Striped Hat

Oh good grief…another hat!! Again from my stash, again my own improvised design.

Striped HatThis was a mix of worsted weight yarns, and frankly, I’m not sure of the brand for most of them. I am quite sure only one of them is superwash, and that is the red, which is Rowan Pure Wool Superwash. The rest, well, the labels were long ago lost. The perils of stash yarn!!

For this hat, I once again did a 1×1 twisted rib, followed by the rolled border (knit 2 rounds, purl 2 rounds, knit 2 rounds). I also added the rolled border at the top right before I started the decreases.

The stripes were fun. On the first row of each new color, I would knit 3, slip 1 (or on alternate stripes, knit 1, slip 1, knit 2), giving almost a stranded knitting look to the stripes. It added a little interest to the overall design.

Confession here — on the first stripe, with the blue, I forgot to slip the stitches, so I went back and duplicate stitched the “dropped” stitch. Better option than ripping any part of it out.

I wish I could say the circle of blue at the top was planned, but I ran out of the orange yarn. I considered doing some more stripes, but decided I didn’t want to weave in all those additional ends. So much for purity in designing a piece.

I noticed that in the picture one of the red/blue rows with the slipped stitch looks like those accent stitches don’t show up in the finished project. In reality, they do, the hat just rolled a bit at that point when I took the picture.

I have a bucketful of hats these days, ready for gift or charitable giving!

Blue striped hat
One more hat, made following the same basic pattern I wrote about here. I think I’m done with hats for the time being!!


Image Credit: Winter Sky Background courtesy of Pixabay.

Colorado Hat

I’ve been going a little bit hat crazy lately and making a number of knit caps for charity giving next winter. The watch cap pattern has gotten lots of use, and since I’ve already posted a couple of times with Watch Caps, I’ll refrain from boring you and doing it again.

Speaking of boring…those Watch Caps can get tedious to make. I HAD to try something new, and I wasn’t in the mood to forage through all of my patterns and find just the right hat for the yarn in my stash. Instead, I found some designs in one of my oh-so-valuable Vogue Knitting Stitchionaries, this one, Volume III, Color Knitting.

Colorado HatOf course there had to be the right number of stitches in the pattern repeat, and I struggled a little with that one. I finally ended up decreasing two stitches before working on the main design, which they’d named “Colorado” (hence the name of the hat).

(You may be thinking it would have been easier to find a pattern that was already written rather than doing all this calculating, but in this case, it was so much easier to pull that Stitchionary out and put it in my lap rather than search online or go through all my pattern books.)

There are 20 stitches in the pattern repeat, and I had cast on 102 (multiple of six). I did the border at the bottom in a multiple of six, kind of winging it as I went along, but I’m pleased with the results. After finishing that border, I decreased the extra two stitches.

Of course with stranded knitting you end up with a tighter weave than straight stockinette stitch, so the hat was a little on the small side, but still within the range for a woman’s hat. Hey, it fits me, and I usually need a larger hat size. Well, sort of fits me. An extra inch or two would fit better.

I used Ella Rae Classic Solids in a Worsted Weight (Red) as well as Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (Off White), also in a worsted weight. Now, this was a stash project, and I didn’t have two superwash yarns to use, so this hat will have to be hand-washed. I hesitate to donate hand-wash items to charity since I don’t have care instructions on them, but if I do give this one away on our Giving Tree, I’m going to trust that most adults don’t need to wash their hats too often.

I didn’t use all of either skein, in fact, I would guess I used about ¾ of the red and less than half of the off-white.

The ribbing was 1 ½” of twisted rib. I love the look of twisted rib!! I also took a cue from my last sweater project and had a rolled border above the ribbing — since this was knit in the round, that would be Knit 2 rounds, Purl 2 rounds, Knit 2 rounds.

The hat was 7″ before I began the decreases, and generally I’m partial to working at least 8″. However, I’ve discovered a lot of hat patterns have you work only 7″, and I was able to pull this one down over my ears when it is was finished — my all-important test!!

