This was originally intended as a Thanksgiving turkey gift for a relative, who will remain nameless, because it's become a Thanksgiving 2007 turkey gift. Never said I was a fast knitter. (And no, that's not me modeling the hat.)
The pattern is Sarah's Chicken Viking Hat, adapted for a *large* adult head and the most fowl yarn I could find. The lady at Yarn Market confirmed on the phone that the yarn was the exact color of raw chicken skin, and she was true to her word.
Sarah's pattern is published under the Creative Commons license and thus so is my variation on the pattern.
Size: 23 cm (without stretching)
Gauge: 6.5 sts and 10 rows per 1", on US 3 needles, in goosebumps worked in the round
Notes on gauge modification:
- I sized up the pattern both for a larger head, and for yarn substitution (finer yarn -> more stitches). First I computed the yarn substitution factor (1.413 x original # sts, 1.429 x original # rows) by using typical gauge swatches. Then I computed the head factor (1.333). So, the pattern is based on a factor of (1.413 * 1.333 = 1.884) for stitches, and (1.429 * 1.333 = 1.905) for rows. Finally, I rounded up the stitches to a multiple of four, to accommodate the goosebump stitch pattern.
- The drumsticks looked a little too small, when worked up using these factors, so I lengthened them a little as well.
- MC: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, color 340005, 2 skeins (125 m / 50 g). I had 20 g left over.
- CC: leftover white yarn, similar gauge
- size 3.25 mm (US 3) DPNs
- stitch markers
- safety pins for marking positions
- yarn needle
- small amount of polyfill batting for stuffing drumsticks
- 1st and alternating rounds: *K1, P1* to end.
- 2nd and alternating rounds: *P1, K1* to end (so as to P all K sts from row below and vice versa).
Goosebumps (on a multiple of 4sts)
- 1st and alternating rounds: K to end
- 2nd round: *P1, K3* to end
- 4th round: K2, *P1, K3*
- Using MC and smaller needles, CO 152 sts. Join stitches into a round (don't twist!) and place marker at beg of round.
- Work 9 rounds in seed stitch.
- Switch to larger needles and work 31 rounds in goosebumps.
- *K2tog, K17, place marker* to end of round (no need to double-mark end of round). (8 sections)
- Continuing in goosebump pattern, k2tog after each marker on alternating rounds another 14 times (i.e. 27 rows of alternating decrease rows with normal rows; ending with 40sts on needle), then every round 4 times (8 sts on needle). Remove markers.
- Break yarn and draw through remaining sts. Pull yarn to inside of hat and weave in end securely.
Earflaps and ties
- Mark center sides of hat. You'll center the earflaps and drumsticks from these points.
- Count 18 sts from center side along bottom hem. Using MC and smaller needle, pick up 37 sts (centered at safety pin or waste yarn).
- Beginning with a RS row, work 5 rows seed stitch.
- Dec 1 each end of this and every other row, 16 times (21 sts on needle).
- Dec 1 each end of every row 7 times (7 sts on needle).
- BO remaining sts.
- Cut 6, 24 inch (61 cm) lengths of MC yarn and thread them evenly through BO edge of earflap to make something resembling a 12 inch (30.5 cm) fringe.
- Holding 3 bundles of 4 strands, braid ties to desired length (9-12 inches, or 22-30cm). Tie strands securely in an overhand knot and trim loose ends to 1 inch of knot.
- Repeat for other side.
Note: I lengthened the drumsticks a little bit to make them look less puny on an adult head. The base of the drumstick is actually placed over the region where the crown decreases begin. The "gap" in the corner of the diagram won't actually exist in real life. It looks funny as you pick up the stitches, but it works out brilliantly for a slanting drumstick (thanks Sarah!).
- Using DPNs and MC, and beginning at top back corner of future drumstick, pick up 48 sts in a back-slanted circle.
- (RS) K 1 round. Now you'll begin the short-row shaping. If you're unfamiliar with the "wrap and turn", check out these instructions for short rows.
- Work in goosebumps to last 6 sts, wrap and turn.
- P to last 6 sts, wrap and turn.
- Work in goosebumps to last 7 sts, wrap and turn.
- P to last 7 sts, wrap and turn.
- Work in goosebumps to last 8 sts, wrap and turn.
- P to last 8 sts, wrap and turn.
- Work in goosebumps to last 9 sts, wrap and turn.
- P6, P2tog, P14, SSP, P6 to last 9 sts, wrap and turn.
- Work in goosebumps to last 10 sts, wrap and turn.
- P5, P2tog, P12, SSP, P5 to last 10 sts, wrap and turn.
- Work in goosebumps to last 11 sts, wrap and turn.
- P4, P2tog, P10, SSP, P4 to last 11 sts, wrap and turn.
- K4, K2tog, K8, SSK, K3 to last 12 sts, wrap and turn.
- P3, P2tog, P6, SSP, P3 to last 12 sts, wrap and turn.
- K3, K2tog, K4, SSK, K2 to last 13 sts, wrap and turn.
- P2, P2tog, P2, SSP, P2 to last 13 sts, wrap and turn.
- K2, K2tog, SSK, K2 to last 13 sts, wrap and turn.
- P1, P2tog, SSP, P14 to end. (30 sts on needles) At this point you are done with the short rows and returning to knitting in the round.
- Repeat (K2tog, K3) 6 times. (24 sts on needles)
- At this point, pause and stuff the drumstick before the opening disappears.
- K 3 rows.
- Repeat (K2tog, K2) 6 times. (18 sts on needles)
- K 3 rows.
- Repeat (K2tog, K1) 6 times. (12 sts on needles)
- K2tog to end.
- Now you have 6 sts on the needles and a choice to make. Crochet the toes or knit them? Here's one crocheted version:
- Cut MC with 3-inch tail. Attach CC by crocheting into the live stitches. Leave an equivalent tail of CC where you attach.
- SC two rounds.
- In each SC, work (2DC, 1SC). Join to first DC with sl st. Tie off yarn and weave in end. Invert this cupped region (like a mushroom cap). It will look round like the end of a bone.
- To secure the joined CC and end of MC, tie a square knot very close to the knitted fabric. Using the end of your crochet hook, gently poke the knot and tails into the drumstick.
Weave in remaining ends.