Thank you for all the questions, comments and emails yesterday about the hat. I just did it, and didn't think it was worthy of further comment. You proved me wrong. So thank you for that, because now I've written up the simple pattern for you.
NOTES ABOUT THE PATTERN: It's an amalgamation of basic guidelines from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (I love that thing), my desire to use scrap stash yarns, and the knowledge I have gained about Lamb's Pride Bulky (hereinafter referred to as LPB) yarn over the several years I have used it for charity knitting.
LPB is my favorite yarn (though it is a bit pricey) for charity knitting when warmth is the number one issue. It has a mohair content which adds tremendously to the warmth factor, and it is bulky, which has at least two advantages -- quicker knitting and more..... what's the word? Let me think......... it begins with "w"..........
.....Oh, yes, WARMTH.
Over the years, I've knit lots of hats and scarves and other things in it for the Dulaan Project and other causes. In the process, I learned that it really softens and relaxes -- which means it grows quite a bit -- after wet-blocking it. I've ended up with hats that were so large I only hoped that somebody would have a big-enough head to wear it. Also, Ann Budd's head sizes seem to have been designed in the days of Big Hair, as they all seem very large. "According to her," Susan once said to me, "I have the head size of a toddler." Me too.
As a consequence, I have learned to down-size the patterns (they're just guidelines, really, in a nice firm, easy-to-follow algorithm -- in straight-numbered chart form -- not at all of the ilk of everyone's beloved except mine, E.Z., whom -- I know I'll probably get hate mail because of this -- I simply cannot follow) in Ann Budd's book for my hats.
So, once again I did my usual shot in the dark. For this hat I just picked a number from the air (literally) and said, "80 seems about right," and I cast on. I also wanted it to be tightly knit for extra wind protection and warmth. The yarn calls out a 10.5US needle, 3 stitches to the inch. I chose a US 8 and though in 2X2 rib it is very hard to measure the gauge (do you stretch it or not stretch it? stretch it a lot? stretch it slightly?) Whatevs. It worked, I got give-or-take 5 stitches to the inch, and it gave me a perfectly-fitting hat for my 21-inch head. It would probably also fit your 19-inch head, and also your 22-inch head. If you have two heads, I cannot help you.
To put that in plainer English, by virtue of the fact that it's ribbed, it will fit a variety of head sizes, probably at least 19 inches to 22 inches. I've now also done a larger version, so there are two sizes -- mediumish and largeish (directions for largeish in parens).
Here's the formula. Since I used scrap yarns, I am not sure how much yardage it takes, but I'd guess around 100.
Lamb's Pride Bulky 2X2 Ribbed Hat
Using Lamb's Pride Bulky or a yarn of a similar gauge, cast 80 (88) stitches onto a straight or small circular US8 needle. If on a straight, transfer the stitches onto three or four DPN's (double-pointed needles). NOTE: I am a tight knitter. If you are a loose knitter, you will want to go down needle sizes even farther.
Join ends and, without twisting stitches, start knitting in the round.
P2 K2* repeat round and round
You may keep it solid or change colors at any time. TIP: When changing colors, to get a nice sweet, pristine stripe without strange purl color bumps, knit the first row when changing colors. Do not do any purls. Only knit. Then for the next row, resume P2 K2.
Proceed in this fashion until hat measures 7 1/4 inches (8 1/4 inches) from cast-on edge.
Begin decreases. NOTE: This hat has a rapid decrease sequence. You're almost done! If you are using a circular needle, you will need to switch to DPNs for the decreases.
First decrease round: P2, K2tog (knit two stitches together). Continue to end of round.
NOW for mediumish size, K2tog each round until only 6 stitches remain. Cut yarn and, with tapestry needle, thread end through remaining 6 stitches. (I like to thread it through twice.) Pull taut and even. Weave in ends.
Having once been the butt of many jokes (no pun intended) about having designed a butt-hole hat, and so as to offend as few people as possible, I have tried my hardest to make the sphincter-like appearance of this closure as unobtrusive as possible.
For largeish size: complete decrease round 1, then knit in pattern one row (purl the purl stitches, knit the knit stitches) For next round, P2tog (purl 2 together), K1; continue around.
Remainder of rounds: K2tog. each round 'til only 6 stitches remain. Cut yarn and thread through remaining stiches; pull taut and weave in ends.
Here is the largeish one (pre-wetting and blocking) on the same head form as the mediumish one, to show the relative difference in size.
And here they are, lying side by side.
The brown/gray one has been washed and blocked to dry. Can you see how the fabric fluffs up and relaxes, and how the two sizes differ? The larger one will be even larger once it is washed and blocked.
So, Hat No. 2 for Jean.