Overall, I’m pleased with the results. This may go in my “gift” pile and not “charity giving” pile! I’m low on gift hats.

Background Image Credit: (Snowy Sky) © striZh – Fotolia

Easy Knit Hat for Charitable Giving

My latest design — a modification of an earlier pattern for children, now sized for adults and teens.

Orange HatThis is a super-simple,quick-to-knit pattern I designed specifically for charitable giving. My church has a “giving tree” each year at Christmas, and items donated there are distributed to those who visit the food bank. Over the year, I try to knit up several hats for this project, and they go quickly.

This one is so bright and fun, I expect it will be popular. The yarn I used was Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, and while I prefer to use machine washable yarns for charitable giving, this one distinctly is not superwash. However, adults are less likely to need to wash their hats, so I decided to take a chance.

Besides, the yarn was given to me by a relative who has given up knitting and was clearing out her stash. This seemed like a good use for it.

I added a pompom by creating my own pompom maker. I learned something in the process — don’t add the different colors in layers, or you’ll end up with stripes, like I did. I liked the look well enough to keep it, but it’s not a traditional multi-color pompom.

Making a pompom is easy, although I need to learn a better way to attach it. This one doesn’t feel very secure.

You can download the pattern here or find it on Ravelry as “Millie’s Kids’ Cap for Adults.”


Noro Hat

Still plugging along with the lace shawl, as well as a project I’ve been working on for my mom for some time…I needed a quick fix, so I whipped up this hat using (mostly) Noro Kureyon wool a friend had given me a few months ago. The ribbing is leftover Rowan Pure Wool Superwash from the Watch Cap I made my brother back in April (which I never heard back from him about…so I’m not sure how it went over…).

Noro HatI also did two rows in ribbing in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride in a dark green and one row in some leftover worsted weight wool of an unknown brand in what turned out to be too bright of a red. I duplicate-stitched with leftover Noro on the knit stitches on the outside of the cap; you can still see the red peek through. If I don’t tell anyone it was a mistake, they’ll assume it’s a design element, right?

I followed the same watch cap pattern (Classic World War II Watch Cap pattern, by Helen Waittes) which is available for free on However, I modified it some in this manner: while I cast on 112 st, I only did the 2×2 rib for 2″, then did the 6×2 rib for 7″. I then decreased keeping the rib pattern. This is a large size cap, which is the size my family members tend to need.

A note about this Kureyon wool: my friend gave me what amounted to about 1 1/2 skeins of the yarn, and I have no idea how old it is, or what condition it might be in. In fact, I’m holding on to this hat for a little bit in case the yarn is moth eaten. I don’t think it is, but that’s always the risk you take with donated yarn. I believe she likely took good care of her yarn and stuff, but she told me she hadn’t been knitting in years, and we all know how priorities can shift.

This whole thing took me one long evening to finish, but the satisfaction of finishing something was well worth the time I didn’t spend on my other projects.



Traditional Watch Cap

Last week I saw my brother for the first time in four years (yay!) and told him I’d like to make him a cap for his ski trips. His immediate response was, “you mean like a watch cap?,” so I knew what my project would look like.

Watch CapI got on and found this free pattern for a traditional watch cap. The pattern claims this cap has been made millions of times, as far back as WWII. It has a number of stitch variations, but I stuck with the basic 6×2 rib in the main section.

Of course calling that the “main section” is a little misleading since you knit six inches of 2×2 rib first, then go to only three inches of 6×2 ribbing. After that you decrease every round, which I think came to about 16 rounds. It took me two evenings to knit this up, and if I weren’t having so much pain in my hands these days it probably would have been quicker.

I used Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, which is a superwash that still has that traditional wool feel.

The pattern is well written, includes instructions for both circular/dpns & straight needles, and has stitch variations for the main section. It’s an ideal beginner cap. Not only is the pattern easy to learn, it’s a classic style that looks good on just about everyone.

With the ribbing the finished project looks pretty slim, but it stretches to fit.

