Sept. 6, 2016
Rain, Rain, Go Away Hat
This hat ended up going through a little revision after I was accepted into Knitty. The reason being is that I used a technique to deal with long floats called the invisible stranding technique by Susan Rainey. This particular technique is only obtained through a paid pattern and since Knitty is a free publication they couldn't use my hat if I used that technique and was unable to share it. So I knit a new version using long floats and I actually liked it better than the first! The first version, with the invisible stranding, created extra bulk in the first part of the hat. I only needed to use the technique for the umbrella handle where there is a long stretch using a single color. The rest of the hat is knit in the typical fair isle way of wrapping floats every few stitches.
Here are some tips for working the hat with long floats: You may choose to secure your long floats on the WS, but if you are using high contrast colors like I used then the floats might peek through on the RS. My choice was to leave the floats long (longest is 11 sts, except for Round 2, on which see the note below) as they are unlikely to get caught on anything since this is a hat.
On Rounds 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, the round is worked only in MC, but to continue the handle the CC1 stitch is slipped (purlwise). In Round 2 however, to make the curve of the handle, you do have to work with both colors. In this case, you need to secure the float to keep your work even and avoid puckering of the fabric. To do this, secure/wrap your floats every 4-5 sts in the raindrop section as they will blend right in and in the plain section, on either side of the handle, you may choose to continue securing your floats in the same manner as the raindrop section or just keep the long floats. Here is what the invisible stranding vs the long floats look like on the inside of the hat: