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The Yosemite Dome Hat Backstory.
I’m about to throw my mother-in-law under the bus. It might not be the smartest personal decision ever made, but it’s part of the story for this hat design and I know she can take it.
You see, I am lucky enough to have a mother-in-law, let’s just call her Thea, who knits. She and her mother-in-law were part of the reason I picked up knitting again. These little old German ladies (boy, am I in trouble now) and an Irish housemate enticed me back to knitting when the LYS didn’t quite exist as we know it today. There were, however, a few shops that offered beautiful new yarns, colors, and fibers that hadn’t been available before. It was the start of an ongoing
obsession with love of yarn and the beginning of my very first stash.
One of the best parts of my cross-country visits with Thea, are the hours we spend knitting and chatting. Thea’s been knitting for so long (I won’t say how long) she doesn’t always pay attention to her knitting. This leads to all kinds of hilarious errors she tries to pass off as inconsequential. Like the time she attached drop sleeves upside down so both arms stuck up into the air or the time she knit socks for my daughter with the toe shaping perpendicular to the heel. It’s a good thing she has a sense of humor because we love to tease her about it. Even our non-knitting family members can spot errors this big.
On her last visit, she was knitting a simple rib hat with yarn from my stash. She knit it perfectly, following all the instructions right up through the myriad of decreases at the top. Happily, she tucked in the final ends to show me her finished hat. The hat was lovely, she is a marvelous knitter, despite a few lapses that have nothing to do with her age and everything to do with her gift of gab.
As I stared at the top of the hat, I kept thinking there had to be a way to smooth things out a bit and that maybe, just maybe, the Subtle Decrease & Double Decker Hat Top were the answer. I was out of the room, sifting through my stash for more of the same yarn before Thea could blink an eye.
The resulting top is just what I was hoping for. I was completely surprised to find the same Double Decker Hat Top that added depth and texture with the Showy Decrease of the Vortex Hat had the opposite impact here. When paired with the Subtle Decrease it reduces stitch crowding and bunching resulting in a nice smooth top. So cool. You can find before and after pictures on Photobucket.
We start the hat off with what I call the Wavy Cast On which modifies the standard long tail cast on by alternating knit and purl cast stitches. It’s something I’ve been using for years, but I have also seen others use it. We’ll use it in new ways in up coming patterns.
The hat is named after Yosemite’s Half Dome, one of our favorite California locations. As you can see it makes a great sports team hat.
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