BALACLAVA

Heavy Face Mask For Skiiers

This garment is basically a very long hat, with a slit for the eyes. Remember that it must stretch comfortably around the whole head, including the face. For most adults, it should measure between 22 and 23” around, but head size does vary. I prefer to just knit one to check fit, then add or subtract a few stitches on the next one.

Made on a Bulky/Chunky machine
Materials Required: Approximately 6 oz 4-ply knitting worsted weight yarn. This is a little heavier than most DK yarn; to substitute DK, make a sample of ribbing to check gauge. Add a few stitches and rows if necessary.
Gauge in Stockinette: 5 sts, 7 rows = 1” (Stockinette gauge is easier to measure.) T3 for Stockinette. Ribbing tension will vary with the brand of knitter. Try T 1/0, or 0/0, and adjust tension dials as required.

This pattern may also be knitted on standard gauge machines, using every 4th needle on each bed for ribbing, and every other needle on main bed for Stockinette. Approximate Tension 8/7 for ribbing, 9 for Stockinette, using heavier yarn.

Before beginning hat, make a waste yarn strip to be used later when working face slit. E-wrap CO 35 sts. K 8 rows. BO and set aside. Break off a 1 yd (1 meter) length of MC yarn and set aside.

Arrange 109 needles for K1, P1 ribbing. Cast on at tightest tension setting on both dials. Change to rib tension. RC 000. K even to RC 84.

Eye Slit. BO center 35 sts with separate strand of MC, as follows. Transfer ribber sts, so that the center 35 sts are on main bed. Bind off these 35 sts loosely. If you bound off around the sinker posts, carefully lift the fabric up and off before going on. Hang waste yarn strip onto the 35 empty needles. With ravel cord or perle cotton, manually knit each stitch in the waste yarn strip, then pull these needles out to hold pos. With the reserved piece of MC, e-wrap CO these same needles. I have found it best to use separate strands to bind off and cast on. There is a gap and a loose spot where the ribbing divides on each side of the slit, and having two yarn ends at each side allows this gap to be sewn together, the ends tied, and then worked into the back of the fabric, pulling the gap together and strengthening it. This is one of the very few times I like to use knots!

Hang weights evenly in the waste yarn strip. If available, Studio’s triangle hanger and small ribber weight work well, or use the heavy bar weight included with most chunky knitters. K 1 row. Being careful to maintain ribbing order, transfer every other stitch from new CO section back to ribber. K 23 more rows ribbing.

Shape Top. Transfer all sts to main bed. Change to Stockinette T3. RC 000. K 5 rows. Transfer every 5th st to adjacent needle, K 1 row. Remove on WY or garter bar. Rehang on 88 needles. K 5 rows. Transfer every 4th st to adjacent needle, K 1 row. Remove on WY or garter bar. Rehang on 45 needles. K 4 rows. Transfer every other st to adjacent needle and return emptied needles to pos A (non work pos.). K 2 rows. Break yarn, leaving a long tail for seaming. Break off a second long piece of MC, and thread doubled into yarn needle. Take remaining sts off on doubled yarn, gather tightly and fasten securely.

Overcast (whip stitch) seam. I prefer to sew knot to loop, taking just one strand of the edge sts, since it shows less. Pull out ravel cord from eye slit, and waste yarn strip will fall off. Thread yarn needle with one of the tails at end of slit; take a stitch or two to pull the gap together, then knot the two ends together and work each separately through back side of nearest rib. Repeat for other end of slit, then clip ends. Top may be left plain or trimmed with pompom, tassels, or braids, as desired.

Schematic


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