Compo Hat

Compo hat

I have been a fan of the British comedy Last of the Summer Wine for some years now. My favorite character, who regrettably passed away some years ago, is William "Compo" Simmonite, played by Bill Owen. Compo was known for his knitted caps, and the one he wore most often was a sage green cabled one:

Compo wearing his eponymous hat

I wanted to make a hat like his almost as soon as I saw it. I Googled to see if anyone else had beat me to it, but all I found were other people looking for the same pattern. I did find patterns for other cabled hats, but none was entirely accurate. Most called for a 3x3 cable twist instead of the 2x2 twist I needed. Also, I could clearly tell that Compo's hat had a pattern of P2K2P2K2P2 in between the cable twists, and many of the patterns I found only had P2K2P2.

I did eventually find a blog with someone's attempt at a Compo hat, but as that effort had been based off of what looked like only one viewing of the show, it was an innacurate rendering. The ribbing of the brim wasn't long enough, the ribbing in between the cable twists was P1K2P2K2P1, and the decreases didn't look like the ones on Compo's hat. What annoyed me most was that the pattern didn't say how many rounds to leave between the cable twists.

Foaming at the mouth, I changed my Facebook status to "Good God idiot knitters piss me off. If you must post the WRONG pattern to a hat from a TV show, you should at the very least format the pattern properly. If Lee Ermey knitted, he'd be saying that this is the knitting equivalent to fucking a person in the ass and not even having the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach around." My friend Steve commented on my snit with, "That may be the singularly most harsh review of anything related to knitting I've ever seen. Nice." I said only "Thank you." Then, furious at the uselessness of having the world at my fingertips and still being unable to locate a damn knitting pattern, I said the hell with it, got out my Last of the Summer Wine DVDs, and hit pause when Compo's head was in the shot to capture the pattern as best I could. His hat is not really in focus much of the time, especially the top, so it was hard to get the decreases right. I did the best I could to place them properly so that the ribbing disappears the same way it does on his hat. I of course have no idea what the original pattern looks like, but this looks pretty close to me.

Also, here are photos of the same hat knitted in loden instead of sage, and the loden hat against a brown background since I thought it would complement it well.

Loden Compo hat Loden Compo hat on brown background

Compo Hat Pattern

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