The front post dc and shell stitch combination in this Divine hat really caught my eye. The pattern uses asymmetrical shells to force the front post stitches in one direction, making the spiral effect. To me it looks complicated, but the pattern stitch is surprisingly straight forward and very easy to create.
If you’re a knitter, the Odessa from MagKnits is a similar design. I like how the beads are knitted into the spiral. If only I was that advanced! For my hat, I used Caron SS Heather in Denim. The color is closer to a bluish silver than a denim, though.
Compared to my old RHSS hat, this thing makes my head look huge! There’s front and back post stitches, so it has the thickness of three layers of crochet. My brother thinks it looks like those Russian Ushanka hats, especially if I added ear flaps. I tend to agree, but it’s very warm. And the hat is made with Caron Simply Soft Heather (in Charcoal), so it’s soft too.
I learned a new technique for a nearly-seamless front post stitch join with these hats. The pattern calls for a ch-2 before making the first front post stitch in the round. When you come to the end of a round, you ignore this ch-2 and join directly to the front post stitch.
This means that instead of chaining for a stitch that should be a front post, you hide this chain behind and there’s barely any difference between the join and the rest of the hat. You can see the seam of the hat in the picture below, on the left of the cable.
These patterns are both from the same designer, which are written with minimum detail. They’re easy enough to understand if you’ve ever followed a hat pattern and there’s a stitch count at the end of every row. Don’t be scared off by the cables in the second hat either. The directions for cables are really clear.
I ran into some problems with gauge and my yarn selection. I originally used Red Heart Super Saver, but the connected front post stitches looked jilted. Not that you can’t use Red Heart, but the cables really shine when you have a smooth yarn like Caron SS.
The other problem was gauge. I had the gauge with the suggested hook size, but it was mammoth in size. The gauge is based solely on the width of the front post cable. What I found was this gauge could be true with about three different hooks.
Also, the cable hat especially, really stretches because of the front post stitches. So if the hat does feel a little snug, just remember that it will ease up a bit with use. If you want to use the official gauge, I would go with the smallest hook size possible. I ended up using a size H crochet hook with a gauge of 13 dc and 7 rows = 10″. Even with the size H hook, it’s still the teeniest bit loose, but I’m glad I have it for this snowy Northwest winter.
*That’s cool* a random fact
Russia has twice the number of chess Grandmasters as Germany, its nearest competitor.