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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Theta Hat

As you might know, I am a PhD student.  My field of study is measurement, evaluation, and statistics which are all parts of educational measurement and psychometrics.  Now I'm about to get a little bit technical, but hang in there :).  Psychometrics is the study of test development and psychological measurement.  We study how to measure things like knowledge, abilities, and personality traits--which are all things that you can't see or observed and are also called latent traits or variables.  In one type of analysis called item response theory (IRT) ability is estimated by responses on a test.  This ability is represented by the variable theta.  When you estimate a theta, this estimated variable is called "theta hat."

Ok, here is where the knitting part comes in! Are you still with me :).  Well, a few weeks ago I got this funny idea to make my friends' son a theta hat!  This is the little boy that I made the football hat for :).  His dad, Brian, is also in my PhD program and he works at the company where I intern.  I just knew that Brian would get such a kick out of his son wearing a "theta hat!"  Sooooo I decided to make my own theta hat pattern! Annnnnd...without further ado, I present to you my pattern for a Baby Theta Hat.

Feel free to sell any items made from this pattern, just please do not sell this pattern itself.  Also, if you find any corrections, please let me know! :)

Baby Theta Hat

Size: 0 – 12 months (approximately)
Finished dimensions: Height = 5.5 inches (not including pompom).  Relaxed circumference of about 15.5 inches, but stretches to over 20 inches.  
Gauge: 18 stitches by 24 rows = 4in on size 8 needles.

Aran or Worsted weight yarn in a main color and a contrasting color.
Size 8 circular needles—either 1 long circular for magic loops, 2 circulars, or dpns—or sized needed to achieve gauge.
Size H crochet hook
stitch marker
needle to sew in ends

Skills needed: 
Knit stitch
purl stitch
knit two together (k2tog)
knitting in the round
Surface slip stitch crochet. (You can find some good tutorials online).

CO – Cast on
K – knit
P – Purl
K2tog – knit two together

Using larger needles and main color yarn CO 60 stitches, place marker, and join in the round.  

Round 1: K1, P1 around.
Round 2: P1, K1 around.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 for 1 inch.

Next round: K all stitches around (60 stitches).

Repeat this round (aka K all stitches around) until piece measures about 3.75 inches from the beginning.

Crown shaping:
Round 1: (K8, k2tog) repeat this around (54 stitches).
Round 2: K all stitches (54 stitches).
Round 3: (K7, k2tog) repeat this around (48 stitches).
Round 4: K all stitches (48 stitches).
Round 5: (K6, k2tog) repeat this around (42 stitches).
Round 6: K all stitches (42 stitches).
Round 7: (K5, k2tog) repeat this around (36 stitches).
Round 8: K all stitches (36 stitches).
Round 9: (K4, k2tog) repeat this around (30 stitches).
Round 10: K all stitches (30 stitches).
Round 11: (K3, k2tog) repeat this around (24 stitches).
Round 12: K all stitches (24 stitches).
Round 13: (K2, k2tog) repeat this around (18 stitches).
Round 14: K all stitches (18 stitches).

Cut yarn and leave a long tail.  Thread the tail through all of the stitches on the needle, pull tightly, tie securely, and tuck ends in on the reverse side.

Theta detail on hat:
Using contrasting color yarn yarn, tie a slipknot in the yarn and place yarn inside the hat (right side of hat is facing you).  Decide on placement of theta on the hat and begin surface slip stitch crocheting the theta.

Secure ends when you’re done by weaving them into the reverse side of the contrasting color stitches only.  I’ve found that they tend to show if worked into the main color.

Make pompom:
Using both the main color and contrasting color yarn.  Wrap both strands around 3-4 fingers on your hand a bunch of times (maybe 15).  Cut a long piece of the main color yarn and wrap around the bundle of yarn that is on your fingers.  Slip the bundle off your fingers.  Tie a knot in the middle of this bundle with the main color yarn.  Make sure this knot is very tight.  Begin cutting all of the loops of yarn.  Once all of the loops are cut, give the pompom a trim into a nice round shape.  Align the pompom to the top of the hat and thread the long tails of the main color into the inside of the hat at the top.  Tie a knot inside the hat and secure the ends. 



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