A real smile-maker, this Meteor Shower Beanie by Karen Porter is quite unique and tremendous fun.
Please be sure to get the pattern directly from her on her Ravelry page. This web page offers yarn and beads only.
And note as of Sunday, August 5th: Karen has added a special Meteor Shower Mittens pattern to match the hat and add some real joy to the coming winter. That pattern can be found here.
Here is what Karen writes:
If you’ve never watched a meteor shower, it’s time you saw one of these magnificent cosmic spectacles! Watching the meteors blaze bright white through a silent night sky is truly breathtaking.
The annual Perseid meteor shower is the perfect one to start with and may make a convert of you!
It’s my favorite meteor shower of the year for several reasons – it’s the second largest of the year, and it takes place in the summer so it’s easier to be outdoors during the optimal viewing hours after midnight. I also consider it my special birthday treat, because my birthday falls during its peak period from August 11 – 13. I always try to plan a little party every year, and I invite those friends who are game enough to stay up until the small hours of the morning and journey out to a remote location away from the lights of town to watch.
This year I decided to make party gifts for my guests, and I designed a beanie hat as a sort of souvenir of the occasion. I thought it would be useful too, because it can get chilly after midnight, even in August! And there are other meteor showers to watch at colder times of the year.
I started with a “landscape” made of Noro Kureyon, and made the meteors into a simple repeat for easy stranded knitting. Then my inner science geek took over, and I decided to show the stars in the night sky as they appear in August (in the northern hemisphere) during the Perseids.
Sparkling beads seemed the perfect way to mark the stars, and considering the limitations of a worsted-weight canvas, the crown is a pretty fair representation of the sky as it will appear this August. I couldn’t show every constellation, but the highlights are all shown in their proper positions. (The pattern includes a “star map” of the hat with everything labeled.) Jupiter and Mars are also shown with colored beads, as they will be visible near the horizon at different times during the night.
You might notice there is no moon in the sky – that’s because the new moon will fall on August 11, 2018, and this darker sky will make for even better viewing conditions.
The Yarn and Colorways
We are not offering the exact yarn that Karen used for her original hat. You can see what we have put together in the second photo on this page. The other photos of Karen's hat (© Karen Porter) are shown with her permission so you get a good idea of the design.
As she wrote, Karen used a Noro Kureyon colorway (specific colorway discontinued, alas) to represent the land for the brim of the hat. And she used Cascade 220 for the hat body itself. We decided to go a bit different.
We brought in some Rios (from Malabrigo), a light worsted weight yarn of a very similar yardage per weight as the Cascade 220. Each skein is 210 yards/ 100g of 100% superwash merino.
For the brim, we have Indiecita, a variegated blend of forest and sky colors with varying tones of blues and greens.
The hat body will be Azul Profundo, a deep and dark almost-solid midnight blue.
Just a small amount of white is needed for the stranded shooting stars. We include some Canopy Worsted from The Fibre Company (also discontinued, unfortunately). This yarn is 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino, 20% viscose bamboo, a full skein having 200 yards/ 100g. We wound off between 45 and 50 yards of the cream colorway called Wild Orchid.
One of our kits should have enough yarn for both the hat as well as the mittens as long as you have chosen to knit the beaded option of the hat (and not the one using yarn only).
All that you might want to have extra is perhaps a few more beads (more about this below) and we have added that option to the drop-down menu under the top photo on this page!
What Karen writes about these:
There are several options for working the crown – you can work the beaded constellations as I have done, and you could even connect them together as shown in the star map with thin yarn or embroidery floss. You could also add beads at random to make a more stylized starry sky without having to follow a chart, or leave the crown plain. I’ve also included a second chart for a stranded version with a “lice” pattern in the crown for more abstract stars. Any of these versions would be perfect for meteor watching!
This kit will give you more than the 150 size 6/0 beads you need if you follow the constellation chart. We plan to give you about 20g of beads, which is roughly 240 beads, a silver-y color, with an amber one for Jupiter and a red one for Mars.
If you would like to make the mittens as well, you might very well have enough beads. However, if you would like "insurance" in case of dropping or losing any, then go for the extra amount of beads (see the drop-down menu above) --- that will give you more than you need for the additional amount used there.
So in each kit you will have two skeins of Rios (one in Indiecita, one in Azul Profundo), a small amount of Canopy Worsted (in Wild Orchid) and the beads as described above.