South Street Hat Knit Along - Day 2

 South Street Hat Knit Along - Day 2

South Street Hat Knit Along - Day 2

Welcome back to Day 2 and the final day of the South Street Hat Knit Along!   
Before we start today's session, let's take a minute to congratulate ourselves! We learned two awesome new skills during Day 1; the two color cast-on and two handed stranding. 

Today, I'll show (and explain in detail) two methods of decreasing: double pointed needles and magic loop. You'll choose the method you like best. Then, we'll secure our knitting and weave in yarn ends.

We'll Start Here - Preliminary Decrease
We've reached our 9" and we're ready to begin the progressive narrowing of our crown (see image above, left). Following our pattern under "Shape Crown" we'll work our 1st set of decreases by completing Rounds 1 - 3.   
The image (above, right) shows our easy decreases.  We're just knitting 2 together!

For error free rows & rounds take time to actively read the pattern row. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but often if I have row errors, I find it is because I’ve just glossed over the pattern row and decided I knew what the designer meant. What happens is your eyes and brain sometime see what you expect to see. In this case (Rounds 1-3), we aren’t decreasing in every main color stripe. Did your eyes see that?
— Knitting Doctor Tip

Main Decrease with Single Color
We'll start by making 2 changes:

  1. Drop CC and cut yarn leaving a 5" tail to weave in at the end of the project.
  2. Switch back to smaller circular needle.
For the intrepid knitter ready to design their own Fair Isle hat, remember that Fair Isle floats will result in a tighter stitch gauge. Balance that tighter gauge by stepping down a needle size or so when decreasing for the crown.
— Knitting Doctor Tip

From here on out we'll begin to work our main decrease rounds starting with Round 4.
The crown will be crafted with the in-the-round garter to mirror our starting band.  Our pattern will show us the sequence. 
You should be able to continue with the circular needle until Round 10 or even Round 12. After that point, there will not be enough stitches to stretch across the cable and then it's time to switch to double pointed needles or the magic loop.  

Today we'll cover two methods of decreasing. I'll show you both methods. Read through both methods (shown explained in detail below) and choose the decrease method you like best.

The Decrease Methods Are (choose 1):

  • Decreasing with Double Pointed Needles
  • Decreasing with the Magic Loop

Decreasing with Double Pointed Needles

  1. Begin the process by placing a split ring marker IN the 1st stitch of the round (image above, left).
  2. Using 3 double pointed needles, begin to slide the stitches from the circular needle onto the double pointed needles (image above, right).  

 Distribute the stitches fairly evenly on each needle.   

For example:  I have made it to Round 12 on my circulars and have 32 stitches remaining so I'll set them up as follows:  

Needle 1:  10 stitches

Needle 2:  10 stitches

Needle 3:  12 stitches

These 3 needles will automatically form a triangular shape, so we're good to go!

When distributing stitches on double pointed needles for decreasing, look at the upcoming round to see the decrease sequence. For the example, above my next Round is p2, p2tog, so I’ll want all my needles to have an even number of stitches.
— Knitting Doctor Tip

3.  Using a 4th needle, begin to work the set of stitches starting with the marker. We can consider that our needle 1 (see image on the right).

As we work the stitches, they will start to fill up the needle we just added and we'll be left again with one free needle. Use this newly free needle to work the stitches on needle 2 and continue the process for needle 3.

That's all there is to it! Continue round and round by emptying and refilling a double pointed needle.

Work to the end of Round 17.

Easy stuff, right?   Not so sure? Then, let's look at our other method:

Decreasing with Magic Loop

What a great little technique this is and oh so easy to learn.  It's also a very handy option for working small areas. Think sleeves, hats, mitts, socks, toys, etc.  Sound good? 

What You'll Need

All you need will be one circular needle with the proper needle size in a 32" or longer length, a split ring or locking marker, and an even number of stitches.

What To Look For

For illustration purposes, I'm going to be placing a green marker in the stitch at the start of the round (think green = beginning or go) and a orange marker in the last stitch of the round (orange = stop or end). Look for them in the upcoming images. You'll see why in a minute. (In real life knitting, you'll only have the beginning of the round marker.)

What to Remember

With the Magic Loop there are a couple of things to remember.

  1. Give the working yarn a gentle tug when working the 1st stitch of each group to avoid laddering.   
  2. There is a gap midpoint created by splitting the stitches to each side of the cable. This gap can be snugged by working the 2nd section with a greater degree of tension.
  3. Working yarn positioning: Knit stitch = yarn on top of cable - Purl stitch = yarn in front of cable (this will become clear as you work the process).

Set Up 

1. Insert a split or locking ring marker into the 1st stitch of the round.

2. Load the stitches onto the 32" cable (shown above, left).  

3. Count the stitches and find the mid-point (image above, middle). 

4. Crimp the cable at the mid-point and slide the stitches up to the needle tips (image above, right). There will be an even number of stitches on either side of the crimp.

5. Pull the right hand needle tip up and to the right forming a big loop (image above, left).

6. Begin to work the stitches marked with the green (beginning of round) marker (image above, middle).

Notice the positions of the start (of round) and end (of round) markers (image above, right). They are adjacent on either sides of the bottom crimp. When you follow Step 7, you will be set up to work the 2nd half of the round, ending with the orange or stop marker.  

7.  Slide both sets of stitches from the bottom of the cable toward the tips and pull up and out on the right hand tip as in Step 5.  

Repeat steps 4 - 7. So there you have it!  The Magic Loop.  

Which decrease method did you choose? I'd love to know! Post in the comments section below and let me know if you chose double points or magic loop!

Continue working the decrease rounds in your preferred method to the end of the pattern.

Block if preferred, but not required. Weave in yarn ends and ENJOY!

Thank you one and all for joining me on our South Street Knit Along. I enjoyed every minute of presenting this to you and hope you enjoyed our time as well.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

- KnitDocDonna

How Do I follow Along?

All of the posts will be on the here on the NobleKnits Blog. Add a bookmark! Join the KAL group on Ravelry. Be sure to follow nobleknits on InstagramTwitterTumblr, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #SouthStreetKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.

Donna Pelzar

Donna (aka the Knitting Doctor) is the face behind The New Street Knitter patterns. She teaches knitting instruction for all skill levels in her studio and loves to focus on techniques and interesting stitch patterns. She recently expanded into pattern design and we are thrilled to be able to offer her patterns at NobleKnits. Donna also hosts all of our Knit Alongs.