The current state of the Spring-Flinger Cap:
Stage 1 – that is, the maze-patterned base of the hat – is complete! Since my last post, I have knitted on the orange band using purl ridges (a technique I learned from Stefanie Japel‘s patterns):
It’s a simple but very effective technique, alternating two rows of knits with two rows of purls. This looks a little like garter stitch but should hold its shape a little better. And I think it makes a good recreation of the orange band on the in-game hat.
After the orange band it was time to start knitting the hat in the round, which is much more comfortable for colorwork like this than the back and forth knitting of the bottom flap was. To do this I started with the needle tip at the end of the orange row and cast on stitches for the front, then joined in the round and started knitting back at the right side of the orange band.
For the top of the hat, I had to expand on the colorwork chart that I used on the bottom. And I had to guess at parts of the pattern, where the horns obscure them or the curve of the character’s head distorts them. So after a bit more sketching of what I could see in the screenshots…I just started making up a maze pattern of my own!
I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, actually. You’ll notice some stitches have lines around them and some don’t (well, the lighter colored grid out of Excel, that’s all). Originally I took the 33 stitch wide chart from the bottom of the hat and just added rows to the top of it, but when I started knitting I found that doubling the width of the bottom flap was going to make the hat too big. So I recalculated a time or two and ended up using a 29-stitch wide version of the chart, making a total of 116 stitches around. As it’s currently blocking, that gives the hat a 22″ circumference. My head’s about 23″ so that gives it one inch of negative ease, making it fit just-right-snugly, as you can see here!
(I went out to take pictures and found the cat on the porch. So of course I had to pause to pet her and then I realized…I’m wearing a hat with dangling strings. Uh-oh! She was good though and ignored them. She just wanted lunch.)
So here is the chart that I actually ended up using:
I didn’t think I would need all 41 rows but I ended up knitting every last one and it came out just right! I just kept trying it on to see how it would fit with what I had knitted so far, and wasn’t happy with that until I had finished the last row.
Now you’ll notice some things are missing from the hat at this stage. I have yet to knit the white border around the edges, and that will be my next step when it finishes drying (blocking it first makes it easier to pick up those edge stitches to knit the border). Then, there are the horns and the clover leaf.
Happily, it turns out that the rectangular shape of the hat, when worn, does stick out in horns pretty close to the in-game hat. Not exactly like them (they stick back at a funny angle) but enough.
However, as knit now, the horns are just an extension of the maze pattern. When I first started planning this hat I thought I could knit the corners of the hat’s top section in the horn colors so that when seamed and worn, it would come out looking like the horns in the screenshots.
But I ended up not trying to do that after all, because of the complication it added to knitting that part of the hat in the round. (It would mean doing stranded colorwork on the maze sections but then intarsia on the horns…) My second thought was that the hat might not end up with such pronounced horns as the screenshots call for anyway, so I could make the base hat and then pick up stitches around where the base of the horns should go, and knit cones from there.
I still think I could do that for the horns. Not sure if I want to though…I kind of hate to hide the colorwork after all the time I spent on it!
However, in the interest of accuracy to the original, I ought to at least test knit the authentic horns. And if I use that pick-up-and-knit-cones method, the pattern can leave the horns optional to the knitter. Thus – my next poll!
Now, while I wait for the hat to finish blocking/drying so I can knit the edge while I continue to think about knitting the horns, time to get back to work on the Fellowship Shawl!