This is a tutorial for the Morgan pattern, a flat cap worked in one piece, designed by Anne Kuo Lukito and published in Knitty, Fall 2008.
*** Note (1/9/09): New photos of turning the crown and the peak added. ***
Why is the pattern gauge is different from the yarn label gauge? Why is gauge important in this pattern?
Gauge will vary from knitter to knitter, and yours may even vary throughout time. The printed gauge on a ball band is a general guideline that can vary from brand to brand, and may not always reflect the user’s gauge. For this particular pattern, I liked the resulting fabric that I got when I swatched with a US 6 needle versus a US 5 needle (which would have gotten me closer to the manufacturer’s printed gauge).
Swatching and checking both the stitch and row gauge is very important in this pattern. Make sure you wash and block your swatch too. Many knitters try to get away with just checking stitch gauge (me!), which may be okay in some patterns, but make sure you check the row gauge in this pattern too. The construction of the hat is such that if the gauge is off, it would significantly affect the size of the hat.
What types of yarn might be a good substitute?
Yarns with a blended fiber content in a nice balance of protein and cellulose fibers, as well as 100% wool or 100% soy should work well. I would not recommend using a yarn that is 100% cotton (too heavy).
My browser/imaging program seems to be resizing the peak template link. What’s the best way to print it?
To date (Sept. 13, 2008), I don’t have an answer for this yet. I’ve notified Knitty about the problem already. However, for sure, you should set your settings to print in landscape format, and make sure your image has the dimensions as illustrated in the diagram below. For information and tips on fitting, see the “Technical” section below.
One way to do this is to copy the template image from Knitty and manipulate the dimensions in your computer’s drawing program. It’ll could also work if you use Word or other publishing programs as well since most of them have a drawing component.
I want to do this for a child. How do i do it?
It’s on my long list of to-dos!
I don’t really like or enjoying counting stitches every round. Is there a way around it?
The flat-top crown increases were written out so that the increases needed to achieve the circular top do not stack and are invisible. The increases are done mathematically so that there are 4 stitches increased each round for 4 rounds, and then in every 5th round, 5 stitches are increased. If you are a more fluid knitter who does not enjoy counting every round and are pretty confident with your skills, then an alternative way to do it is to randomly disperse the increases according to the increase pattern throughout each round from Rounds 2 – 25. Then every once in a while check to make sure that your stitch count is on target.
How do I create a M1R? Is there a better way to increase?
Essentially any increase, whether it be the M1R or M1L that you use for a thumb gusset (created by lifting the bar between stitches), would work. The published pattern calls for an M1R. For a tutorial on how to work the bar lift M1R or M1L, go here.
My original intention in the pattern was to create as much of an invisible increase as possible. It is also a right leaning increase, and I have seen it written as M1, M1R, a lifted increase or right lifted increase. Knitting Help calls is a KRL (knit right loop). Whatever you call it, this is my preferred method for working Morgan, because it creates the MOST invisible increase. When writing and testing this pattern, I tested all the different increase methods, and really like this one the best. It is fairly easy to work.
First, insert your RH needle into the stitch below as if to knit it (left photo). Then, simply create and pull a knit stitch through that loop (right). Your increase is made by knitting into the stitch below. Continue knitting normally and working your pattern as instructed.
The arrow in the photo below shows where the invisible increase occurs. (click on photos to enlarge.)
I’m not sure I understand how to create the ridge at the end of the crown, before starting the sides. Where do I insert my needle?
The pattern reads: “The next round forms the ridge which outlines the top of the crown and gives structure to the upper part of the hat. The folded ridge is formed on the RS of the work. Next Round: Insert left needle into back loop of the st which is 3 rows below next st on needle; k this loop together with next st on needle for every st to end of round. 145 sts.”
For this part, you are inserting the left needle into the back (WS, into the purl bump) of the stitch 3 rows below, picking up the purl bump from the top down. Then you knit the picked-up stitch with the next regular stitch together. You will get a puckered bump on the RS of your work.
1. Identifying the stitch 3 rows below, aka the great-grandmother stitch:
2. Pick up the stitch 3 rows below (great-grandmother stitch) through the back loop and lift it onto the Left-hand needle by inserting the needle from top-down:
3. Now, knit together the lifted stitch with the next stitch, as you would if you were doing a k2tog:
4. This is what it will look like after the stitch is completed from the front (left) and the back (right):
I’m not sure I understand how to create the ridge at the start of working the peak. Where do I insert my needle?
The pattern reads: “In the next round, a ridge is formed which will help the peak to fold correctly when the hat is worn. The folded ridge is formed on the WS of the work. Next Round: K all sts on Needle 1; k2, [insert right needle into the front of the st which is 3 rows below next st on left needle, pick up the right leg of the st and place it on the left needle; k this loop together with next st on needle] 32 times, k2.”
For this part, you are inserting your needle to pick up the right leg (on the RS) of the stitch 3 rows below. (Once you get the hang of it, you can probably pick it up directly from your LH needle instead of with your RH needle and then transferring it to the LH needle.) Then, you knit the picked-up stitch with the next regular stitch together. You will get a puckered bump on the WS of your work.
1. Identify the stitch in the 3rd row below (great-grandmother stitch) as you did in step 1 in the question above.
2. Instead of picking up the back of the stitch as you did when turning the crown, lift up the right leg of the stitch with the Right-hand needle and transfer onto the Left-hand needle.
3. Then knit the lifted stitch and the next stitch together as if you were working a k2tog (left). After you complete it, it will look like the photo to the right.
Why should I block my hat before I insert the peak template?
You don’t have to, but it will make it easier to ensure that your template is inserted easily. For more instant gratification, I suggest pinning the hat to your ironing board and giving it, especially the peak area a few shots of steam from your iron.
I’m having a hard time getting the stabilizer into the peak pocket. Do you have any other tips for inserting and shaping the template and the peak?
Fit the stabilizer into the pocket first to check for fit. If it fits, then take out the stabilizer, Sew up one-third to half of the pocket, then slip the stabilizer into the opening. Sew the rest of the pocket closed. You can choose to sew at the peak seam or sew closer along the edge of the stabilizer.
You may find that even if you printed and cut the stabilizer exactly as specified, that it does not fit exactly. The reason for this is that even if you got gauge, there are minute differences in everyone’s knitting, so the template may be a smidge too big or too small. If the template seems a little big, then simply trim it a little. If it seems a little small, the difference should be negligible, or simply cut yours a little bigger.
What do you use for a stabilizer for the visor/bill/peak?
I recycle with things around the house. Here’s a tutorial about that.
Check out some of my patterns!