At a machine knitting retreat earlier this fall, my friend Sheri knit some fish hats. She knit them on the bulky machine, which I no longer own, so I needed to re-calculate stitches and rows for a standard gauge machine. I haven't tried this hat on a human, so I'll have to wait for Christmas when my grandson comes. Feel free to adjust anything I did. You can try one with these directions and modify from that. All credit for the design idea goes to Thelma Egberts, who first came up with it.
My Machine Knit Version of the Dead Fish Hat by As featured in Knitty, Winter 2008.
MACHINE standard gauge
GAUGE for body of hat T7 7 st and 10 r = 1”
YARN Tamm Bebe and similar weight yarns
FINISHED SIZE for age 3 (so far) 15” circumference; 13” from nose to beginning of tail
As usual, I was lazy and just stuck the hat under the lid of my scanner. Better pictures I coulda had.
For Body of the fish Knit two pieces the same
Lips...Cast on 56 stitches (28-0-28) with waste yarn and knit a few rows, one row ravel cord. (I started with waste yarn because the tension was tight for my machine and yarn.) Change to lip color (main yarn). Ewrap cast on over the ravel cord. At T5 knit 14 rows.
Nose...Change to T7 and fish color. Machine to hold. Put 10 stitches in the center to work, the rest in hold. Knit across, wrap N closest to carriage and push 1 N opposite carriage into work. Repeat until 10 N are in work each side of zero. Now knit across, wrap N closest to carriage, put 2 in work opposite the carriage until 40 N are in work. Repeat the same method now with pushing 3 into work until all are in work. Take machine off hold. “Nose” is done.
Body...RC000 Knit 60 rows. Change colors as desired (I did every 20 rows). If doing stripes, leave a long tail of each new color for seaming so that you seam with the same color as the stripe. Decrease 1 stitch full fashioned both sides, K 4 rows. Repeat until you have 30 stitches left. Take off on waste yarn or garter bar and decrease to 15 stitches. Knit 2 rows and decrease to 8 stitches, k 2 R. Bind off around the gate pegs.
Seam sides from lips to tail. Hide yarn ends if you have any.
Top Fin Knit one
Cast on in 1 x 1 rib, T 4/4 , 35 stitches. A loose cast on is good, for a change. 18 on main bed and 17 on ribber. Knit 10 rows. Transfer rib st to main bed. Knit one row with main carriage, take off on waste yarn and decrease to half. Knit one row and bind off tightly. Sew to the top of the hat, in the middle, about 6 inches back from the lips.
Side Fins Knit two
Same as top fin except do 27 stitches and 14 rows. Sew into the side seams about 4 inches back from the lips.
Tail knit two pieces
T7 Ewrap cast on 20 stitches with tail color. K one row. *Increase one st both sides, k 2 rows* 3 times. Increase one stitch both sides knit 10 rows. Increase one st both sides K 2 rows. Transfer every 4th st to its neighbor and move stitches in so there are no empty needles. Knit 2 rows. * Transfer every 3rd stitch to neighbor, fill in empty needles, k 2 rows.* twice. Knit 2 rows, decrease 1 stitch each side, knit one row. Bind off. Fold each tail piece in half and seam shut. Seam pieces to tail end of the fish.
Eyes make two
Out of felt, cut two eyes about the size of a silver dollar. Sew onto the hat with matching thread using tiny stitches. Embroider x’s with black yarn to make it look like the poor creature is dead.
Notes: At 112 stitches this should fit the average 3 year old. So, I’m thinking to make the hat larger or smaller, you could adjust with this in mind. For example, an adult typically needs about 21 inches so at this gauge, 7 x 21 =147 stitches. Maybe subtract an inch so it fits snugly, then don’t start decreases until row 80. 140 stitches sounds large to me for an adult hat, so you'll need to use your own judgement. Using a tight tension for the lips will hopefully help the hat stay on, but it also makes the nose puff out a tad. Probably when worn it will smooth out. I love how it looks from the side--- like the fish is eating the person's head. Ha ha. Another fun aspect of this hat is that you can use any design you want for the body of the hat from snowflakes to scales to stripes.