So I guess the Nordic style cap I had in mind is out. Oh well. Give the gift they want, not the one you want, right? I may knit one up anyway and include it in the package. If he doesn’t like it, I trust him to find someone who will appreciate it.


Background Image Credit: © StriZh — Fotolia

Grey & White Nordic Hat

Decided it was time to knit a hat for my brother, but I’m not sure this will end up being it. Turned out a little slouchier than I anticipated, and I don’t think that’s his style. However, I think it looks kind of cute on me! It will find a home somewhere.

Grey & White Nordic HatI used Cascade 220 Superwash, and was really pleased with it for this project. After completing it, however, I’m thinking I maybe should have gone down a needle size. I used a size 8 needle, and a size 7 may have been better. Not a big deal. Certainly wouldn’t have been as slouchy, but I don’t think that was the determining factor there.

However, then it might just have been a big hat, without the style that comes with the slouch.

I did use a size 4 needle for the band, and I’m glad I did, since the rest of the hat is so big. It keeps it snug.

Grey & White Nordic Hat flatThis was a fairly easy stranded pattern, with very little to carry in the back (only one spot where you had to carry it over 7 stitches, so you’d want to catch it there to keep it from pulling). There were several rows of 1×1 colorwork, and that makes my wrist sore after a bit. The perils of an aging knitter, I suppose.

My brother has his annual ski trip to Jackson, Wyoming typically in January, and I’d love to surprise him with a hat for his next trip. I actually have no idea what his style for hats might be. Nordic? Cable? I may have to knit up a couple and ship them off to him in the fall so he can choose.

I’ll throw in one really silly choice just to test his reaction. Ha.

The pattern for this hat can be found on Ravelry (and it’s free!) under Reynald by Drops Design.


Background Image Credit: © Hasloo Group Production Studio — Fotolia

Red and White Toque Part 2

Well, the first attempt with this pattern (see my last post) was less than successful, and never one to stay away from a challenge, I tried again with different yarn. I also held the white yarn on my left side this time, since it appears that’s my dominant color side in stranded knitting these days. Somewhere along the line that switched…hmmm….

red and white toque woolAnyway, I used Cascade 220 Superwash (worsted weight) this time, with much better results. Still, there are other fair isle patterns I’ve made that are so much prettier. I had a post last December in which I compared different yarns I used for one pattern. Hopefully I got the image problems I was having before with that post corrected! If there are still problems, please let me know. I’m not sure I can correct them at this point, but I’ll try.

I went up a needle size because the pattern was pretty small — finished size of 18″ diameter, that’s small for an adult woman, — and lots of ladies in my family wear larger hat sizes.

I will add a pompom, I think. This hat really needs one. I’m not generally a pompom gal, but I think I’ll make an exception here.

I’m not sure if this will end up in the donate pile with the other one or not. It’s a very pretty hat, I’m happy with the results, it’s just that there are other hats I’ve made that I’m happier with. It would make a great “giving” hat. It’s machine washable, warm and pretty.

The pattern was in the Fall 2015 Vogue Knitting. It’s really easy, I mean really easy, one of the easiest fair isle patterns I’ve ever done.


Background Image Credit: © Hasloo Group Production Studio — Fotolia

Red and White Toque

Red ToqueI suppose you never can have too many hats…at least that’s my excuse for making so many. Also, they make great gifts, so having some handy when you need them is a good idea.

This one may not make it in the gift pile for two reasons: one, I didn’t realize the yarn I chose (Barisienne by Bergere de France) is an acrylic yarn, something I really don’t like to knit with, and two, I’d forgotten that somewhere along the line, and fairly recently, my dominant side with stranded knitting switched from my right to my left side, so the white doesn’t “pop” like I’d like it to.

Still, the shape of the hat is really cute, and the red is nice and bright. For that matter, the white is bright, too, making this a cheerful hat for a gloomy winter’s day. But acrylic…just not what I want to put my time into…not as warm. It will probably never wear out, however.

