Sérac – hat and blanket set
- Fingering weight hat for newborns and infants (I will be updating the pattern later this year to include toddler, child and adult sizes too!)
- Twisted stitches make the motif – no endless increasing and decreasing, and no slipped stitches. (Aren’t familiar with twisted stitches? Check out a full tutorial here)
- Instructions given for 6 different yarn weights (fingering, sport, DK, worsted, bulky and super bulky)
- Sized for car seats and strollers
- Knit seamlessly as one piece
- Wrong side consists of knit and purl stitches only
A few years ago we had a prolific year for babies in my family. I made two fingering weight blankets for my sisters-in-law and one sport weight blanket for my cousin-in-law. Just when I thought I was finally done and didn’t have to knit another baby blanket ever again (or at least for a long while) I found out I was pregnant…
I had planned to make a matching hat and blanket set for my children whenever they came along, and regardless of whether it was a boy or girl I had my heart set on the “Into the Abyss” colorway of Whimsical Colors – Silky Merino Light (my photos here don’t do justice to this colorway at all – it’s a gorgeous ocean blue-green). As for the stitch pattern, I’ve always been attracted to the “Northern Lights” motif first published in Barbara Walker’s treasuries (though she wrote it so the twisted stitches were worked on the wrong side of the fabric which seems unnecessarily difficult, so I rewrote it to be worked from the right side). Thus the Sérac hat had it’s starting parameters.
I’m crazy about the stitch pattern of a hat decreasing nicely at the top. And by ‘nicely’ I mean that the decreases have to be absolutely, positively, perfectly engineered to approach the bind off point. So that was another detail I focused on with this hat and the result is quite pleasing – an ideal star/flower-shaped crown! I also spent a lot of time testing different cast on methods for the ribbing to find something that looked clean and precise. The final result I chose alternates the usual long-tail knit cast on with a purl version to match the subsequent rib pattern. You can see a full tutorial here.
With the hat complete I moved on to a matching blanket to use in the car seat and stroller. I made sure the border was knit-as-I-went because who wants to pick up hundreds of stitches to knit on a border after you’ve just finished a whole blanket? Not me. These two pieces turned out to be a perfect set to welcome my son home in and though he has since outgrown the hat we are still getting a lot of use out of the blanket. So far the hat is only given in newborn (0-6 month) and infant (6-12 month) sizes, but I will be updating the pattern with toddler, child and adult sizes later this year! The pattern for the blanket is given in 6 different yarn weights to suit whatever level of patience you have for a blanket.
When you find out you’re having a baby you can’t help but dream about all of the adventures they’re going to have, and since you haven’t met them yet you tend to fill in the blanks with the things you dream about for yourself. I daydream about making it to the top of big mountains and being brave enough spend day after day (and night after night!) on all that snow and ice that tends to be on the way.
“Sérac” is a mountaineering term for the pillars of ice that precariously tower over the glaciers of the world’s highest mountains. They shift and topple constantly, without warning, and are extremely perilous to climbers. To me this stitch pattern looks like spires of ice guarding a narrow path. Perhaps one day my kid really will be climbing the high peaks and seeing those alpine glaciers – or better yet, perhaps we’ll be doing it together!
You can find these patterns and detailed information about each of the samples shown on Ravelry:
(Also available on Etsy and LoveKnitting)
If you were one of the first people to download this pattern, your version might have a mistake in the “Bottom Border” section. There should NOT be a p2tog in the final row. It should read:
Next Row (WS): Sl1pw wyif, p8 (6, 6, 4, 4, 4), PM, purl to last 9 (7, 7, 5, 5, 5)st, PM, purl to end.
I have bought and started knitting this pattern and I’m using a circular needle. However I realise that as I get to decreasing this isn’t gonna work. As a beginner, I wasn’t sure whether I should then move to double pointed needles three or four? There’s nothing in the pattern.
Yes, you will need to switch methods as the rounds get smaller and smaller. This can be done with double pointed needles (you would need four or five needles) or you can continue to use your circular needle with something called the “magic loop method”. I personally don’t use the “magic loop” so I can’t offer advice on it, but there are many YouTube videos showing how to work a small round with circular needles if you don’t want to use double pointed needles.
You may also find that your gauge changes with double pointed needles – for example my knitting gets tighter, so I always have to go up one needle size when I work sleeves or hat tops with double pointed needles. But that certainly isn’t true for everyone, you will have to experiment to find what method works best for you when knitting a small number of stitches in the round.