Playing with hook sizes

Hello!  I’ve been playing around with my hooks lately, not because they are such lovely colours, but to gauge the correct size for my latest project.

I recently made myself a hat, the Braided Cabled Slouchy Beanie by Stephanie from All About Ami.  Like many of Stephanie’s patterns, this is a great design and a joy to make.

I made mine with The Women’s Institute, Mustard Soft and Smooth Tweed Aran from Hobbycraft, and it comes in a massive 400g ball.  It definitely lives up to its name sake, it’s very soft and smooth.  I had no issues at all with this yarn, it actually made me smile when using it, now that is the sign of a good colour and even better yarn choice.  (I recently tried to order some more, they are currently out of stock, but have assured me that they are getting some more in soon.)

Now, just incase any eagle-eyed people out there notice that my rim is slightly different to Stephanie’s, I didn’t follow the pattern entirely.  I will be publishing a free pattern for a hat of my own shortly, explaining my version of the rim.

I was asked by a friend to make a hat for her birthday, her only preference was the colour, dusky pink.  After literally just finishing mine I made the decision that I would make the Braided cabled slouchy beanie again, which is very unlike me, as I rarely make the same thing twice, let alone immediately after finishing something.  You see I get bored, don’t get me wrong I love a simple repetitive blanket, but I’m normally only half way through a project before I’m looking for the next.  I also love learning new stitches, when I discover one I cant wait to try it out!

Anyway, back to the hat!…… So I bought some Acrylic/Alpaca mix yarn from Hobbycraft, It’s from the Knit Craft Leader of the Pac range, I chose the pink.  The alpaca content is only 10% but you definitely know it’s there.  whilst it is lovely and soft, it does have really long scraggly fibres, which can become a problem when frogging! Those little stitches didn’t like coming apart, so just a word of warning, frog slowly!

Both of these yarns are aran and both recommend a 5mm hook, but are noticeably different in thickness.

So I had a little play with some different sized hooks, I tried a 4mm, 4.5mm & a 5mm.


My hat has stretched a bit since wearing it. (nearly everyday!) I wanted to start the new hat a little smaller.  As the pink alpaca yarn is slightly thicker, I had a little play.  Same hooks, same number of stitches….but look!?!

There is barely any difference in size, one thing I did notice is as you tighten the pink yarn when holding it seems the same size as the mustard yarn.  Oh pretty yarn, why must you confuse me?

Here is my completed rim, slightly smaller in width, plus I used a smaller hook, (I used a 3.5mm) than I did on the first hat to create a denser stitch, with hopefully less stretch. I used a 4.5mm hook on the rim of the mustard coloured hat and a 5.5mm on the main hat, like the pattern calls for.

So that’s the rim finished, now on to the cables, yeh!! this stage is sooo satisfying, the first few rows look like nothing is happening at all, then bam! The cables appear.

I will be back soon with the finished hat.







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