I made this Braided Cable Hat with super soft, super pretty Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, and I have NO REGRETS! The baby alpaca looks sensational, it’s super soft, super fluffy and airy, and of course, it’s warm. The cables are simple, great for any skill level, and the pattern is a freebie, so that’s always a bonus too.
I topped it with a Raccoon Fur Pompom (size 16cm) – they’re my favourite because they are so light and fluffy, and don’t weigh down the hat too much. If you aren’t a fan of fur you can go with a faux-fur pom-pom, or go classic and make your own pom-pom – I swear by the Clover Pom-Pom Makers, they make BEAUTIFUL pom-poms! Whatever you choose, we sell them all and you can get everything in one place.
Overall, I’m super pleased with this project – it looks like a $200 hat, which isn’t bad for $20 worth of yarn. But beware, once you make one everyone you know will start putting in requests for one of their own!
Our Bulky Mobius Cowl is a great little last minute gift. It works up fast on 10mm/US15 needles and the mobius technique makes it entertaining. The yarn, Malabrigo Rasta, is stunning: it’s buttery soft and I’ve never seen a skein that didn’t knit up like a Monet painting. Plus, it’s a one-skein project!
I thought this cowl would make a great one-skein gift idea, so I gave it a try and I think it worked out really beautifully! I used one of my favourite bulky weight yarns, Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, and the end result is SUPER soft and cozy! I had to make some modifications to make this project come out to it’s fullest potential, so please read the notes below before starting (and maybe print them off and keep them with your pattern instructions).
HACKS & Modifications
I made some changes to the pattern because let’s face it, you often get what you pay for with a free pattern.
For the ribbing, I went down to a 5mm/US8 needle for the ribbing. 2×2 rib is normally a looser tension than other stitches, and you need to go down a needle size to mitigate this and prevent the ribbing from fanning out later.
For the cable section, I went up to a 6.5mm/US10.5 needle, because the yarn is very fluffy and airy. If you are using a denser yarn with more definition (see suggestions below) you can stick with the prescribed 6mm/US10 needles
Because my yarn is big and fluffy, and has a lot of aura (haze), the cable from the original pattern was not showing up or working well, and I had to switch it out for another type of cable that would show better. I went with a simple braided cable that I was already familiar with, Chart A from Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts. It is the same number of stitches as the original cable, so I just did the new cable instead of the old. If you use a yarn with more definition (see options below), you can do either cable.
I worked 6 rounds of ribbing at the top and the bottom (to conserve yarn).
I worked 4 pattern repeats from Chart A of the Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts, and changed to the ribbing after finishing row 6 of the chart.
I don’t usually bother using a cable needle. Making cables without a cable hook is not a skill for the novice, but if you are feeling intrepid and are comfortable with retrieving dropped stitches and are good at ‘reading’ your stitches (recognizing where and what they are), you should definitely it give it a try, it can save you a lot of time and effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6DB6WhAKvY
If you need to conserve yarn or change the size of the pattern, you can omit the first 4 sts of the pattern (the single rib at the start doesn’t really do much for the design). In *my project* (yours may be different), based on the total number of rounds, each stitch represents about 40 sts in the scheme of the entire pattern. Omitting 4 sts from the cast-on will give you about two extra rounds. Each cable represents 8 stitches, so you can increase or decrease the pattern in a multiple of 8 sts. If you want to modify this for a child you’ll definitely want to omit stitches, it fits an adult comfortably.
Because all of the yarns we’ve suggested (above) bloom beautifully, you can try pushing your needle size up to a 12mm/US17 and omit a ball of yarn.
The yarn suggested in the pattern is super-bulky, so expect your cowl to be too. If this is too much for you, consider substituting a slightly thinner, bulky weight yarn, and smaller (8mm/US11) needles. If this seems too narrow, add a second cable pattern repeat.
The pattern is knit flat and seamed in a circle, but if you want to do something more knitterly like a 3 needle bind-off or kitchener stitch, you can cast on using a provisional cast-on (casting on with scrap yarn).
This scarf is quite long and voluminous – it calls for a lot of yarn, but you don’t have to make it quite as big as they did. You can scale it back by omitting a pattern repeat (make it 2 cables wide instead of 3 by omitting 14 stitches from the pattern), and don’t make it quite so long.
Oy vey, how pretty is this cabled hat?! I think it would look amazing in a simple yarn like Cascade 220 Superwash (the heathered colours would be especially fetching), but any worsted weight solid, semi-solid, heathered or tweed yarn would look amazing! Be sure to wash your hat and lay it flat to dry to settle the cables.
It’s that time of year where we start to scramble to make holiday gifts … ideally, gifts that are fast to knit and will be well received. I think this hat fits the bill. It’ll look great on a woman or a man, it’s made with a soft, warm yarn that you’ll love to work with and they will love to wear, and it’s a Freebie too!