This hat is a simple mosaic stitch pattern, with texture created using purl stitches along with knit and slipped stitches. Although mosaic knitting looks complicated, it really is not. The fact is, each knitted round (or round with purl stitches) is done in only one color. The slipped stitches pull the contrasting color up from the row below. The biggest challenge in writing up this pattern was actually in translating the written pattern into a charted design.
Besides the mosaic pattern, the foundation round of the hat is done in i-cord, invented or unvented by Elizabeth Zimmermann. This creates an edge that is tidy, but a bit stretchy. The result is a hat with a snug edge which helps the hat hold its shape. From the initial i-cord cast on, the first round increases the stitch count, and thence the pattern commences. You can purchase pattern on Ravelry – follow the link here, or else click on the pattern listing under my “page” column.
Although I did not make the pattern available in different sizes, it would be easy to modify the pattern for a very large head or a child, simply by adding or subtracting repeats.
What is a “Skep”?
A skep is an old word for a beehive, made of coiled straw or grass, and shaped into a conical formation. In the New World, there were no honey bees, and so when the Europeans settled, they brought their bees with them. The shape and texture of this hat made me think of a skep – thus its name!
Unfortunately, our honey bee population is being challenged by viruses or some other horrible illness, and their number is dwindling. Add to this, they are mating with African bees, which are known to be very aggressive. Neither is a good thing.
A Bee Artist
I would like to refer you to a site I really enjoy, Pencil and Leaf, which is the blog of an artist who does wonderful drawings and painting of bees and flowers. Buzz over to see her fine work.