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 Hats, berets, and other head coverings
 High brim felted hat
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Alvern
New Pal

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2014 :  2:16:52 PM  Show Profile Send Alvern a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished Pollywogs High brim felted hat following the directions exactly (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/high-brim-felted-hat-pattern) and the brim is loose and floppy not tight to the hat as in the photo. The pattern calls for the same amount of stitches throughout. Should I have done about 10 less on the lower portion of the hat to make it tighter? Has anyone had experience with this pattern? So much knitting, and so disappointed.

Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1731 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2014 :  10:46:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd write to the author and describe what happened. There may be a mistake in the pattern.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1748 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  05:19:27 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I looked at the pattern and hat. It looks like some of the hats I make, and I have made well over 100 felted hats in the last 18 or so years. I pretty much use the same pattern for all the hats, though I do vary it a little now and then. But, overall, I would say that I rarely have two identical hats.

I do use different yarns, probably different wools in the commercial yarns, and have come to know which yarns felt faster, smoother and firmer. I use a lot of handspun also to make one of a kind hats and then know what wool I have used for the spinning.

My wool yarn is more likely to change for a different brim than my knitting, but if I want a wider brim rather than one in the hat you made, here is where I might add some stitches in a few rows. But last time I did this the brim was so sloppy and had hardly any form or firmness.

My point is that felting is not an exact science. When I have a hat that goes too small, I block on one of my wooden forms. When it doesn't go small enough, or more usually, I have a sloppy brim, I work it by hand on a washboard til it shrinks to something closer to what I want.
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yarnlover
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1748 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  05:34:55 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Have to do another reply, thanks to my tablet not lrtting me continue on previous reply.

To firm up your brim, wet the brim, but don't care if the whole hat is wet. If you have an old washboard you can use it, but if not just work with your hands,

The wool will continue to shrink, assuming it hasn't reached the maximum shrinkage, in the direction it is worked. So if your brim is too long, work from edge to end of brim, and if it too wide, work side to side direction. I hope that makes sense, not sure how to describe.

Use hot water and a little soap. I use dish soap. Put water in sink with soap, dunk hat in and out and work by rubbing together like scrubbing out a stain. When it cools, dunk and repeat. It may be a lot of work, but it should get your brim closer to what you want. If the wool is stubborn, you could dunk in hot water and then immediately into very cold water.

I usually don't need to switch from hot to cold, but every now and then I have a very stubborn hat. If you try this, please let us know if it works for you.

See My Stuff: Here

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Alvern
New Pal

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  07:12:03 AM  Show Profile Send Alvern a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yarnlover, Thank you so much for taking the time to write so much information. Love it! I am going to work the brim some more. What weight do you usually use? This one called for DK but I was thinking that worsted would go a bit faster. I used Jamison's DK and it felted nicely. Maybe I didn't felt long enough. Glad to hear that this felting isn't an exact science. I have been knitting for 60 years and am very experienced, but this hat threw me. Could you share your favorite needle size and how many you cast on? Do you do the same amount of stitches for the whole hat?
Thank you again,
Alvern (Marilyn)
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Alvern
New Pal

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  07:14:34 AM  Show Profile Send Alvern a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For Ceil,
Thank you for the response. I did write a note to author and never got a reply.
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1748 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  9:03:38 PM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use mostly yarn that is probably closer to worsted, but sometimes I will buy Patons wool which I think is lighter than worsted. When I use my handspun, I try to spin a lighter worsted, otherwise I end up with a helmet rather than hat!

I knit on either 11 or 13, depending on which needles are free. After making so many of these hats over the years, I have become very casual about yarn and needle sizes as I can usually fix the sizing though I have had some that weren't fixable. I like to have a lot of variety in shapes and sizes and colors as I sell them in a local shop.

I don't knit the entire hat the same but do try to shape in the knitting. Usually cast on 110 or 100 stitches, depending on the yarn. If it is one that felts fast and firmer, I go bigger with the first 2 to 2.5 inches otherwise start with 100. Decrease by 10 stitches for another 2.5 to 3 inches for somewhere in the neighborhhod of 5 inches total for the brim.

Even by sticking to these general number of stitches, my hats will have different brims. Some look like the hat you made, some are more full with a nice wide curl while still being firm, and sometimes I get brims that are wider and may be firm, or may be floppy. It almost always seems like a surprise, but a good part of that is the variety of yarn that I use.

Generally reduce body of hat from 90 st to 70 or so, again depending yarn. I will keep more stitches on the needles for those quick felting hats because they go small very quick.

If your hat fits well other than the brim, I wouldn't suggest putting it back in the washer, but if it is a little big, you could try that. Check it every 2-3 minutes so it doesn't shrink too much. I hope this helps a bit.

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Alvern
New Pal

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2014 :  10:14:15 AM  Show Profile Send Alvern a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really appreciate all the information you have given me about felting hats. Thank you. I did go to your site but could only access one pink hat. There were no other photos. How do I see your hats?
Thanks again.
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1748 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  08:56:36 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have not paid attention to my Flickr account for several years, but you inspired me to take a look. It needs a lot of attention and I will set some time aside for that. Thanks for the nudge. I did play around with it a little today and was able to see all the photos I'd put there some years ago.

The felted hats on Flickr are from way back when and I have learned a lot about making these hats since then. I forget to take photos of everything I make, but I think I have some more current hat photos to send to Flickr.

That pink hat that you did see was made in a class back in 1994 and was not knit. The class made hats from wool batts, and it was hard work shrinking it in hot soapy water. We worked outdoors, in July, hot and humid, but a great week long class, and the other items we made were much easier.

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