Not Martha

knitting in process: short row earflap hat

chunky red hat with short row earflaps

I have this thing about winter hats, they never quite cover my earlobes. I forget all about this until I’m out in the cold and then it’s too late and I end up tugging the hat down trying to keep my poor ears warm. Even the Calorimetry, which I love, doesn’t quite cover my whole ear (maybe I have freakishly large ears?).

The hat shown here is my rough draft and is riddled with mistakes. I closed the short rows on one side incorrectly, I missed when to cable and did some at every five rows, some at six and one a seven. Despite this it’s still my favorite functionally warm hat. And I have enough yarn to make a more polished one. It’s pictured here on a styrafoam head that is considerably smaller than my own head.

chunky red hat with short row earflaps
The hat shown pulled down over the forehead.

I was telling a friend, Maggi, about this and my requirements. I didn’t want to have a staggered cast on (I like tubular for hats), I didn’t want to have tie anything under the chin, I didn’t want to go back and knit ear flaps later on (they don’t seem to do anything but hang there anyhow). Then Maggi, all effortless like, suggested short rows. She is a genius. I’ve only just wrapped my head around how short rows work so I gave it a shot.

chunky red hat with short row earflaps
The hat shown pulled back a bit.

I made the short rows on this hat like you would do for a sock heel (each row was shorter than the previous), and the result was that they curl inward and hug underneath the ear, a nice unexpected outcome. I used the Chunky Cabled Beanie pattern from Stitch Cafe as a starting point. (Here found at the Internet Archive after it disappeared during a site redesign sometime in the last two days.) I added a pattern repeat, for a total of seven cable/rib sections, and placed the short row areas centered over cabled sections closer to the back of the head, if you are counting from the join at the back of the head they would be over sections 2 and 6.

chunky red hat with short row earflaps, set flat on the floor to show details

The hat is shown above flat. On the left is the hat from the front, and on the right is the hat from the side (if worn one’s face would be pointed to the left). I’m trying to show how I didn’t center the earflaps but set them back a bit, they seem to be well placed for me.

chunky red hat with short row earflaps, on me
(I’m no good at getting photographs of myself in a mirror, this is the only one that shows the hat well enough.)

There are a few short row earflap hats already out there including this very tidy one from QueerJoe’s Knitting Blog, the Brioche Helmet Hat from Interweave Knits, Earflap Hat from Sunshine Knit Designs, and Cameron’s Cap by Sarah Peasley (note: that link is to a PDF).

I’m not sure if it uses short rows but I like the cabled had from Rebecca shown by Action Hero in her roundup of winter hats. Another ear covering hat that comes immediately to mind is the Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap. On Ravelry I found the Mimipita Earflap Hat, which is written in Japanese but uses a universal chart, and the Cabled Earflap Hat which is sized for a baby but easily made larger using a larger gauge.

There are also plenty of cute earflap hats that have chin ties that I wouldn’t mind having: Cabled Chullo, Snowboarder Hat That Rocks and 18 Seconds to Sunrise.

One last note, I still really like Japanese short rows. The best tutorials I’ve found are at nonaKnits and for Japanese short rows in the round Adorabubble Knits works through it nicely.

p.s. My project is here on Ravelry in case you’re interested: red cabled short row earflap hat.

· comments [22] · 12-2-2009 · categories:craft · knitting ·

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mary jane // Dec 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Nice elegant earflaps, so pretty that earflap is too gauche a term for the pretty little curves. Well done!

  • 2 Darci // Dec 2, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Please hurry with this pattern…it will look great with Palindrome scarf I am working for my college girl who chose to go to school in Rochester NY from sunny Los Angeles. Brilliant

  • 3 megan // Dec 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Mary Jane – Aw, thank you!

    Darci – I’ll do my best. I’m better at figuring out rough ideas than producing working patterns :)

  • 4 barrie // Dec 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    did you actually write a pattern? you should enter it in knitty and definitely post it up in ravelry asap.

  • 5 Amy // Dec 2, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I hesitate to ask because I probably found the reference on your site but isn’t the Ganomey hat an earflap hat?

    You’ve made a very lovely hat and I like that the earflaps curve in. Very useful.

  • 6 Jessica // Dec 3, 2009 at 4:59 am

    I can’t knit, but this is inspiring! What an adorable idea!

  • 7 Bird // Dec 3, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Looks v v v cosy :)

    I can’t knit but have laways wanted to learn, any tips for a total knitting virgin?

  • 8 prasti // Dec 3, 2009 at 7:21 am

    so cute. i like earflap hats. if i knew how to knit i would make one for me too :)

  • 9 Tnaugust // Dec 3, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Oh how lovely! I’d really like to make one of these too since I have the same cold ears problem!

  • 10 Seanna Lea // Dec 3, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Very nice!

    I’m making a hat for someone and I had planned on doing increases to get my flaps (sort of like short rows, really), but it was going to result in at least one extra end to weave in. I’m lazy so fewer ends to weave in is always preferable.

  • 11 megan // Dec 3, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Seanna Lea – That is indeed one of the good parts of this hat, only the start and the end of the yarn to weave in. Especially nice since I use non-wool yarns which are difficult to weave in.

  • 12 Emira // Dec 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Megan that is just the cutest hat ever! So great.

  • 13 megan // Dec 3, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Thanks Emira! That means a lot coming from you as I consider you an expert in style.

  • 14 Sarah // Dec 4, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Very cute hat. And, for a fantastic website on knitting technique, you’ll definitely want to check out
    There’s a great short rows comparison tutorial, too.

  • 15 megan // Dec 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks Sarah, I’m familiar with Tech Knitting.

  • 16 Salty Lass // Dec 9, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Adorable! I love the splashy red.

  • 17 annie // Dec 9, 2009 at 10:57 am

    you know about ganomy, i assume?

  • 18 megan // Dec 9, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Annie – I do know about ganomy but I’ve never really liked the look of it.

  • 19 katrina // Dec 19, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I was going to suggest the Amelia aviator cap. Its a super-easy pattern, ribbed in short rows at an angle to make it more complex than it is.
    I literally knit it up in one day at an outdoor music festival. As long as you can get used to the annoying way the pattern is written (“k2, *p2 k2 8 times, p2″? really? because you couldn’t just say to k2 p2 9 times?)
    I loved bekah’s version with the lace band, so I made a strip of “Narrow Elsie” lace and tacked it on w/ a yard sale broach.

    Anyhoot, in wool, with the lace band over the ears, its SUPER warm, and cute.

  • 20 CrochetN'Crafts // Dec 6, 2010 at 7:26 am

    very stylish and warm looking! Love it!

  • 21 Kara // Dec 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I love it! Did you ever post the pattern?

  • 22 megan // Dec 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Kara – I didn’t. I haven’t been knitting much but my first assignment is to get a solid pattern for this hat to share. Shopping for presents has taken up far more of this month than I anticipated!

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