James C. Brett JB110 – A Hat!

This little woolly hat was realised in the skies over Canada, and includes a lot of firsts for me – first hat, first cables, first experience of knitting in the round….first time it’s occurred to me to try and alleviate boredom on a long haul flight by knitting (a eureka moment!). And although it was finished around this time last year, it’s just had its first outing, and where better than a group walk with the West Sussex Greyhound Walking group.

Not bad for first time cables, I hope you'll agree.
Not bad for first time cables, I hope you’ll agree.

Sighthounds are a funny, old breed and each hound has their own particular foibles, but one thing can be said of them all – they are never happier than when mooching along with their own kind. The walking group allows us to do just that with Tigs and Ariel, and the pups are in their element (they’re now both zonked out on their beds and I don’t expect to hear a peep out of them for another 3 hrs when their in-built ‘dinner-time’ alarms kick in). There were 42 dogs trekking around Buchan Park with their families in the glorious spring sunshine this morning. Bliss!

42 dogs soaking up the West Sussex sunshine this morning.
42 dogs soaking up the West Sussex sunshine this morning. Photo by Sam Morris.

The hat is a James C. Brett pattern (my third! I really like the simplicity of their instructions and the more contemporary look of their designs compared to the many others out there). The JB110 hat is part of a set, which includes some cute fingerless gloves and a scarf, and there’s a choice of 2 designs. I picked the one shown in grey on the pattern. When I bought the pattern I was filled with good intentions about making the whole set and I bought all of the yarn (James C. Brett Marble DK in shade 5) I’d need to do so, but alas, I over-complicated things by insisting on knitting both the hat and gloves on circular needles and the result was one finished hat and half a glove that I’ve got into a bit of a pickle with.

So, why circular needles? Despite the fact that the pattern is flat and calls for straight needles, I really wanted to avoid having a seam line in my hat, and knitting in the round seemed to provide the perfect solution. I did a bit of Googling to find out whether I could simply switch from straight to circular needles and discovered that it wouldn’t be so hard to amend the pattern, I just (just!) had to knit all of the wrong side rows both opposite and backwards. Simples, right? Surprisingly, for the most part it was – I knit when the pattern called for purl and I just read the instructions for wrong side rows from right to left instead of the usual left to right.

Feeling smug after my hat success I ploughed on to the gloves, adopting the same approach. What I didn’t count on was how complicated amending the pattern would become once I started knitting short rows to split the thumb part off from the fingers. I was about 3/4 of the way through glove number one when I realised I was waaaay out of my depth. Maybe, someday, I’ll revisit the gloves and pick up where I left off, or perhaps even start again and knit them flat, but for now they’re sitting firmly in the ‘I’m too frustrated to even look at you‘ pile of half-finished projects.

I’m not 100% happy with the fit of the hat. While the circumference is spot on and it really is very comfy and warm to wear, there’s a bit of excess towards the top. This is more a problem with the size of my head than the pattern, I think. I’m often swamped by RTW adult hats and have been known to shop in the children’s section, but I didn’t take this into account enough for this hat and I should probably have started to shape the top a few rows earlier. That said, it doesn’t really bother me that much, and it certainly won’t stop me from wearing this out and about.

I’ll leave you with a few more piccies from this morning’s walk, while I head off for an afternoon nap – all of that fresh air is positively exhausting.

The greyhounds wandering two by two...hoo-rah, hoo-rah. Photo by Sam Morris.
The greyhounds wandering two by two…hoo-rah, hoo-rah. Photo by Sam Morris.
Ariel <3 <3 <3
My sweetie, Ariel. Photo by Sam Morris.
A dog wearing a tweed hat...yes, really!
Doesn’t everybody’s dog own a tweed hat?! Photo by Sam Morris.
Sausage time! Photo by Sam Morris.
Me and my special boy.
Me and my special boy.


8 thoughts on “James C. Brett JB110 – A Hat!

  1. Lovely hat – I did my first lacy one recently and used circular needles for the first time – good fun isn’t it. Hasn’t it been so glorious day in West Sussex – I spent the afternoon on Goring beach – dogs aplenty!

    1. They’re a revelation, Clarinda. If I could knit everything on circular needles, I probably would – my least favourite knitting job in the world is sewing up seams.

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