One of our most popular knitted hat patterns, the Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood, is a wonderful project for many reasons.
|The Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood|
It's a perfect unisex hat; really attractive on both men and women (I knit one for my brother a couple of years ago). It's a great project for practicing the twisted stitch technique. And it's a quick, addicting knit. I knit mine in about three evenings; the pattern is easily memorized after the first couple of repeats.
After knitting this hat, I really fell in love with twisted stitches. They're stitches that are simply knitted through the back loop and they travel across each other like cables do, but usually just one stitch crosses each other at a time.
Jared, who often uses architecture to inspire stitch patterns, designed this hat as a tribute to the work of architect Rem Koolhaas. His design for the Seattle Public Library is a lattice pattern of steel and glass. The Koolhaas Hat is knit with a springy yak/wool blend that emphasizes the strong geometric structure and sculptural quality of this twisted stitch pattern.
Meg Swanson wrote an article for Interweave Knits in the fall of 2010. In it she talked a little bit about the history of twisted stitches:
|How to knit through the back loop|
Both Styria (north/central Austria) and Bavaria (southern Germany) claim to be the district of origin for this beautiful knitted fabric. Beyond tracing the beginnings of the twisted-stitch knitting tradition to the eighteenth century, little detailed history is available about the technique. Motifs were passed along from knitter to knitter and tangibly preserved for future generations by means of knitted samplers.
With its traveling stitches and cables, the technique is similar to Aran knitting except that each knit stitch is worked into the back of the stitch: thus the name twisted-stitch knitting. With no "plain" stitches, the knitting itself is relatively slow, but the reward is enormous as the twists tighten and raise each stitch to enhance the detail of the resulting topography.
If you are familiar with basic cable techniques, you will have no difficulty with the right and left twists because they are actually the smallest possible cables: one stitch crossing over another. You merely have to get into the habit of working into the back of each knit stitch.
—Meg Swanson, Interweave Knits, Fall 2010
I know you'll love knitting the Koolhaas Hat as much as I did, so I encourage you to get one of our new kits today! They come with natural brown yarn, blue yarn, or ruby red yarn, delivered right to your door.