How to Cut and Sew a Hat

posted in: Knit, Machine Knit, Uncategorized | 7

I recently took an online class from Olgalyn Jolly.  Olgalyn is a knit textile and knitwear designer in NYC. She also teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Textile Arts Center.  When I saw she was offering an online class, I quickly signed up.  Her class answered my many questions about sewing knits.  I highly recommend her class if you want to learn about sewing knits with a sewing machine and/or serger.  When I say, “knits,” I am referring to sweater knits, not the thin commercial knit fabric.  To learn more about Olgalyn’s class click here.

This tutorial is for simple cut and sew knit beanie hats.  I have always wanted to make cut and sew hats.  They are simple and quick.  This is also a good way to use up leftover knit fabric and swatches.  I knit these hats (in photos) with a Passap E6000 and Silver Reed SK840.  Single bed fabrics are thin and pliable while double jacquard fabrics are thicker (warmer).  The thickness of the fabric may affect the seams.  The thicker the knit, the bulkier the seam.  This is not a concern, just something I thought I should point out.

You can use any knitting machine to knit your fabric or even use hand knit fabric.  You will need a rectangle of knit fabric which is wide enough to go around your head (minus ease), and tall enough to reach the top of your head/crown.

Use a flexible tape measure to measure the circumference around your head just above your ears.  Also measure from the middle of your ear to the top/middle of your head.  Once you have these measurements, you will know what size rectangle you need to knit.  Since knit fabrics have stretch, you will need to add some negative ease to your head circumference measurement to make the hat tight enough to stay on.  I am not going to go in detail about how to get gauge/size for your hat.  This information can be found easily online or in hand knitting books.

Hats are best when the fabric has some stretch.  Avoid 100% cotton.  It has no stretch.  Wool works very well.  Synthetics are also good.  Remember the seams are more visible on thicker knits like bulky knits and double bed jacquard.  Below, all the hats are double bed jacquard except for the green/gold which is a single bed fair isle.  I do find that wool steams very well and the seams tend to be nearly invisible.  The hats shown below where knit with mill end yarns/synthetics.  I did not pay much attention to pattern repeat or matching.  If you want a more invisible seam, be sure to have a perfect pattern repeat (this can easily be adjusted in DesignaKnit) and pin the back hat seam carefully.

Below is a rectangle of fabric knit in double bed jacquard knit on a Passap E6000.  This size is good for a women’s medium hat (See ruler measurements in the photo).  A starting point for cast on may be to make a swatch 50-0-50 with 100 lock passes (for Passap DBJ).  Make a swatch on your machine and figure gauge.  You will then know how many stitches to cast on and how many to knit.

I have the fabric laid out with the raw edge at the top and the cast on edge on the bottom.  The cast on edge will be the part of the hat above your eyes.  The raw edge/live stitches will be the crown seams.  In the photo below, you are looking at the right side (patterned side) of the fabric.  You need to fold the fabric with the right sides (patterned sides) together so you will be looking at the back (wrong side) of the fabric.

The photo below shows the fabric folded.  Right sides are together with the open edge on the left.  Be sure to match the edges up good.  Pin if necessary.  Be sure to sew starting at the cast on edge to ensure the seam matches up perfectly.  Take your fabric to the sewing machine and sew the seam from the cast on edge to the top live stitches/crown.

Below shows the seam sewn.  Steam open the seam to flatten.

Photo below- Now you need to use something round to mark the corners of the crown/live stitch edge.  A plate of any size will work.  Place the plate by the corner and mark the round edge line.  (I am using a yellow chalk marker to mark my lines.). Mark both sides.  Then sew on the line.  There will be an open gap that is not sewn (see note on next photo).  Use a serger or a zig zag to sew another stitch line by first line to reinforce edge for cutting.

Below shows after sewing.  Now cut off excess fabric.  Note: The top/middle of the crown seam of the hat is not sewn.  Only the corners have been sewn.

Below- Excess fabric cut off.

Below- Now you will fold the hat in half (the opposite direction) to sew second crown seam.

Below- Mark the seam by rounding both corners.  You will be sewing across the center seam to close the gap.  Be sure mark your sewing line so you do not leave a hole where the two crown seams intersect.

Below– After sewing the seam.  Be sure to sew the zig zag or serge the seam to reinforce the edge.

Below– Cut off excess fabric.

After cutting off excess fabric, steam the seams to flatten.

If you have any tips to share, please post in the comments.

Happy Scarves

flat rib scarf

These are flat rib scarves knit in bright “happy” colors. The flat rib can be knit on any knitting machine with a ribber (double bed).  Set your machine up for full needle rib (all needles in work on main bed and rib bed).  Needles are alternating–not directly across from each other.  Knit your cast on (zig zag, hang comb, knit circular rows).  After the cast on is complete, you will transfer some ribber stitches to the main bed and put those ribber needles out of work.  All main bed needles remain in work.  On these scarves I had 4 needles out of work (or was it 5?) on the ribber and then one needle in work.  Repeat this pattern across the entire ribber bed.  I had 2 ribber needles in work on the edges of the bed.  Once you have this set up, knit across slowly with the carriage/lock or knit across by hand. Knit across by hand by doing a “free pass of the carriage/lock, then knit the yarn into the latches and knit off– by hand.  This row will be hard to knit because of the doubled up stitches.  Knit scarf to length desired and bind off.  This pattern knits lays flat (edges do not roll).  It is a great pattern for using up stash and “gifting.”

Remember when knitting in full needle rib, you will need to use lighter weight yarns than what you would use for single bed or 1×1/2×2 rib etc.

The scarves photographed were knit on a 9mm bulky machine in worsted weight yarn.

Wensleydale Sheep and Fall Sale

posted in: Knit, sheep, Spinning Fiber | 0

wensleydale sheep

Fall is over and winter is coming fast!  We had a frost the other day and it was a reality check that winter is just around the corner.  I do have a few white Wensleydale ewes available and one black wether. The ewes range from 91%-98%.  All of the sheep have wonderful fleeces!  Here are some photos of the fleeces just recently sheared from these sheep.

 

sheep fleece wensleydale

The fall sale is coming soon at the Weaver’s Guild of Cincinnati.

Fiber Arts Sale 2017
Friday, Nov. 10th: 4pm – 8pm
Saturday, Nov. 11th: 10am – 4pm
Sunday, Nov. 12th: Noon – 4pm

“Experience the Luxury of Handmade
Original Works by Weavers Guild Artisans”

I will have handspun, farm wool batts, and artisan knits available in the sale.

weavers guild cincinnati

 

Yes, that is a rotting pumpkin in the photo below.  That may prove fall is over!

merino scarf

Summer Update

Summer is here!  I have added some new wools to the shop with more to come.

 

We always have Killdeer nesting in the gravel along the driveway. They are so small, but are up and running around soon after hatching.

 

We have had so much rain that the riding arena has grass growing in it!  The horses are working hard to mow it.

 

In my “spare” time, between working with the sheep, riding, dyeing, weaving, and spinning, I have been knitting up bunches of swatches for items I will have in the Cincinnati Weaver’s Guild sale in November.  With summer here, it seems as though November is far off, but it will be here in no time and so will winter.  So enjoy summer while you can!

knitting swatches