Log Cabin Knitted Graduation Cap
Several things came together quite well in the week leading up to graduation day: the big Herrschners sale, talk of graduation cap decorating, and a Dancing with the Stars marathon with friends. Together, they culminated in the top of my graduation cap, pictured above.
A good friend (check her out at The Savi Squirrel Nest!) and I stormed the Herrschners craft sale in Steven's Point on our way back from visiting her home and family. We power-walked into the store, grabbed our shopping carts, and went to play. I had already decided to splurge on restocking my gradually depleted yarn stash (though, let's be real, a crafter's supply stash is ever-growing). We wove up and down the table aisles of yarn, and it was great to gush over the different fibers and colors together. Filling a large portion of my cart were skeins of Herrschners Homestyle yarn (75% acrylic, 25% washable wool), which I used for my cap. The yarn is a little stringy, so there were redo moments to make sure the strands went into the right place, but the yarn is also very silky and pleasant to work with in a great variety of colors.
I hadn't planned on decorating my graduation cap. It seemed unnecessary, and I wasn't feeling particularly inspired, but my friends brought it up fairly often around graduation. When it dawned on me that cap decoration could be an opportunity for creative self-expression (*ding*), I was on board.
When I sketched out design ideas for the top of cap, I had several ideas for using text, such as including my name or majors or a brief quote, or other fair isle patterns. But then, the tricky thing about graduation caps is that they are worn in a diamond tilt rather than a square, which would angle any design I made in a square shape (which was pretty much all of them...).
After perusing designs used for dishcloths and afghan squares, I found my match.
The log cabin design is nothing new in the crafting world, but it is certainly timeless and endlessly customizable. I followed the guidance of Staci Perry's (of Very Pink) Learn to Knit a Log Cabin Blanket instructions, which served as an excellent resource while I planned my color scheme and process of construction. Staci covers it all -- she even includes FAQ page and video links on the Ravelry pattern page for additional guidance. In the center square, I bound off and then cast on several stitches to make a opening for the tassel circle.
I worked away on the log cabin design while watching the last recordings of Dancing with the Stars, season 18 with friends. What a great season... I adored Charlie White -- what a lovely person, and I was very pleased with the winners. Uh, yeah, and if you haven't seen the gold medal-winning figure skating performance of Charlie White and Meryl Davis, you should really do that now -- prepare to be blown away.
At the bottom point of the cap, I knit a basic "2014" fair isle design. I was hasty to finish and did not spend a great amount of time lining everything up perfectly, but the patchwork look to the curved lines grew on me. I attached the design by crocheting a black border around the while square and then using a needle and doubled black thread to securely sew the design in place. I also sewed the design around the button opening in place.
Surprisingly, I haven't seen other knit or crochet graduation caps around the interwebs, though there are some fantastic other creative hat decorations. Although it's summer and many graduations are on the other side of the calendar in 2015, if yours is coming up, consider adorning your grad cap with some fiber art!