The Pieced Modular construction method

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The final modular method in this series about Hat construction is the Pieced Modular method.

Making a Hat this way has more in common with modular knitting than the other methods. ‘Modular knitting’ has become known as a particular type of knitting, made famous by creative fibre artists such as Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer, and Vivian Hoxbro with domino knitting. Modular means to join, or be made up of smaller parts, and that gives us broad scope in terms of Hat construction.

The Tudor Cap and Hexed patterns are examples of Hats made with a pieced modular construction.

With each of these patterns, the parts that make up the Hat are the same size, and they slot together in formation. Because these 2 particular Hats are not beanies and sit away from the head, they each have a vertically knit band added so that the Hat stays on. This isn’t necessary with all Hats made this way; it really does depend on the style of the Hat and the shape of the pieces, but the majority of the Hats knit this way will be made up of smaller sections. And it’s worthwhile remembering that the pieces don’t all need to tesselate, or be the same size, to make your Hat – think of this method more like knitted patchwork.

Diagram 1: a construction schematic demonstrating the stitch and join lines for a Hat made of hexagons.

Diagram 1 shows an example of how you could create a Hat using hexagons. The solid lines represent the edges that could be joined during the making – whether they be grafted, bound off and sewn, or finished with a crochet bind-off or 3-needle bind-off.

The fine dotted lines need to be joined to their neighbouring fine dotted lines to help create the 3-dimensional form that a Hat needs. And the longer dashed lines are the edges that would become part of or be used for creating the brim.

Diagram 2: a construction schematic demonstrating the stitch and join lines for a Hat made of squares.

And diagram 2 shows how we could create a simple beanie using squares. Like the hexagon version, the fine dotted lines will be joined to their neighbouring dotted lines and the dashed lines would become part of the brim.

One of the lovely things about this construction method is that the pieces don’t have to be the same size. So a beanie made from squares as shown above could be spiced up by having one or more of the key square sections made up of smaller squares in different formations.

The squares could be knit with a mitre knitting technique, which would create yet more visual interest within the pattern, especially if a variegated or gradient yarn is used. In using simple shapes, there’s lots of opportunities for creative play within that shape.

the ‘Hat of Horns’

the ‘Tudor Cap’ Hat

the ‘Hexed’ Hat

And What About Techniques?

Well, this is where it really is up to you!

The beanie made of squares above would make an ideal Hat for a beginner knitter to practice their skills with, as well as use up oddments of yarn. If you’d like to practice cast-on, bind-off and seaming techniques, a beanie like this is a great place to start.

A Hat made from hexagons or other multi-side shapes would be ideal for practicing provisional cast-on and grafting techniques, but at the same time they’d also work just as well with seaming, something like a blanket stitch for a decorative finish.

This is why this construction method is so versatile – it’ll work for any skill level, and you can decide how you want to finish your Hat and which techniques to use. The shapes can be created flat or in the round or use any kind of method that you’d like to try. They can be bound off and seamed, or each started with a provisional cast-on and grafted. Or you could pick up stitches from neighbouring shapes, with each section growing from another, joining as you go.

A construction method that’s this versatile is hard to pin down and describe, but I hope this article has given you an outline and hopefully some ideas for making your own Hat from simple shapes and oddments of yarn!

Woolly Wormhead

Woolly Wormhead is an internationally reknowned knit designer, specialising in Hats, technique and construction. Their patterns and techniques have been used by thousands of knitters worldwide. Join The Woolly Hat Society to be the first to learn of their latest projects and special offers!

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