Monday, October 13, 2008

Jayne Hats, Part 1

Newly updated as a Christmas present!  A javascript calculator to help those who don't want to math.

The original stylishness

So another one of those things I do is watch scifi. I am one of those tragic cases who love(d) Firefly. And like many other nerds, I feel driven to own things that resemble things I see on TV. That led to the creation of my first Jayne Hat. It was actually a present for a like-minded friend. But of course I wanted one, so I kept going. While I don't have a good picture of the first, I DO happen to have a shot of mine laying around.

Guess who that ridiculously smiling face belongs to? Yours truly has, in the past, been accused of making faces like a five year old for pictures. I'm sorry, that's just the way I smile. Plus I love this hat. There's a slight spiral twist to the stitches from knitting this in the round, and the earflaps curl up - mostly because it's supposed to look slightly badly knitted. I could have made it bigger, but I wanted it this size. Note - the Jayne Hat calculator gives you numbers that include no ease, negative or positive.

Note: the original Jayne hat that I made was also knitted through the back loops, because I actually didn't know I was knitting incorrectly at the time. Wow, that's embarassing. It won't look as 'tight', or as spirally, if knitted normally. A new picture is coming whenever I get off my butt and make a better one; that Jayne hat is currently being worn by a companion cube at my office.

So let's talk construction! The following is my own pattern. The example hat was knitted in the round, on size 10.5 dpns, with Lion Brand Wool-Ease and Vanna's Choice. I could not tell you the color names, but they are a burnt orange, marigold yellow, and garnet red sort of colors. The cool thing about this hat is that it is easy to substitute whatever sort of yarn you want, since you
calculate the stitches after making your own gauge swatch. This also means the needle size you choose is more up to you, although going too small will make a heavy and tiresome fabric, while going too big will have too many holes.

My favorite thing about this pattern is that it is adjustable for any size hat, any yarn, and any DPNs/circular needles you want, so you can make Jayne hats for babies, dogs, dolls - whatever you desire.

This pattern is copyright Stephanie Schwinn as of 2015. You should feel free to make this pattern, and sell any objects made from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern itself, or distribute it for free. If you want to show it to someone else, just link it back here, or show them the pattern entry on Ravelry!

Jayne Hats for All
Materials And Pattern Notes:
Use any yarn and needles you prefer. For the original look, you will need yarn in three colors - yellow, orange, and red. You should use the same weight yarn for each color - i.e. don't get a worsted weight orange yarn, and a bulky weight yellow yarn - but they don't have to be different colorways in the same brand or anything.

The number of stitches will vary depending on the head size of the intended wearer and your gauge - which comes from the needles and yarn you choose, as well as your individual knitting style - but the calculator takes care of that for you. Now, on to the pattern itself.

This hat is knitted in the round, and therefore needs to be done with double pointed needles (DPNs), or a circular needle.

You will also need a few stitch markers - I recommend 6 or 8. If you have only a few (like 3 or 4) then the top will be more pointy. If you have a lot (10 or 12, etc) then it will be more flat on top.

Follow the measurement instructions, fill out the calculator, then BLAMMO get your customized pattern! (Disclosure, the calculator does not make a 'BLAMMO' noise.) The wording says 'inches' because I'm American and unfortunately we haven't converted to metric yet, but the calculator will work if your measurements are in centimeters instead.

Measurement Instructions:
Step 1: Measure your head.
Measure around where you want the hat brim to fall - I usually measure just above the brow line. If you want a snug fit, use the exact measurement or subtract 1 inch. For a slightly looser fit, add 1-2 inches. Call this measurement B inches (for the circumference of the brim). Now think about how tall you want the hat to be - for an average adult head, this is about 7 inches tall (if you flatten the hat out and measure from the brim to the top.) We'll call the height of your hat H. If you are making a hat that is much larger or smaller than that, the height is about 1/3 of the brim length. Use this formula:
Desired height = B/3 = H

Step 2: Make a gauge swatch.
Make a swatch that is 20 stitches by 20 rows, using the yarn and needles you have chosen. Now measure that swatch - measure the total width and total height. We will call the width X and the height Y.

Step 3: Calculate your pattern
Joy! What good is being a programmer if you don't use it for fun as well as profit? The formulas have been replaced by a nifty javascript calculator. Just put in your measurements and it will write out the pattern for you.

Of course, if you like math, feel free to use the formulas instead.

Now fill out this equation to get your stitches per inch:
20 stitches = X inches wide. 20/X = your stitches per inch.
B * stitches per inch = S
Multiply B by the stitches per inch to get the approximate number of stitches you will need - call that S. It makes things easier, but not necessary, if you round this number to an even number that is divisible by 6, 0r 8. There's a good reason for that; at the top there are radial decreases and it's simpler if you can do them every so many stitches, and an even number makes the ribbing come out evenly.

