another round in stocking stitch.
5th shaping row: knit 2 together, knit one, knit 2 together, knit one, continue right round like that.
6th shaping row: knit every 2 stitches together.
Leaving a long tail, cut the yarn, thread a darning needle onto this cut yarn end and pick up each stitch from the knitting needles onto the darning needle, and gently work each stitch onto the darning needle thread. It takes a bit of time to do this with this yarn because it's so textured. If pulled too hard and fast, it might snap, but with a bit of patience, all the stitches can be then drawn up tight, and the tail darned off inside and out of sight.
I made a pompom out of what remained of the Scozia yarn because 'Gummy Worms' is essentially a corespun artyarn, and would not make a good pompom as it might unravel slightly when cut.
Great for freezing cold West Coast of Ireland beach combing days!