Blocking a knit hat with a balloon

Last week I finished the loose-fitting adaptation of Knitty’s Foliage – a hat pattern that I’ve made in its original format a couple times. I had some thin cornflower blue yarn and wanted to make a looser, larger version of this hat.  I’ve spent a lot of hours in airports and airplanes over the past couple weeks (job interview in Boston and wedding in Cleveland) so there wasn’t much else to do except knit. Perfecting the pattern got tiresome – I would’ve buried it in the knitting pile if I had any better distractions than talking to the businessman next to me or swiping my credit card for $5.99 movies on the little screen. But now it’s done!

The hat is made with sz. 3 needles (except the bottom ribbing…I went down to sz. 2 there). I extended the Foliage increase-pattern a couple rows, then worked in the round for about 7 inches. I made an extra double-decrease in every other “leaf” before binding off, which helped the hat fit snugly at the ribbing.

Flying in to Portland, OR

Once it was all done I blocked it with a regular old party balloon. I hadn’t tried this before, but I also hadn’t made a hat of this shape before…loose, bigger than my head, and with a smaller circumference at the bottom than in the middle. The balloon worked like a charm. While I set the hat in the window to dry, the sunlight made the balloon glow like a wondrous magical light fixture.

Don't stretch your knitting over the inflated balloon. Instead, place the balloon in the hat and inflate.

Letting the hat dry

I used size 3 needles and extended the Foliage pattern a couple rows

Bethany gets a hat from this yarn next 🙂

Tomorrow…I tell you why we got an angry letter from the United States Postal Service.

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