December 3: Holiday Owl Hat

lucyWe field all sorts of questions on a daily basis, and not just about knitting. Did you know we were also a resource for directions, local news, cooking advice, restaurant and business referrals, and so forth?
We love this aspect of our job and find it very flattering. What we don’t love is when we don’t have an answer for you. I like to help, or at least know of someone who can help. It makes me sad when I am unable to help someone out.
Especially when it comes to knitting. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a knitting question out there that can stump me. I do know my stuff after all.
But sometimes the answer is not good…such as “sorry, you’re going to have to rip that out and start over”. It truly pains us to have to say that, and I try my best to find a way to salvage projects whenever possible.
Recently I was asked about working intarsia in the round for a hat so there wouldn’t be a seam. Naturally my answer was nope, can’t be done*. I wouldn’t want a seam in my hat either, and I was wishing I had a better answer so I pondered the possibilities for a few days. This is what I do in my free time, like when I’m sleeping.
*Before we get to my solution, let’s first address the “can’t be done” statement. Sure, there are lots of helpful tips online on how to do such a thing. When it comes to intarsia knitting, I can confidently say that no one knows more about this topic than my mom and myself. This is our area of expertise. All I can say about the intarsia in the round methods is – NO, NO, and oh HECK NO. We’ll just leave it at that.
After many nights pondering how to make an intarsia hat without a seam, I had one of those “a-ha” moments. This Winter Owl Hat is the final result, however the construction that allowed me to do a hat without a seam poking you in the side of the head could be applied to other motif designs.

Winter Owl

So how did I make this otherwise impossible task possible? Well I kinda cheated. There is a seam, but it is invisible. The hat is otherwise flat all the way around.
Let’s talk seaming. When someone wants to make, say a seamless sweater the goal is usually to avoid sewing seams. When it comes to things such as hats, socks, and mittens the problem isn’t with sewing a seam, but seams are simply uncomfortable in these type accessories.
owlhat1The basic construction of the hat has been slightly altered to include three garter stitch sections. The seam for garter stitch is an absolutely flat seam. You’d never know it was even there!
This principal could easily be applied to other projects. The garter stitch areas become a design feature, and allowed me to include this cute little owl while still using my beautiful intarsia techniques.
Now if you’re allergic to sewing seams, you probably aren’t going to like intarsia knitting. Just sayin’…can’t help you there. But I can help you learn to seam. Watch for technique classes popping up on our January schedule. I hope to have that out this week.
The Winter Owl Hat pattern is our gift for you today. Enjoy!


  • Beth

    03.12.2013 at 03:23 Reply

    This little guy is so adorable! Thank you for the pattern.

  • pharris824

    03.12.2013 at 13:04 Reply

    Leave it to you to figure out the impossible. I want to learn intarsia when I grow up! 🙂

  • jlbeene83

    03.12.2013 at 23:42 Reply

    Cute!! I love intarsia!

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