Friday, October 29, 2010

Double Double Cloche - a free pattern

The Not-Just-For-Chemo Reversible Cloche has been out there for a while now, and a lot of people have made it, some for themselves and some for friends and family about to undergo chemotherapy. In the case of the latter I've been enormously glad to be able to offer something that can comfort both the knitter and the person receiving the hat.

It's slowly dawned on me though that that particular cloche, with all the counting required for the stiff linen-stitch brim that disguises hair loss, is not really practical for knitting in worrying times. Some people may find all that necessary attention to detail a useful distraction, but what about people who don't?

I wanted to do something for them, too.

This hat is all knit and purl, and mostly knit. It starts out as flat knitting, a few stitches on a straight needle that you add onto three stitches at a time for a long, rolled, asymmetrical brim.

The brim ends in a bunch of stitches added on at once, after which it's worked in the round. It takes me about a day to knit one, and I knit some of this one standing in line and walking around, so it should stand up to the rigors of pacing or bedside sitting or, if you're lucky enough to be making it just for fun, TV-watching or general chat.

It's named for a popular choice at the popular Canadian coffee shop, Tim Hortons. I'm not much of a coffee drinker myself, and when I do indulge I prefer skim milk and sugar to double cream, double sugar, but I am a fan of Tim's. Since the restaurant expanded beyond donuts into soups and sandwiches every road trip, a lot of last-minute meals, and quite a few lunches with my mum involve Tim's.

You can find Tim's just about anywhere in my neck of the woods, including hospitals. And as I've spent rather a lot of time waiting around in hospitals over the last couple of years, I've learned to appreciate that fact a lot. Tim's represents everyday normalcy and routine, which is exactly what I'm after in a place like that.

Of course, the other reference is to this hat's ability to do double duty. It's cute over hair, but it dips down low enough in back to cover the lack of it. And you can wear the button over either side or over either eye, depending on the angle that best suits your style and the shape of your face.

I knit it in Rowan Silk Wool and whoa, does that stuff ever not tangle! Drawing out a length of that from the ball inside my messenger bag as I moved around was effortless. It feels reassuringly soft in your hands and, having just worn mine out in just-above-freezing temperatures, I can assure you it's quite warm as well.


Download .pdf of Double Double Cloche

28 comments:

NessaKnits said...

That is one very cute hat.

Melissa D said...

I know some of it is the color but since first seeing your post about this hat I have literally dreamt of it. So, logging on today and seeing the pattern I almost sqealed out loud!! Thank you for being so generous to share this beautiful creation. I cannot wait to start my yarn search and to wear this myself.

Anonymous said...

Super cute hat! I'm going to print out the pattern now...hopefully I can start on it over the weekend! Thanks so much for sharing!

Angela said...

My mother-in-law's cancer has recurred, so this pattern will be truly a gift to us both. Thank you, Mary, for sharing your enormous talent!

Mary Keenan said...

Oh Angela - I'm so sorry to hear this news!!

Mary Keenan said...

Melissa, I so know what you mean! Sometimes I obsess about making a pattern just because of the colour it's knit in ;^)

heklica said...

You do it again! A beautiful hat! Thanks for shating!

Anonymous said...

Mary - this is a beautiful hat and I have made many of them for friends and family. It's easy and doesn't look homemade! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Just downloaded your pattern...SUPER cute! :) Hope to start this over the weekend.
~kathy

Vanessa Fasanella said...

How much Rowan would I need?

Mary Keenan said...

Vanessa - 2 balls, or about 218 yards!

Anonymous said...

I'm allergic to wool and can't wear it or knit with it. What other yarn is suitable for this pattern?

Mary Keenan said...

Allergic to wool: any yarn that's comfortable and you can get gauge with should be fine, but remember nothing is as elastic as wool so if you're between sizes, go bigger rather than smaller! Often I'll put on a woolly 18" brim and it stretches perfectly over my 22" head, but acrylic wouldn't ;^)

Kerri said...

I'm a beginning knitter. I'm trying to understand the casting on of stitches for the brim, but I'm not quite getting it. Any detailed pictures for the challenged?

Mary Keenan said...

Sadly no pictures Kerri, and I don't think I can describe it better than I did in the Techniques section on the left panel of the pattern... I did a little hunt on YouTube for a video by somebody else but drew a blank there too. Maybe a how-to-knit book would have pictures?

Lauren said...

Would a DK Sport weight yarn be suitable for this hat? I'm so excited to finally start knitting it up! Thank you for providing the pattern!!!

Mary Keenan said...

For sure, Lauren! Just be sure you get gauge - and if you are a tight knitter, try going up a needle size because my natural tension is pretty loose :^)

Galatina said...

Thanks for such a cute pattern. It's now on my list of things to do - looking forward to knitting it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for the pattern, I am very interested in knitting this for my niece, but I am not sure if I understand it correctly. I am doing knitting M size. After casting on 6 stitches, what do I do? Should I keep on adding stitches on the same row until I get 63 stitches? Or do I knit and purl one row after adding 3 stitches? Any help or a video of the beginning would be appreciated greatly.

Rama

Mary Keenan said...

Rama, after you've cast on the six stitches, flip your needle so that the point is on the right, then cast on three more stitches (as directed in the Techniques section on the left panel) and continue purling to the end of the row. When you're done, turn the work again and cast on three more stitches - it goes on pretty much like that until you get to your 63 stitches. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, thank you for the response. Do I use the double pointed needles at the beginning (the Brim section)? Because you say flip the needle and then cast on 3 more. I am a very novice knitter, sorry about all the questions.

Thanks again
Rama

Mary Keenan said...

Not to worry Rama :^) The brim is worked flat at first - you join the work later to work on double pointed needles when you get into the proper hat part. So, straight needles are easiest if you have them, or you can improvise with double points treated like a straight needle, or even use a circular needle as though it is a straight needle. I hope that makes sense!

Gresha said...

This is my favorite cloche I made one for myself and one for my cousin, thinking of one for my sister in law. We think she felted the last one. once in a while I buy a hat which usually sits in the closet. I have learned to store them in plastic bags after losing a sweater to Moths.

I found some awesome handmade buttons at on of my favorite knit shoppes they work well with this hat. I think of knitting as an art even though with a pattern I am using someone elses blueprint

Mary Keenan said...

Gresha, that's how I feel about knitting too - even when you're using somebody else's pattern every knitter really brings something new to the project!

joeybbng said...

Hi, Mary, it says wet block at the end of the instruction, does it mean felt? Would it make a difference if I skip that?
Thanks

Mary Keenan said...

Joeybbng - definitely don't felt it! Wet blocking means soaking the hat in water (I add Soak to my blocking water, and Eucalan is good too) so the fiber gets a chance to settle in better to its new shape. Steam blocking is good too, where you wet a pressing cloth, put it between the knit and the iron, and lightly iron over it, but I find that technique is not as easy with a hat so I always suggest wet blocking. And yes, you can skip that, but it will look better if it's blocked. Hope this helps!

margaret said...

Love this hat. So chic. Going through chemotherapy and find wool too itchy so bought Patons cotton 50% and acrylic 50%. It's labelled 8 ply. Would this work as I'm having trouble finding the wool specified for the hat?

Mary Keenan said...

Margaret, I just checked and yes, Rowan Silk Wool has been discontinued. But it was a standard DK weight yarn and your 8 ply yarn should be just fine. My one piece of advice would be to go up a size from what you think you'd need, because the Rowan yarn's fibers made a bigger stretchier hat than your cotton and acrylic will.

Meanwhile: I hope the knitting is a good distraction and that your chemo goes really really well!!