Making + Listening: Knitting

I abandoned my son’s socks to knit a hat for my nephew for Christmas. I suggested a fish hat (here’s the one I made my son a few years ago), but his mom wasn’t sure he’d wear it, so I looked for something else a bit interesting but not quite that interesting. I settled on Skullcracker, a new Knitty pattern, using Cascade 220 Superwash, because it’s a little softer than the regular version, plus easier to take care of for non-knitters.

I thought the name of the pattern referred to the zig-zaggy line on the hat, but as I knit it, I decided it must refer to the way the pattern was making my head hurt. Also, look at the ends that you have to weave in:

Skullcracker ends to weave in

Too many ends for a hat, I say.

You cut the yarn for each section. The pattern also involves quite a bit of picking up stitches, and I ended up duplicate-stitching over each picked-up segment, just to make sure it was as neat as could be. Phew. It’s a cleverly constructed hat, but I’m not sure I need headwear to be quite that clever.

Here’s the finished hat (with truer colors than the pic above).

Skullcracker beanie at

The pattern has quite a bit of negative ease. This hat fits tightly. I wasn’t sure it would be comfortable for my nephew, so I knit a second hat, and he can have both. This pattern is one I’ve knit for my own kids many times, Vertigo.

Vertigo hat at

This is also a clever little hat, but not nearly so fussy in its cleverness. It’s knit sideways, brim to crown, using short rows for shaping. You use a provisional cast on and weave the live stitches together at the end, so it’s seamless. And it’s awfully cute.

So. Hopefully my nephew will like at least one of these hats, if not both. Extra hats are useful, anyway.

I’m linking up with Dawn for Making + Listening this week, even though I have nothing new to report on the listening end of things. It’s all Christmas music here these days, even in the car. My daughter sings the songs, too, trying to memorize as many as she can, and I find it kind of delightful, because, like me, she often just starts singing in the middle of a song, like it’s been running through her head and she just decided to let it out. It’s always a bit of a thrill to recognize one of your own small habits in your child. “Oh,” you think. “We share that.” Pretty cool.

6 thoughts on “Making + Listening: Knitting

  1. Dawn Suzette

    Those hats are adorable. The colors and patterns are fun. I am not all that wonderful at weaving in the ends, so that first hat does not look fun on that front.
    Those little habits are fun to spot. F starts belting out a songs in the car and with only one singing volume we all know about it! 😉
    Thanks for joining in this week!

    1. amy Post author

      The speed depends upon how much time I devote to the knitting! I’ve been knitting for about 11 years now, pretty fearlessly, and I’ve picked up a lot in that time, yes. (I wonder if I’ve hit 10,000 hours of knitting yet?!)

  2. donna lee

    I wanted to make fish hats for my brother’s family this year but time slipped away from me. I may still make them and just give them as gifts in January.
    We are working on homemade photo frames and family photos for the kids this year. I like for them to get one gift we have made with our hands.

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