Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Argus Hat

I designed a hat!

Eons ago, Hera, the queen of the gods, had a trusted guard - the giant Argus with one hundred eyes.  Argus was an exceptional guard - he never closed more than half his eyes, even when he was sleeping.  Hera asked Argus to guard Io, a young mortal woman being pursued by Hera’s husband, Zeus.  

Zeus sent his son, Hermes, to free Io from Argus and Hera.  But Argus’s peculiar sleeping habits and his many eyes proved a difficult problem. Finally, Hermes simply told a story so long and so boring that eventually all of Argus’s eyes closed in sleep. Hermes seized the opportunity and killed Hera’s trusted servant.  

To commemorate her faithful servant, Hera preserved his eyes in the tail of her favorite bird - a peacock.

Even today, Argus is synonymous with watchfulness and a guardian spirit. J.K Rowling even gave his name to one of the characters in her Harry Potter series: Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts school, who always seemed to know when students were out of their beds at night.

This hat is the first of a series of free-form hats that I designed that use short rows to concentrate colors and form “eyes.”  It is designed for variegated yarn and helps to tame the chaos that variegated yarns produce.  You will respond to the colors in the yarn and learn how to control where the eyes fall.  This hat is also a helix knit, alternating 2 strands of yarn to form an unbroken, jog-free garter stitch spiral. 

The hat itself is a reasonably simple pattern, but the short rows in response to color changes, and helix knitting make it a more challenging knit, suitable for adventurous knitters who enjoy making decisions on the fly and are comfortable with a bit of chaos.

Freeform knitting is extraordinarily difficult to explain because it's conceptually pretty different than standard knitting, and the pattern includes detailed instructions on how to control where the eyes fall.  As a result - the pattern is 14 pages long!

Here's the hat being modeled by my daughter:

The hat is available for sale in my Ravelry store.   It provides instructions for one adult size, and is designed for worsted-weight yarn, but adjusting the size (or converting for use with other yarn weights) isn't hard to do. To save space in the pattern itself (which is already pretty long), I include the instructions for adjusting the size/yarn weight here on my blog.  You can use the instructions to change yarn weights, make a fitted hat (instead of a slouchy one), or make a new size (baby, child, teen, or for someone with an extra-large noggin). 

Here's the pattern page on Ravelry. You can purchase it there, or by clicking on this link if you prefer: buy now.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Neither spam nor mean comments are allowed. I'm the sole judge of what constitutes either one, and any comment that I consider mean or spammy will be deleted without warning or response.