Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Monmouth Cap

I needed a winter toque.  Someplace in the move over a year ago, I lost my toque and despite a whole year of looking, okay not looking really hard, I still have no idea where the winter toques and extra mitts were packed.  I've replaced the scarves and most of the mitts, but decided I needed to knit a new toque for myself.   I was hard pressed to find a pattern that wasn't too fluffy or complicated.   At the Ealdormere Kingdom Arts and Science competition, Jane had knit a very cute pair of Scoggers, or arm warmers based on a find from the Mary Rose.   This inspired me to look at Tudor cap finds. 

The Monmouth cap was known by name in the mid 16th century, but probably dates back to the 15th century.  The cap, first knit in Monmouth, Wales, became a staple clothing item for middle class English, workers, sailors and soldiers alike.  One existing cap is made of rough, two plied yarn, with only 59 stitches for a 22 inch circumference.   

I wasn't going to use rough yarn because I'm still in the midst of spinning for the hood project and my spinning wheels are in use.  I don't spin yarn that thick on a regular basis.   I have loads of yarn around but nothing in that grist.   I dug out the walnut dyed yarn from earlier this fall.  The pictures I looked at, show the hats features fairly clearly and written descriptions are quite detailed as well.   Some have a button on top, some don't.  They seem to be fulled and have a hanging loop at the bottom.  They have a doubled brim and fit quite closely.   So, I knitted up a swatch and figured out what gauge I'd need and went from there.  It seems to be a fairly straight forward project.

The Pattern:

Materials - Paton's Classic Wool - 1 skein
Needles - 1 set double points, 1 circular needle..  I think it's in 4.5 mm but the needles are ancient or scrounged and I've no idea for certain.  I'll edit the size when I actually get a needle gauge and know for sure.
Gauge- 5 stitches per inch  ( more important info than needles anyway!)

skills needed - cast on, stockinette stitch, purl stitch, pick up stitch, knit 2 together

Cast on 100 stitches. 
Place marker before first stitch and carefully join without twisting.
  Knit for 2.25 inches. 
Purl one row.
Knit for 2.25 inches.

This is the brim.  The row of purl stitches makes a convenient fold.  Fold brim up to the inside of hat.
Matching row for row, pick up one stitch from the bottom edge (now folded) and knit together with the working stitch of the same row.  Work the entire hat brim this way, catching each row  to the hat body.  This creates a finished edge and no need to sew the brim to the hat later.   Keep track of the marker for the start.

Knit until hat measures 5.5 inches from purled edge.

Start decreases...
Knit 8, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 7, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 6, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 5, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 4, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 3, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 2, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 1, knit 2 together - repeat for entire row
knit 2 together - should be 10 stitches on needles
cut yarn, leaving a 15 inch tail.   Thread yarn through 10 stitches and tie off, weaving in the tail
weave in the tail at the inside brim.

ta da... done..


Anonymous said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing.

Barbara said...

This is adorable!!! I'm going to finish mine a little different. My daughter wears her hair back in a pony tail just about 90% of the time and I can see this with an opening in the back with a draw string to close it. I will be sure to send you a pic when it's finished. Thanks for such a great pattern. I love the way you did the brim. Barbara

Sharon said...

It looks wonderful. I like your idea of double at the ears - much warmer.

OmMama & KraftyKatina said...

This is a really great hat! Thanks for providing a pattern!

g-girl said...

i love the simplicity of it. thanks for sharing!

Leigh said...

It's a wonderful cap. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern. I'm going to have to make one, one of these days.

Cathy said...

I knit this in cascade 220 with size 8 needles. Used up the remnants of 2 balls of complementary colors.
Easy knit -- I finished off the top by just K2tog all around and then a row of stockinette and then K2tog again until I was down to 9 stitches. Worked really well and fits my 22" head quite nicely.

Anonymous said...

Not so very different from modern day hats...why fix what ain't broken as they say! I like the sizing tip...I have a huge melon and have trouble making/finding knit hats that fit me!

PS Try to fix your link on the Challenge facebook page. It isn't including the last bit so I had to work a bit to see this! And it is worth coming to see!

Our Story said...

I have a question:

I am new to knitting and I'm wondering if the "knit" between the decrease rows means I should knit a full row before I move on to the next decrease row? Thanks so much!

Laura said...

Lovely hat. REALLY lovely hat! Thank you for the pattern!

Laura Lane said...

Looks like a good chemo hat.
I too wonder if the knit between decrease rows means a whole row.