Modifications to the Alpaca Earflap Hat--Be warned--this is my first time writing instructions out.
1. I reversed the design on one earflap so that the open part of the "claws" or whatever you call the design would both be toward the face.
2. I double knitted the earflaps. Based on previous experience, I knew the earflaps would stick out like Pippi Longstocking's hair in just plain stockinette, so I decided to try double knitting them. I had never double knit before. The process itself wasn't so hard, but when I threw in the reversal of the design and the whole thing gave me fits. It took two days to knit the two earflaps.
This is a chart of the right earflap in double knitting. I can't figure out how to number the rows beside the boxes. The bottom row is Row 1 and so on like usual. I increased the black on its knit side by knitting in the front and back of the stitch. I increased the gray on its knit side by casting one on using backwards loop. The right side is the black side.
This is the left earflap. The black side is the right side here, too. I hope this is right. The "claw" is facing the other way. Reversing this and double knitting is one of the hardest knitting things I've ever done.
3. I changed the arrangement of the cast-on stitches. 18 stitches for the front was REALLY not enough. I ended up casting on 38 stitches for the front and 32 for the back.
4. I changed the top decreases and added an I-cord top. In black only:
Round 1: Knit even
Round 2: Knit even
Rounds 3 and every odd row thru 17: [K4 K2tog] repeat to end
Rounds 4 and every even row thru 18: Knit even
Rounds 19 and 20: [K2tog] repeat to end
5. To stop the front and back from curling, I picked up stitches, knitted in garter stitch for 2 rows, and then bound off.
IF/WHEN I knit this hat again, I will make the following changes:
1. Knit first 2 or 3 rows in 1x1 rib to stop the stockinette curl.
2. Use size 7 needles after the earflaps because the hat is a tad too tight.