Easy, any-size beginner hat recipe

Beginner hatThere is a dearth on Ravelry of dead easy hat patterns which are knitted flat.  I’ve crunched through the maths to get it clear in my mind proportions for constructing a simple hat, and you are welcome to share what I learnt.

The bottom of this hat will curl up to make a nice rolled brim (and hide any messy cast-ons).  The instructions below give rules of thumb for any size of hat using any weight of yarn.  You start at the bottom of the hat and work your way to the top.  The bottom of the hat is just a rectangle, once it is long enough you decrease several times, then cut your yarn, pull through the stitches left on the needle to secure them, then sew up the sides.  That’s it.

Pick your size, pick your yarn, then look at the tables to find out how much yarn you need, how many stitches to cast on and how long to knit for before beginning your decreases.

Pattern

Cast on your stitches, number given in table 1, loosely – if they are tight, your brim will be very tight on the forehead.  You can cast on over two needles to stop this.  Any cast on method can be used.  Use the knitting needle size recommended on the yarn ballband (you may need to change needle size to match the gauge given in table 1).

Knit in stocking stitch for the number of inches specified in table 2.  Stocking stitch is when you knit every odd row, purl every even row.   The cast on edge will roll up when it’s actually worn – the measurements in the table are with it unrolled.   If possible, wrap it around the intended’s head – the decrease rows quickly narrow down the hat so once it covers to the top of the head it’s long enough.

Beginner hat side view

Begin decreases:

Row 1: K1,*K4, K2tog*, repeat from * to * across row, then K1. The very first and last stitch on all rows are called the selvedge – they are used to sew up the seam neatly and do not contribute to the width of the hat.

All even rows: Purl.

Row 3: K1,*K3, K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 5: K1,*K2, K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 7: K1,*K1, K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 9: K1,*K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 11: If you have more than 10 stitches left, do an extra row of *K2tog* across row – if there is an odd number, just knit the last stitch (and ignore the two edge stitches).

Break the yarn, leaving a tail about three times longer than the length of your hat.  With a large needle, thread this strand of yarn through the remaining loops on tBeginner hat top viewhe needle, and to stop a hole from forming at the top, thread it round a second time.  Sew the sides of the hat together, starting with the top – the neatest way is to use mattress stitch, with the right side (smooth side) facing outwards.  When you get to the rolled up bit, switch sides and mattress stitch on the inside (as the inside will be the outside when the brim rolls up).  Weave in the ends of the yarn on the inside of the rolled up brim.

Wash your hat and if possible dry it over a balloon or round icecream tub – it will look even better.

Table 2Some of the teen/woman and woman/man sizes have the same number of cast on stitches, but the head size table recommends you knit for different lengths – you basically get the same hat which is longer or shorter.  This is due to choosing to base decreases on a multiple of six stitches for the first decrease row, and when using thicker yarn there’s only so many multiple of six you need to fit a head.  Because the brim rolls, it doesn’t matter much if you decide to make it a bit longer or shorter before starting your decreases.  Table 310% error margin to account for errors in gauge, short balls and allowance for sewing up.

To convert to knitting in the round

Minus two from the cast on number in table 1, as you won’t need to sew a seam.

Instead of purling the even rows, knit them.

If the hat is bigger than 40cm/16”, you can knit the bottom part of the hat on a 40cm circular needle.  You’ll need to switch to double pointed needles for the top of the hat when the stitches have been decreased enough that you can’t stretch the stitches around the circle.

The theory

The hat circumference should be 5-10% smaller than the person’s actual forehead circumference, so the hat is stretched a bit so it clings to the head.

The number of stitches to cast on is figured out by (circumference of head x 0.925 x number of stitches you get in 4”)/4.

Round this figure up or down to get a whole number divisible by 6, then add 2 for the selvedge.

This hat has a smooth spiral pattern at the top when it is sewn up.  If you start your decreases spaced further apart (i.e. begin with K10, K2tog, then do K9, K2tog, etc) you’ll get a long pointy hat.  If you’re making a pointy hat, keep decreasing until you have only a couple of stitches left, for maximum pointiness.  If you start them closer together (K1, K2tog, then do K2tog) you’ll finish the hat sooner and have a gathered-in top.

Brought to you by The Sheep Shop, http://www.sheepshopcambridge.co.uk

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New improved knitted heart

Original heart in pink on left, new heart in green, bottom heart is an intermediate version.

This is the new, simplified heart pattern:

To make a heart about 2.5 inches wide you will need a small amount of DK yarn and some 3.5mm DPNS (either knit using one size smaller than recommended, or use a size bigger and felt it to make it nice and tight.)  A bulky yarn and 6.5mm needles make a 3.5 inch heart.

