(almost a) Sixareen Kep

On the dank and drear freezing cold Mother’s Day just gone we ended up at my friend Jude’s* house with her son and grand-daughter, a large pot of spaghetti bolognese and some champagne (it’s a long story involving emergency babysitting, a far away Richard Thompson concert, and yet another occasion I ended up having a sandwich for my dinner).

Jude expressed her lack of love for her current hat as she was getting ready to walk the greyhound Nyx (we didn’t walk her far due to the swampy conditions underfoot, and did I mention the cold?).

Anyway, that kind of thing is surely a red rag to any hand knitter with itchy fingers and an as yet un-knitted Kate Davies pattern. So I set to on a Sixareen Kep.

I know Jude likes purple, so I found some purple – 36grams of discontinued Rowan Felted Tweed from the never ending stash –  but thought that was probably not enough. Also, I went up a needle size for the whole thing, so that was going to steam through it a bit too.

I knit the colour work section as charted, in teal (FC41, Jamieson and Smith), orange (Rowan Yorkshire Tweed – I love that orange, I think the love may have been brought on by the gloom), red (Rowan Felted Tweed) and a bit of brown and white (J&S again, two of the natural sheepy shades). The lining is a Rowan tweed too, though I can’t recall what ilk:

Orange, blue, brown. They didn’t get it ALL so wrong in the ’70s

The lining I provisionally cast on and did more rounds when the colour work section was completed. I knew it would need more than 30 rows, just not how many more (it turned out to be four or five):

You could possibly get away with wearing this inside out

The plain bit of the hat I kind of improvised and busked my way through, and it’s ended up being a bit more of a slouch than a kep, but I think it works quite well:


I did the miraculous neatening i-cord bind off as in the pattern, picked up in orange and knit in the purple. I don’t know why I did it like this but it makes a really nice detail on the wrong side (!):

I didn’t do the i-cord plait at the top, but made a tassel of a selection of the colour work yarns, and tied it on:

So here is the finished “not quiet Sixareen Kep” IN THE SUN (don’t worry, it’s still bitterly cold, woolly hat weather):

I laugh in the face of un-seasonal weather

If I can persuade her, I’ll get a picture of Jude, hat and Nyx the greyhound in action!

*Jude is known to many as Judy Dyble, singer in the original line up of Fairport Convention and subsequent other projects.  In recent years she’s gone back to recording after some 25 or so years off – she’s an all round lovely and interesting person, I’m proud to know her. Also, our heads are the same size.

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