Alder Toque Knitting Pattern
The Alder tree is a good friend to make. Their catkins, which arrive early in spring, can be eaten, but also can be used to dye cloth a dark greyish-brown. The bark contains salicin, an anti-inflammatory, and was used by First Nations peoples to treat insect bites, skin irritations, and even diphtheria. Some clinical studies have also verified that the betulin and lupeol in alder bark is effective against a variety of tumours.
But, more than that, an alder is a signal of new growth. It is often the first tree to establish itself after forest fires, and its branches give homes and food to a variety of bird species, including chickadees, pine siskins, goldfinches and nuthatches. And, its leaves are a host for the green comma butterfly, which is one of the first pollinating butterflies to hatch in the spring.
The Alder Toque is a close-fitting, unisex hat featuring a twisted stitch pattern inspired by alder catkins. The sample is shown in size medium, and was knit with Madelinetosh’s merino DK (colour: Earl Grey).
Extra Small (Small, Medium, Large) to fit head circumference of 16, (18, 21, 23) inches (40, 46, 53, 58 cm) and a head height of 6.5 (7, 8, 8.5) inches (16.5, 18, 20, 21.5 cm).
Tools and Materials
XS: 75-100 yards/68-91 meters
S: 100-125 yards/91-114 meters
M: 125-160 yards/114-146 meters
L: 160-200 yards/146-182 meters
3.75 mm (US 5) 16” circular needles for ribbing
4 mm (US 6) 16” circular needles for the hat body
4 mm (US 6) double-point needles for the crown
optional: cable needle for working the RT and LT
1 stitch marker
The pattern includes both charted and written instructions, as well as a fit guide to aid knitters in customizing the hat sizes. As well, it also includes instructions for working the twists with and without a cable needle.