Similarly, calculate the height of your hat in rows.
20 rows = Y inches tall. 20/Y = rows per inch.
H * rows per inch /2 = R
Multiply H by the rows per inch to get the total number of rows you will need. Since the hat has two color blocks, we divide that number by two, so the number of rows in each color section is R.

Now for the calculator: you still have to do a gauge swatch or this really won't work; gauge swatches are necessary in knitting anything where the size is important, folks. Here's some instructions from Knitty on how to knit a gauge swatch; do this one in regular stockinette, measure it to get your stitches per inch (SPI) and rows per inch (RPI), and plug those into the calculator below along with the dimensions you want to get your custom pattern!
Enter these:
B (Desired brim size):
H (Desired hat height):
SPI (Stitches per inch in your gauge swatch):
RPI (Rows per inch in your gauge swatch):
M (Number of decrease markers you want, even number; 6 or 8 is recommended):

After calculating - to save your calculated results, copy/bookmark this link.
Link to your custom pattern results!

Your calculated values:
S (number of stitches to cast on): (S)
R (number of rows in the orange and yellow sections): (R)
D (Stitches between each marker during the decrease setup): (D)
E (Stitches to pick up for each earflap): (E)
ER (Rows to knit for each earflap before starting decreases): (ER)

Detailed Instructions:
Cast on (S) number of stitches with the orange yarn. Don't use a super tight cast-on, nor a super-loose one; I used the long-tail cast on but I did it loosely so it would stretch a bit. These will be at the hat's brim. If you are using DPNs, distribute the number of stitches evenly across your needles. Mark the join with a stitch marker, or just notice that the tail of the cast-on hangs from the join point.

Rows 1 and 2 : do 1x1 ribbing, a simple (k1, p1) pattern all the way around. If you ended up with an odd number of stitches, you will have two knit ribs next to eachother where you join the yarn, which sucks. The calculator above is designed to not do that, however, so hopefully you'll be good!.

Rows 3 - (R), switch to normal stockinette in the round - knit every stitch. This length also depends on personal preference, again - check out some pictures of Jayne wearing his hat and make your own judgement - feel free to use less, or more, rows, if you do not like the length.

Rows (R)-(2R): Switch to yellow yarn and continue the stockinette for another (R) rows. At that point, get out some more stitch markers. Place a marker every (D) stitches, so that you have (M) equally spaced markers.

Now continue knitting around and k2tog the last two stitches before each marker. Continue in this pattern until you are left with (M) stitches; you may have to remove some needles or adjust things during this process. Switching to smaller DPNs might help too. Lastly, cut the yarn and draw it through the last stitches with a yarn needle or a crochet hook; weave in the free end.

Make a crazy pompom with all 3 colors and secure it to the crown of the hat.

For each earflap, pick up (E) stitches on opposite sides of the hat. There should be (EB) stitches between each earflap. Knit earflap separately, with the red yarn in stockinette stitch; these earflaps are flat so knit them flat, turning each row; this should be knit one row, purl the next. Work (ER) rows, then start decreasing at each end of each row - k2tog or p2tog, depending on whether it's a knit or purl row. Keep going until you have 3 stitches left. At that point, bind off and cut the yarn, leaving a tail of 6 inches. Cut another piece of yarn about 11 inches long and pull it through near where the cast off tail exits, then tie all three together at the base, cut them to the same length, and let them dangle as earflap ties.

Weave in any leftover ends, and voila - you've got your very own Jayne Hat. Cunnin', aint it?

Here is a short version of the pattern, useful if you take this on the road, or just prefer the brevity. I know I like em' as short as possible.

Short Version of Pattern:
Calculate number of stitches and rows as described above.
Cast on (S) stitches with orange yarn.
Round 1: k1,p1 rib around.
Round 2: k1,p1 rib around.
Rounds 3 to (R): k around.
Switch to yellow yarn. Distribute (M) stitch markers evenly throughout your number of stitches; these will be used as decrease markers later.
Rounds (R - 2R): k around.
Begin decrease rows:
On each round, k2tog the two stitches before each marker. Continue in this pattern until there are only (M) stitches remaining. Cut the yarn, leaving at least a 6 inch tail, and use a crochet hook or yarn needle to draw the yarn through all remaining stitches, then cinch up the hole and secure the free end by weaving it into your knitting.

Pick up (E) stitches along the brim (you can start anywhere you like.)
Knit flat, instead of in the round, with the knit stitches on the right side. In stockinette stitch, continue for (ER) rows. Begin decreasing - at the end of each row, either k2tog, or p2tog depending on if it's a knit or purl row, until there are three stitches left. Bind these off and leave a tail at least 6" long hanging.

Make a second earflap in the same manner, opposite the first one.

Earflaps will curl - it is intentional, for that truly cunnin' look.

Make a pompom out of all three yarns together and secure it to the crown.
Cut two extra lengths of red yarn and thread one through the end of each earflap. Tie it together with the free end of the earflap at the very base, and trim the ends to match. This mini-fringe can be used to tie the earflaps together if you so desire.

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