- Pattern: Uhlan Cap by Franklin Habit
- Availability: Free pattern at knitty.com
- Price: n/a
- Website: The Panopticon
- Yarn: Wool of the Andes worsted weight in Mineral Heather
- Yarn cost: £2.99 for 50g from Great British Yarns
- Needle: 3.75 mm
- Ravelry Pattern Page: Uhlan Cap (Stitches in Time)
- My Project Page: Uhlan Cap
I have long sought a good shapely balaclava pattern. This is not it, but it seemed to be the nicest approximation that I have found to date. I made it with Mr L in mind – he suffers with painful ears when the wind is cold, and he goes out to play with the dogs whatever the weather. I wanted something to keep him cosy.
Firstly, a word about the yarn. I loved it. It’s a real old-fashioned yarn with all the characteristics of knitting wool that I recall from earlier years of knitting. It’s warm, it’s soft, it’s bouncy – and best of all… it’s elastic. Ideal for the task. The colour is gorgeous, manly but lively. Not too expensive either: I purchased 3 balls and it came to £11.87 with postage applied. I shall use this yarn again and again, I think.
It was a quick and simple knit, though I did not enjoy picking up the stitches around the face very much.
There were a couple of errors in the stitch counts in this pattern (reported to Franklin and now fixed in the Knitty pattern page) but nothing that even a novice knitter could not have spotted and worked out for themselves. It was a matter of adjusting the counts to be multiples of 4.
One of the reasons that I was drawn to this pattern rather than any other was this photograph:
It was the lovely finish achieved by that double welt around the face.
When it came to the pattern though, that double welt was not in it – the edge was a simple cast off. I decided to make my own as I had plenty of spare yarn. I knit twice as much rib and doubled it back. First off, I tried a three needle bind off but I found this made things very tight and inelastic. I settled in the end for casting off in rib and then stitching the edge down.
This knit has been received far more enthusiastically than any other knit that I have made for ‘is nibs. No sooner was it cast off than it was on his head… and has been each night since. It has not been washed or blocked and I have
not even had opportunity had to steal it back to photograph it.
It fits Mr L better than it fits this dummy.
I think that there will be further editions of the Uhlan cap around here. At least one version will be handspun Jacob. In the meantime, I still seek a good fully-fashioned balaclava pattern (for when the weather is truly foul) so if you know of such a thing, please send me in its general direction.