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Old 10-31-2007, 12:18 PM   #1
knitAbikini
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The Bestest Warm Hat For a Friend I need your help!
Hi Friends and Fellow Knitters,
I have been requested to knit a warm and lovely hat for a friend. I want your help and expertise in choosing a yarn that is inexpensive, not wool, but will keep the ears of the reciever very warm. Maybe you have the yarn I'm looking for in your stash that you want to get rid of? Is there a knitting style that plays a part in keeping the wearer warmest?
I want to cable the roll-brim, or something to break up just a knit hat and make it more artistic. I want to cap of the hat to be more breathable than the ears, I can just knit looser up there, huh? The friend is male, so I see all these cutsey hat patterns that just won't do, you know?
All are welcome! Thanks guys!
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:36 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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No wool? The warmest yarns are animal fibers, wool, alpaca, etc. Silk can also be quite warm.

This one is kind of cool.
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/PATTcoronet.html
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:41 PM   #3
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This is a great basic pattern, for all sizes and all yarn weights:
http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/...+Covered+1.htm.
As for yarn-- I can't wear wool, either, so I find that bulkier acrylic yarns work very well for me. Lion Brand, Patons, Bernat, all make them, and all have websites to peruse.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:09 PM   #4
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I like Silver's hat
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:58 PM   #5
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Have you tried Knitting Pattern Central? lots of hats...
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
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Good Luck and It doesnt seem quite warm I agree with Jan in CA
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:49 PM   #7
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warmth comes from several factors.

fiber (some fibers are actually hollow like a drinking straw!) and trap dead air (air is a good insulator!)

HOw the fiber is spun
--other fibers trap air by how they are handled.. fluffy wool (loosely spun) traps more air than worsted spun (a tighter, strong fiber)

How the fiber(yarn) is fabricated--that is: how the stuff is knit or woven.
tightly woven or knit fabrics block air movement.
this BLOCKS air movement

or have multiple layers.. fabric is made from LOOSELY woven or KNIT LAYERS--the LAYERS trap air.

the Final factor is related to breathability.
that is: the ability to block liquid water, but to let water vapor pass

saran wrap traps air (and so do vinyl rain coats..)and block WATER.
but these fabrics also block moisture( water vapor). and very quickly, when wearing them, you get sweaty, then damp, then the damp gets cold (since water is not a good insulator!)

Wool is very breathable (it traps air, but lets moisture out.. so you stay dry and feel warmer!) Wool also is some what WATER PROOF (vs water vapor). so wool is slow to get wet.

Cotton is also pretty good a traping air, and letting moisture out.. but is only about half as good at trapping air, so it doesn't feel as warm! (cotton gets wet in heart beat..and wet (WATER) doesn't insulate, so cotton fails at the first bit of rain (or snow)

Acrylic is Warm,but like saran wrap or vinyl, not so good at letting moisture out.. (and it, too gets wet easily) so synthetic hats are warm, but quicky make you feel sweaty.

the best bet for NON wool fibers is the 'thermal blanket' trick--
LOTS of THIN OPEN LAYERS the openess lets water vapor out (and keeps you dry--and dry means that air can insulate! the many layers trap air, and trapped air is warm!

Some northern native peoples were Furs.. (and fur fibers are often hollow and trap air.)

but some were parka's made from whale intestines (think sausage skins) the 'fabric' is very thin,-it is transparent! (thinner than a sheet of paper) it has almost NO warmth! but they layer and layer and layer (20 or more layers) of the whale intestines..and each layer traps air.

IN addition, each layer, like wool, is WATER PROOF (to some degree) BUT breathable (water vapor readily passes through) so they are DRY and enveloped in layer of trapped air (and once again, air insulates!)
Edit:
parka's like this can be seen in the Smithsonian's American Indian Musuem (at the Custom's house in lower manhattan)


to make a warm non wool hat, lots of thin, thin layers.. trap the air.. and trapped air will make it warm.
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Last edited by of troy : 10-31-2007 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:29 PM   #8
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Thanks guys,
Of Troy that is some great information! How do I make a bunch of thin layers for a hat? I want those layers just by the ears...can't think in my head how to do more than one layer...I was going to do a roll brim and that would get 2 layers in there to trap air.
Thank you again!
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:38 PM   #9
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how to make many layers?

use fine yarn (mode dea makes a self striping acyrilc sock yarn..but any fingering weight yarn would be good.)

make a 'sausage hat", (start at top, increase, then make a straight tube about 10 to 11 inches long. (change yarns/or color if desired)
make a second tube 10 to 11 inches long, decrease, Using opposite pattern used for increase (ie if you increased 8 stitches EOR at beginning, decrease 8 stitches EOR for end--second top!))

when done, you have a large sausage shape--fold in half, tucking one side inside the other.. now the shape is half dome.

and there are 2 layers! because the hat is long (11 inches or so) there is enought to fold back a brim (2 or so inches)

now there 4 layer at the brim/over the ears!

the gauge can be loose (remember you want water vaper to be able to escape! so make the hat on size 4 needles (not the ususal size 2.5 or 3.)not lacy, but LOOSE soft gauge.

this will trap air!

if you need more detailed directions google sausage shaped hat or double layered hat.. there are lots of detailed patterns for this sort of hat!
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:11 PM   #10
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You could always make a double knit hat. Do a google search for them. There are lots of patterns out there. There was even a double hat pattern floating around on here for a while that everyone seemed to be doing. If you did a double knit hat or a "reversible" hat (knit like a long tube and tapered on both ends and then one end stuck in the other to make an opening) with some colorwork so you had floating threads on the back you would get the layers of yarn look.

I'm presuming that your friend is allergic to wool? What about hemp? I don't think it has the nice waterproof ability that wool does, but it might be an option. Also find out if it is all animal hair that he has problems with or if it is just sheep's wool. There are animal wools that don't have the lanolin (which is what most people are allergic to) that you could use instead of sheep's wool. Several goats and of course rabbit. If he isn't allergic, but equates wool to itchy (which most people do) get merino or a wool blend (like bamboo - oh, bamboo would be lovely and soft and natural!) to prove him wrong.

Keep us posted on this venture! Oh and if you are looking for a sort of masculine hat with something other than stockinette, consider a watchman's cap. There's a nice one in the first Viking Knit book by Lavold.
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