testknit: cabled brioche hat Proizd

Now that I can see my knitting up close again I’ve fallen straight into another testknit: Proizd hat. A pattern by Jasna Kaludjerovic, who’s also the stunning model in this picture:

It’s a hat with brioche stitch and cabling intertwined to make that intriguing pattern like a stained glass window.
Even though there are never more than 3 stitches involved in a cable crossing it’s obviously a pattern that requires attention. Jasmin is a mathematician and I love these kind of intelligent patterns.

I’m glad I knitted Frost on Leaves hat earlier in the year, to get the hang of Brioche in cables:

In Poizd hat, gauge is very important states the pattern. It says you should use yarns that usually give you 24 st and 32 rows in a 10×10 cm square. So I, being a very loose knitter, grabbed some light fingering handspun and needles 2,5 mm.
“Normal” people would take sportsweight and 3,5 mm needles.

first try:

These are my handspun. They’re a delight to knit with.

But the colours do not work very well together, they could do with more contrast. Also, I made a glaring mistake and started the cabling too late. And this is too tight to fit round my head.

So I chose thicker yarn: white sock yarn (Drops Fabel) and another handspun in light fingering. Have gone up in needle size for better fit. (2,75 mm)

Try number two:

Colours have enough contrast. And it does fit.
But it requires the fabric to be stretched as much as the photo shows. Creating holes in the fabric and the orange yarn is so thin and flimsy… it looks pathetic. You can see right through the fabric and the orange just doesn’t have enough body to carry this design.

So, on to thicker yarn and again thicker needles.

That’s why third try:

This time in proper, commercial spun, sportsweight. And needles 3 mm. Lana Grossa Cool Merino in red and Frankengarn Socke with silk in green.

Fit’s ok. But this is how much the fabric needs to be stretched to fit my head.
Gaps are gone. But the green “feathers” have a clear red horizontal stripe in between their legs. It’s not very pretty. The designer certainly doesn’t have that much dark blue horizontal stripes between the upward lines in the light blue feathers.

But that may be because she’s framing her feathers with a dark colour. I’m using a bright red.

I’m not too worried about gauge anymore, it may very well be that my gauge in Cabled Brioche differs from the designer’s, even though our gauge in Stockinette Stitch is the same. Either way my head circumference and the amount of stitches to be cast on comes to a gauge of about 17 – 18 stitches per 10 cm which is what my red/green is (and the orange/white combination too).

This gauge leads to stretched fabric. A gauge of 17 – 18 stitches per 10 cm will lead to a fabric that’s this stretched. This is the look the hat will get. And, looking at the designer’s hat, she too has this stretched look at the brim.


Higher up the hat may grow more tight, when more cables occur. Cables tighten knitwear. But Brioche is extremely stretchy so they might negate each other. Jasmin says everything is going to be alright and I believe her.

So if I want to change the look of my knitted fabric my only variable now is the yarn I use. I’m now looking for a yarn that fills up the gaps between the stitches a bit more. A woolen yarn would do just that…. but then the clear defined pattern would be obscured. And I very much like the feather or tree branche diagonal stripes.

For my fourth, and last, cast on I’m changing yarn once again.
This time I’m going to use Noro Silk Garden Sock, a yarn that can bloom when it’s washed and beaten. It will fill up the gaps.
I’m going to frame it in a dark purple sportsweight. A worsted, round yarn from Finland: Veto.
And my needle of choice will be a 3,25 mm.


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