Wednesday, January 28, 2004

My Favorite "Generic Hat Pattern"

Here is how I make hats using only straight needles. No DPN's or circulars are involved! I based the "generic hat pattern" on Rita Taylor's beret pattern from about dot com. This pattern is written to be used with 4-ply worsted weight acrylic yarn, however it can be adjusted to utilize any type of yarn or size. Just use your noodle. :)

R1: Cast on 5 stitches.
R2 & All Even Rows: Purl
R3: Knit, increasing in each stitch except the last one. (9 sts)
R5: Knit, increasing in each stitch except the last one. (17 sts)
R7: Knit, increasing in each stitch except the last one. (33 sts -- If knitting for a baby, stop increasing here.)
R9: *K1, inc in next st* (49 sts -- If knitting for a younger toddler, stop increasing here.)
R11: *K2, inc in next st* (65 sts -- If knitting for an older child, grade school perhaps, stop increasing here.)
R13: Knit. Do not increase in any stitches.
R15: *K3, inc in next st* (81 sts -- Stop increasing here if you are making an adult sized hat.)

R16: It is at this point where you can adjust to either increase or decrease the number of stitches on your needle to fit whatever stitch pattern you choose to use for the hat. For example, lets say that you decide that you want to knit your hat with the tulip lace pattern from Vogue Knitting's Ultimate Knitting Book. The lace pattern states that the st patt requires a multiple of 8 stitches. Since you have 81 stitches on the needle, purl 2 together to decrease by one stitch on your needles so that you are working with 80 stitches instead of 81. For a basic hat, I like to do a simple k1p1 rib throughout the hat. Therefore, I increase in the first stitch in this row, and then k1p1 back as normal, because k1p1 rib requires an even number of stitches.

R17-?: Knit in your pattern until you have reached your desired length. If you like the "scully" style hats, bind off in rib (or in your pattern) when you reach 8 inches. If you like the kind of hat that has a three inch folded back brim, bind off when you reach 11 inches. These measurements are for adult sized hats. Use your judgement when knitting to the appropriate length for a child's hat.


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