So have I mentioned that trying things on is good?

The hat has continued to grow (as have the snow drifts…it’s blustery out there).  And we’re at that point where the brim simply must be finished if I’m to retain my sanity.

Which means that we’re at a really good point to discuss something sneaky about hat brims (and knitted fabric in general).  So, see how this is just a hair shy of 6 inches (yes, coolest ruler in the land, yes, it belongs in your knitting basket)?  So you’d think that would fold in half and give you a 3 inch brim, right?  And it would…if you were folding it in half and laying it on the table to gaze upon it.

But I suspect there’s a good chance you’re going to put it in on a head from time to time.  And if you’ve sized things right, that head is going to be 10-15% larger than the hat.  And that means the fabric will get a bit stretched when it’s in use.  And that means that the actual brim when on your head will be a bit shallower.  See?

The 6 inches of fabric on the needles comes out to more like 2.5 inches of fabric when folded in half and stretched over a head form.

This holds true any time a knit fabric is getting stretched (that’s why if you stretch your sweater out a little to make it bigger around it suddenly feels a bit shorter), that extra width comes from somewhere!  It’s fine, it’s not a problem, it’s just something you should plan for.  Most of the time half an inch longer or shorter won’t matter.  But if you’re feeling the need for a truly deep hat brim (which I apparently am), it does mean you may need to sneak in another few rows even after you’ve given up all hope.  It will be worth it when your ears are all cozy!