Monday, September 15, 2014

Using Bonk! as an Inspiration for a Baby Hat

After completing my Forest Sprites, I had some leftover yarn and wanted to complete a monster hat as well. First I went to the book, Knit a Monster Nursery, as I thought I could make use of one of those patterns to knit a hat. (The Green Planet Yarn knitters are using this as a source book for the baby shower.) Then it occurred to me, I could use Bonk! as the inspiration for my hat. The ears on this monster are super cute, so I decided to go for it.

I decided that the hat would be knit using US 7 (4.5mm) and US 8 (5mm) needles. Since I'm emulating Bonk!, I'm using the same yarn I used for the monsters themselves. Here's what I did:

Start by casting on 64 stitches using German twisted cast-on on US 8 (5.0mm) needles, joining to work in the round. I'm going for a newborn to 3 months size. Adjust this count if you want a bigger hat. Knit 8 rounds of 1x1 rib.
Switch to US 7 (4.5mm) needles and knit 30 rounds of stockinette. (Bigger hats may require more rounds of stockinette. I would suggest 5 more rounds for every 8 stitches extra -- this is a guess!)
Time to reduce for the crown. For this crown, I started with a (k2, k2tog)* round, followed by a knit round. Following the same pattern, I reduce 1 knit stitch each time and then repeat the final decrease round once more:

Round 1: (K2, k2tog)*
Round 2: K*
Round 3: (K1, K2tog)*
Round 4: K*
Round 5: K2tog*
Round 6: K*
Round 7: K2tog*

If you have increased the stitch count for the hat you may need to add additional decrease rounds or finish a round with a K3tog instead of a K2tog.

When decrease rounds are complete, cut yarn leaving sufficient length to finish hat. Thread yarn tail through remaining loops and pull tight. Weave in ends.

So far we have a simple stockinette cap.

Time for embellishment. First we will start with the face. I'm using my contrast color and a US 7.0 (4.5mm) needle for the face. This is a larger needle than the needle used for the original monsters, so I've had to make some adjustments. Ive reduced the number of rows and the number of stitches. My face is knit as follows:

Cast on 16 using long-tailed cast on.
Row 1 (WS): P1, PFB, K12, PFB, P1
Row 2 (RS): K1, KFB, K14, KFB, K1
Row 3: P to end of row.
Row 4: K to end of row.
Row 5: P to end of row.
Row 6: K to end of row.
Row 7: P1, P2tog, P14, SSP, P1
Row 8: K to end of row.
Row 9: P1, P2tog, P12, SSP, P1
Row 10: K to end of row.
Row 11: P1, P2tog, P10, SSP, P1

Cast of using K2tog tbl bind off, leaving sufficient tail for attaching face to hat.

Buttons would be cute, but since this is for a baby, I'm adding the eyes with a duplicate stitch. I've embroidered the nose with 2 straight lines.

To attach the face to the hat, I first align it with the 6th round of stockinettes, horizontally centered on the front of the hat (the front is the opposite of the start of cast on). The face is whip stitched in place. If you have made larger hat, you will probably need to align the face differently.

Time to make some ears. Again, I'm using a US 7 (4.5 mm) needles and making adjustments to the original pattern to account for size.

Cast on 40 stitches using long-tailed cast on, leaving sufficient tail to whip stitch the ears closed and attach them to the hat. 30" is more than sufficient. Join to work in the round.

Rounds 1 & 2: K.
Round 3: K to 2 stitches before marker, K2tog, SM, SSK, K to end of round. (38 stitches remain)
Round 4: K to end of round.
Repeat rounds 3 & 4, 2 more times. (34 stitches remain)

Round 9: SSK, K to 2 stitches before marker, K2tog, SM, SSK, K to 2 stitches before end of round, K2tog. (30 stitches remain)
Round 10: K to end of round.
Repeat rounds 9 & 10 until 6 stitches remain. Remove marker.

Round 21: CDD, CDD.

Cut yarn and thread through remaining 2 loops & pull tight. weave in end.

Make a second ear.

Using the yarn tail whip stitch the ear closed.

Fold the corner of the ears over and tack down using yarn tail.
To attach the ears, flatten the hat and arrange the ears with the folded portion of the ears towards the center of the hat. I started my left hear at the center of the hat and moved the second ear of to the side. Move the ears around to find an arrangement you like. Using the yarn tail, tack the ear in position. Whip stitch the ear to the hat. I started at the fold point and moved around the front of the ear front fold and then around the back. When you get near the end, fold a little bit of the corner forward and stitch it down. This will help keep the ear from flopping as much.
The finished hat.

My finished hat, can be found at Baby Sprite. There won't be much information (basically, no pictures) in the project until after the baby shower.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. "Bonk!" pattern copyright by Susan Claudino..

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