So, what do you do when you agree to meet a friend for a crafty evening but have decided to stay in town to get your hair cut? You buy a ball of yarn and circular needles and take those along. I had wanted to make a hat with ear flaps for a while now, since it is getting colder on my bicycle and my current hat (with owls) doesn’t cover my ears. So I cast on 50 stitches provisionally (I thought I had cast on 55 for some reason – counting is hard) and started knitting. I had about half a hat finished at the end of the evening. The next day I found the tasseled earflap hat pattern on ravelry and wrote my limited notes here.
I recalculated their instructions based on my row gauge and at that point determined that I had failed knitting 55 stitched as I thought. According to my calculations I needed 52 stitches, so I increased a little at the bottom. Then I knit the flaps starting with 12 stitches and decreasing one on each side every knit row. I ended up with two stitches and added a third one in the middle to make the bind of smoother. There were at least three different bind off attempts but in the end the super stretchy bind of was used (where you do a yarn over after the previous stitch, knit the next stitch and slip both over the last knitted stitch). Then I returned to the top, removed my provisional cast on an continued knitting. I decreased five stitches every second row until there were six stitches left over. Then I added a doubled strand of yarn through each of the left over stitches and pulled those tight.
The finishing touches knitting wise included adding the six strands to knit the ear flap closures, making a knot at the top, weaving in my 2 ends from the middle cast on and adding a tag for the back. The ear flaps are more to the back, so I needed to indicate which side needed to be at the back of my hat. I did this with a small bit of spare yarn. It works well!
After my first test drive, I determined that the wind does come through the knitting quite a bit. So I dug through my stash and found some matching fleece fabric to line the ear flaps with. I sewed it in and test drove my hat again on what felt like the windiest second day of Christmas I ever encountered. This was a significant improvement, so I was very happy with this decision. My hair also fits in it, it may not look pretty but it does fit. All in all, not bad for effectively 2 evenings of knitting and about an hour of finishing.