Cast 4 stitches onto a DPN.  Take two more DPNs and transfer stitches 1 and 3 purlwise onto one DPN and 2 and 4 purlwise onto the other.  

With the working yarn coming from the right side of the back needle, with a third DPN knit across the front needle then use the empty DPN to knit across the other two stitches.  

Round 2: K1, M1, K1 on each DPN (3 stitches per needle)

Knit 2 rounds

Round 5: K1, (M1, K1) twice on each DPN (5 stitches per needle)

Knit 2 rounds

Round 8: K1, (M1, K1) four times (9 stitches per needle)

Knit 3 rounds

Round 12: K1, (M1, K1) eight times on each DPN (17 stitches per needle)

Knit 3 rounds

Round 16: K1, M1, K16 on each DPN (18 stitches per needle)

Knit 1 round

Round 18 – begin right hump: K9, leave remaining 9 stitches on old DPN and ignore. Take new DPN and slip first 9 stitches onto it purlwise, then ignore.  Take fourth DPN and knit 9 remaining stitches (9 stitches per needle)

Knit 2 rounds on live stitches.

Round 21: (K1, K2tog) three times (3 stitches per needle)

Knit 1 round

Round 23: K2tog three times

Then cast off using the three needle bind off – you’ll end at the side closer to the centre of the heart.

Begin left hump – join yarn to dormant stitches, starting from the outer edge, and knit a round.  This is the equivalent of round 18.  Repeat as above, remembering to stuff the heart just before you do round 23.

Sew the hole at the centre and poke ends into middle of heart.

Hang up, leave lying around, give to your loved one.  

Love from The Sheep Shop xxx

Knit a Valentine’s heart puff

Very excited to create my first ever design, not counting the “hat” made when first beginning.  Decided then not to bother following a pattern nor to do a gauge swatch – hat turned into a mushroom cloud, cue much hilarity.  It’s now a tea cosy, hiding a monstrous teapot.

This pattern uses the neat trick from the Beekeeper’s Quilt hexipuff, knitting two sides of a 3D item at once, so there’s no seams but also no fiddly small-diameter knitting in the round. Magic.  

To make a heart a few inches wide and high you will need a small amount of DK yarn and some DPNS – I used 3.5mms (am a loose knitter so most people would want 4mms).

Cast 4 stitches onto a DPN.  Take two more DPNs and transfer stitches 1 and 3 purlwise onto one DPN and 2 and 4 purlwise onto the other.  

With the working yarn coming from the right side of the back needle, with a third DPN knit across the front needle then use the empty DPN to knit across the other two stitches.  Knit two more rounds.  

Round 4: K1, M1, K1 on each DPN (3 stitches per needle)

Knit 3 rounds.

Round 8: K1, (M1, K1) twice on each DPN (5 stitches per needle)

Knit 3 rounds.

Round 12: K1, (M1, K1) four times on each DPN (9 stitches per needle)

Knit 3 rounds.

Round 16: K1, (M1, K1) eight times on each DPN (17 stitches per needle)

Knit 5 rounds (feels a bit tight on the needle now).

Round 22 – begin right hump.  K8, M1.  Leave remaining 9 stitches on old DPN and ignore. Take new DPN and slip first 8 stitches onto it, then ignore.  Take fourth DPN and knit 9 remaining stitches.   

Round 23 – K8, M1, K1 on first live needle, K1, M1, K8 on second needle (10 stitches per needle)

Knit 1 round.

Round 25: (K1, K2tog) three times, K1 on each DPN (7 stitches per needle)

Knit 3 rounds.

Round 29: K2tog three times, K1 on each DPN (4 stitches per needle)

Use two needle bind off (you should end towards the centre of the heart).

Start left hump – join yarn to dormant stitches and knit a round.  Remember one DPN only has 8 stitches on it so M1 on this on the first round towards the centre of the heart.  (I started on the front centre, following the above instructions except doing M1s at the other end of the rows so they are towards the centre of the heart, and doing K2tog, K1 instead of K1, K2tog – perhaps would be easier to start at the back edge then repeat exactly as above?). 

Stuff just before decreasing to 4 stitches.

Knit an extra half round (if started at the centre) in order to end bind off towards the centre of the heart.   Sew the hole at the centre and poke ends into middle of heart.

Optional: Felt it down to make nice and tight.  

Photo to come. And tweaks to get the shaping more pleasing, then lots will be found at The Sheep Shop!

Now to snack, washing up and bed… 

P.S. Pattern is basically the Berroco Heartfelt pattern modified to use the beekeeper’s quilt principle of construction.