If you are like any of us here at the mill, then you always have your knitting with you. During the summer, that means a little bit of yarn stashed in your backpack and long summer evenings spent knitting by firelight; the smell of wood smoke, a tasty beverage, and the warmth of wool in your hands. What could be more enjoyable?
For such occasions, it is helpful to be working on something that is (a) small and easy to transport, and (b) simple in pattern - firelight doesn't exactly lend itself to intricate lacework. One of our favourite patterns for summer knitting is the Origami Slouch by our lovely and talented Twisted Sister, Shelagh Sissons. Inspired by Japanese Origami techniques, this slouch is knit flat, then bound in the round and fitted with a drawstring to create a simple yet mind-bending piece. As a bonus, it is also one of the best summer camping accessories - it can be worn as the most comfy, awesome slouch hat ever, or you can release the drawstring to wear it as a neck warmer when those early morning hikes start out a bit cold. Seriously, I take mine with me, always.
Thank you to Shelagh for being such a wonderfully creative and inspirational sister!
Note: This pattern is the property of Shelagh Sissons and is offered, by permission, for personal use only.
4.5mm straight needles
**Note: Slip 1st stitch of every row (knitwise). Every other row, after slip stitch, increase 1 by backward loop, work in pattern to last three stitches, knit 2 together, knit 1. If you are not familiar with increase 1 by backward loop, check out this youtube video by Rox Knits for Elizabeth Zimmerman Increase by Backward Loop.
Pattern Stitch (8 row repeat):
4 rows of stocking stitch (K 1 row, P 1 row, K 1 row, P 1 row)
4 rows of reverse stocking stitch (P 1 row, K 1 row, P 1 row, K 1 row)
Repeat pattern stitch 16 times for a total of 128 rows or to desired length. **Remember, the length of the piece translates into the circumference of your hat.
Leave enough wool to work a chain or twisted cord for the draw-string and to finish piece with a 3 needle bind-off.
Remove waste yarn and pick up stitches from provisional cast on to connect beginning and end of piece with a 3 needle bind-off. **If you want, you can do the 3 needle bind-off with a different coloured scrap of yarn for fun. Check out this youtube video by KNITFreedom for how to do a Three Needle Bind-off.
Worn this way, you have a spiral cowl.
Run a chain or cord through the increase edge to create a draw-string. Tighten and tie with a bow. Worn this way, you have a draw string slouch hat. The slouch hat can be worn with the bow to the inside or outside depending on your preferred level of flare!