Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Hurricane Finish for Hat Crowns; also, Calling Dino!

To Dino, who won the Woolly Giveaway on October 1st: I never received your email. Can you check that you have the correct email address and contact me again? Or you can message me in Ravelry where I'm MrsMicawber.

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How do you close the hole at the top of a bottom-up knitted or crocheted hat? A common method is to work decreasing rounds until 8 to 10 stitches are left, then cut the yarn and gather the stitches together with the yarn tail, pulling until the hole disappears.

Although this method works, it can sometimes distort the stitches around it, or create an unsightly "knipple" (see this post by TECHknitter for the origin of that delightful term, plus some great tips for closing knitted hat crowns).

Here's an alternative method I developed for the recently-published Blue Spruce Hat. I've named it the Hurricane Finish - a name that seems doubly appropriate in light of its appearance and the tempestuous year we've been having.

Hurricane Crown Finish

The Hurricane Finish is a decreasing spiral of back loop only slip stitch (blo sl st). It can be used on crown openings of all sizes: the blue hat shown above started with a 12-stitch opening; the grey hat, a 20-stitch opening; the red mini sample, a 16-stitch opening. Note: the more stitches there are in the opening, the more rounds there will be in the spiral.

Here's how it works:


"Yopta" is my personal shorthand for Yarn Over, Pull Through All (loops on hook).

For some reason that middle photo makes me think of Jaws....

And there you have it! From gaping hole to a tidy swirl of stitches:


And no need to weave in, or worry about the yarn tail working loose. :)


Tips for Working the Hurricane Finish:
  • If your hat is worked spirally from dc or taller stitches, you'll need to decrease the stitch height before starting the Hurricane Finish. To do this, make the last few stitches of the final round successively shorter, ending with an sc.
  • Keep a relaxed tension when working slip stitches.
  • If you're starting with a very large opening (say 20 stitches), using a smaller hook will draw the crown a little tighter.
  • If your hat is knitted, bind off the last round until you have one loop left, then work the Hurricane Finish as instructed.
  • Be sure to mist or wet-block your hat to fluff up the yarn and smooth out the stitches.

Do you work hats from the bottom up? What's your favourite way to close the crown?

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