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"Cables and Lace Broomstick Hat" with matching "Honeycomb Neckwarmer"

posted Jan 3, 2012, 8:25 AM by Debra Krause Dandaneau   [ updated Jan 5, 2012, 7:30 PM ]

A bit delayed, since this set was a holiday present for my sister...

  • Cables and Lace Broomstick Hat (by Kristin Omdahl, in Crochet So Fine and available free online, sponsored by Lion-Brand yarn)
  • Honeycomb Neckwarmer (also by Kristin Omdahl, in the Crochet So Fine book...or buy the digital pattern online through Interweave)

I’ll start my review of the hat by noting that my crochet gauge is always small… even when I supersize up several hook sizes.  Going up from an “E” to an “I” seemed to get things right in terms of gauge for the cable-band (the first part you crochet, since the hat is done from the base to the crown), but then like some others, I struggled on the band construction.  Unlike others, however, I don’t think that’s primarily because of the instructions.  I think it’s primarily because the band is so darn narrow compared to a standard cable I do on a self-designed hat... and because I work that hat's cable in my sleep.  I ended up switching to a modified version of my cable instead, which I hope to later insert here (unfortunately my Cad program is on another computer running an older version of windows, and I need to upgrade the program since it won't load on this computer's newer version):


In addition to making the band simpler for me to do mindlessly, I justified the modification by noting a wider band over chilly ears would be beneficial.   I also noted that my cable and Kristin’s had the same number of rows per cable, so I figured all would be well, and that the design integrity would still be upheld.

However, there is an error in the pattern: her instructions have the wrong number of total rows in the completed band…. Two are lost, which would make the cable-join look odd and result in the wrong number of sc in the base layer for the broomstick lace.  There are some corrections about this on the Interweave site (and perhaps on the LionBrand site, since this is a free sponsored pattern using their yarn), but you’ll want to check.  If you add in the next two appropriate rows at the end of her instructions, you’ll get a correct join for the cable, and the correct number of sc stitches for doing the broomstick lace rounds.  I'll show the last three rounds and the join of my pattern above, when I get it in.

Ok – so I went up several sizes on the hook, since I always crochet tightly… but I would think my broomstick lace would still be okay, since that’s just looping around knitting needle, right?  No… I should have gone up several sizes on that needle as well (I guess I ork with tigt tension).  With the size 17 knitting needles and the previously chosen “I” crochet hook, my lace ended up the right width, but short.  I modified her pattern to add in additional rows of broomstick lace at the top (1 or 2 in the 6-loopr ows, and 1-2 in the four-loop decrease rows), and changed the edging at the base to have a broomstick-lace edge (by working rows 1-2 of the main hat – i.e. the base row and one row of broomstick).

Voila!  My Cables and Broomstick Lace Hat, with matching Honeycomb Neckwarmer:

Some brief notes on the matching Honeycomb Neckwarmer:  the pattern is fine, but I chose to work 8 rounds and then reverse the neckwarmer and work 8 identical rounds (which makes the neckwarmer symmetrical and just a bit wider). In my yarn, which is super-soft, it flops a little.  I'd imagine you'd want to use a less soft yarn for results more like the image in the book.

Yarn:  Silky Mulberry by Sweaterkits:   100% mulberry silk, dk weight, in color:  “Storm”  Amount 1 skein for the hat, about 3/4 skein for the neckwarmer).   While the photo above shows the stitch details well, The yarn doesn't show to advantage.  In reality, the yarn has a bit of sheen, better represented in a close-up "flash-shot" of the neckwarmer:

Hooks:  Susan Bates “I” crochet hook and three Susan Bates size 17 knitting needles.  I've decided I like Susan Bates hooks best, so I'm going to clear out the other hooks I have soon.

While it’s to go to my sister for the holidays, I wore the set to the yarn shop while selecting yarn for my next two projects and received compliments (especially on the hat).  The yarn is super-soft, and fortunately the size seems fine (not tight, as I always fear with my tight gauge):

Am I going to make another set for myself after the holidays?  I’m certainly tempted, but the yarn is quite pricey (at~$33/skein -- this set uses 1 and 3/4 skein).   I’d also have to use a different color.   I notice in the photo this color makes my skin look a bit orange (although I’m pretty sure these are my sister’s colors and it’s going to look great with her fairer skin and auburn hair... unfortunately this had to be left at my mother's for her to retrieve on her New Year's visit, so no photo of the set on her).