This might be a good charity hat. I believe in giving attractive hats, mittens and scarves to charity, and I’m being pretty picky about the dominant color thing. The hat is still good looking. I also believe in giving machine washable goods with charitable giving. Most of the people I’ve given to have few, if any, hand wash only garments, and would have no idea how to care for them, nor would they want the bother.

The only thing left is a little pompom for the top, if I can figure out how to make one without a pompom maker. I know it’s easy, I just haven’t done it before.


Background Image Credit: © Hasloo Group Production Studio — Fotolia

Sockhead Hat

sockhead hatThis incredibly simple, easy-to-knit hat looks like nothing when you’re not wearing it, and I was disappointed until I tried it on. But put it on, and it’s really cute! It’s made from one skein of sock yarn — one skein with more than 400 yards, that is, although I don’t think it took nearly all of it — and is perfect for showing off something hand-dyed, variegated or otherwise multi-colored. The yarn I used was very subtly variegated, something you may not be able to tell in the picture.

It’s knit on size 3 needles (2.5 mm) and you’d think it would take forever with four inches of 2×2 rib and nine inches of stockinette stitch, but the sock yarn is so smooth knitting it just zipped by.

The pattern doesn’t call for this, but I think a pom-pom or a button on top might look really cute too. Worth a try anyway.

The free pattern is available on

sockhead hat 2


Same Hat, Different Yarns

I went a little crazy and knit up several hats in this Nordic pattern (Pattern #8 from the fall 2011 issue of Vogue Knitting), each in a different yarn, just to see how the various yarns looked in the same style. My apologies for the quality of some of these pictures.

red and grey nordic hat
Blue Sky Alpaca

The first, the red & grey, was made out of Blue Sky Alpaca. I can’t rave about this yarn enough, although I would question the wisdom of wearing a baby alpaca blend in truly wintry weather. I’m not sure how well it would wear, especially with any rain, sleet or snow, although it likely would be as warm as anything else.

This hat (like all on this page, of course) comes down below the ears, which is important in chilly weather. It’s hard to find something even remotely stylish that fully serves this purpose, and quality yarn does help. Of course when the temperature drops I find my concern about style does proportionately as well.

Rowan Wool Cotton

The second, the black and pink, was done in Rowan Wool Cotton. Not as much give due to the cotton, but a little denser and therefore will be pretty warm. Will probably have to go to one of my cousin’s kids, though, since the lack of give will make it tighter and I’m not sure it will fit an adult.

Mom's Nordic Hat no bkgd
Nature Spun Sport Weight

The third, the blue & white, was completed in Nature Spun sport weight. It knit to gauge, but is fairly lightweight, appropriate for some climates but not the severe winters I’m used to in the Great Plains states. It should be noted the blue background with white design is a very traditional color combination for Nordic hats, both Swedish and Norwegian.

Red & White Nordic Hat
Nature Spun Worsted Weight

I also knit two in the Nature Spun worsted weight yarn, a better choice. The first hat I used the same size needles as for the sport weight, which surprisingly was still easy to knit. That hat is very dense, perhaps too stiff. For the second I went up a needle size and it’s still pretty dense, but maybe more appropriate to the weight of the yarn. Like the blue & white hat above, these are traditional Nordic colors, used a little less often than the blue.

Liberty Wool

And finally, I used Liberty Wool worsted weight for this eggplant and citron colored hat. The yarn is wonderful, but initially I was hesitant about the colors. Some of my friends consider it an updated look for the style, but to me, it takes more than color to update a Nordic hat. Still, the yarn was the right weight and had the traditional look of wool some might like (as opposed to the baby alpaca, for example). Eventually I came around, and my mom, who’ll be wearing it this winter, loves it.

I knit this one needle size up and the hat was a full size larger than the others.

My favorite yarn? It’s a tie between the Liberty Wool and the Blue Sky Alpaca, with the latter being more fun to knit with. It’s much smoother and slides off the needles, making the knitting go more quickly.