Friday, 14 December 2018

Knitting the Thrumdrum Hat in Other Sizes and as a Thrumdrum Helix Hat

Last week, I posted the Thrumdrum Hat Pattern for an average-sized adult head measuring 55 to 58cm.
To fit snugly, beanie type hats need to be stretched a little, they should be made 2-5cm smaller than the wearer's head. Given these few centimetres leeway, exact sizing is not as critical as it would be for a fitted cardigan.
To make a large hat to fit head sizes up to 61cm, simply increase the needle size to 5mm and work the four rounds of pattern repeat for the body of the hat eight times instead of six times. 
This hat is knit in handspun chunky and as well as being generally larger, its fabric is slightly looser than one made on a 4.5mm needle, which makes it stretchier, though not quite as warm and windproof.
Changing the thickness of the yarn from chunky down to DROPS Alaska aran wool and knitting a hat on 5mm needles, the circumference comes out about 57cm, just barely larger than knitting the average size in chunky yarn on 4.5mm needles. However, because the aran fabric is considerably stretchier than the chunky, this hat will also fit a larger head. A DROPS Aran hat knitted on 4.5mm needles will fit a small adult or teenage head.

In order to make a child's hat, I used the same DROPS Alaska yarn on 4mm needles. It measures 52cm externally, and remembering that the inner layer of thrums reduces the internal diameter, it would fit head sizes from 52-55cm for children 5 to 10 years old. These thrums were stripped from a multicoloured braid of acid dyed wool tops that had already started to felt itself, though I did manage to tease enough fibres out of the tops to spin sufficient yarn to make a matching pompom.
'Aran' includes quite a range of absolute yarn thickness. To make a baby's hat with 3.5mm needles on a 40cm circular cord, I chose a less bulky aran than DROPS - this is World of Wool Merino/Silk Aran dyed with silver birch bark. The baby sized hat took just under 50g (80m) of yarn and measures 45cm externally.
It would be easy to change the pattern for the brim of this hat to ribbing and work in the round from the very start, simple to increase the length of the body by working extra rounds of the pattern, to add tassels or pompoms to the top or even to wear it inside out, showing off the wild flurry of thrums. I hope people will like the Thrumdrum hat enough to adapt to the pattern for their own yarns and their own preferences.
One thing you might consider is using up small balls of different coloured yarn to knit the hat in a helix. Starting with the first round of the body of the hat, you could knit twenty stitches in each of four colours and create a helix, following the instructions for the Humdrum Helix Hat as well as adding thrums as given in the Thrumdrum Hat Pattern. 
This hat was knitted as a thrummed helix in chunky yarn using eight shades of silver birch bark dye. So many colours and so many hats - no prizes for guessing what my family will be getting for Christmas this year.


  1. I wouldn't mind practical gifts like that - at least it's not made with plastic, and not something that nobody really needs! I always wonder who on earth buys all that rubbish that's marketed as gifts nowadays! and at what price! people yap around about not using plastic bags - and then they go and buy toys or gifts that can only make me cringe:(
    anyway - I am sure your family will be happy about their hats!

    happy christmas to you and your family!