This is a funny hat made so I had an excuse to examine tubular cast on. I used Red Heart Kids acrylic yarn, it takes less than one skein if you don’t use another color for decoration. I used two #8 circulars, one 16″ the other I think 22″. I knit with the 16″ pair until the decreases made it too difficult and I switched to two circulars. I tried some some dpns at the very top, although I think the two circulars would have been easier.
This hat is very stretchy and doesn’t hug the head so fiercely (which can get annoying). I don’t think it has much protection against wind. So, this is somewhat of an Autumn hat, perhaps a wearing indoors hat. But it wouldn’t be good for snow sports, or say, climbing a mountain.
One thing – I’m particularly proud of this hat because I got it to fit the way I wanted it to on the first try, yay me! If you knew how many versions of the knitted wig I made to get to something approximately the correct shape you’d weep, I did.
This is my pattern:
Cast on 96 stitches in tubular (which means you’ll be starting with 49 stitches**). You can find tubular (Kitchener) cast on in The Big Book of Knitting, but I find the tubular cast on instructions here easier to understand. (Then again, I seem to learn the opposite of everybody else, so check out other instructions as well, they might work out better for you.)
Note: I didn’t use smaller needles during the cast on like it says in the instructions, out of sheer laziness. I think my cast on edge is a little wide. In this case it make a cute little flare out, but if you want good edge for a sweater you might need to follow the directions a little more closely than I did.
Knit in 1×1 rib the first go around until you come to join. At this point count your stitches, if you have an extra you might need to knit two together at the join point (also, be sure the ribbing pattern isn’t disrupted, that being make sure it’s 1×1 all the way around). The spot where you join is your Center Back. Knit in 1×1 rib for about 24 rows, give or take a couple. I knit 12 rows in green, 3 in pink, 3 in green, 3 in pink, 3 more in green, and then started the decreases.
Note: If you want a larger hat I think it might just be easier to add more rows, say six, before you begin decreases as the hat is very stretchy and might, maybe, fit a bigger head around but not lengthwise. (Does this make any sense?) To the best of my knowledge I have a medium sized head
Now we’ll be starting decreases. I decided that I wanted a hat with a less steep decreases and a small point at the top so I did three sections to decrease instead of four. Place a stitch marker at the Center back, count 32 stitches around and place the second, count 32 more stitches and place the third.
V. IMPORTANT! Make sure each of the stitch markers is placed right before before a knit stitch (as you’ll be working), this will make the decreases look tidy and proper. If you need, move all three markers over a stitch over to make sure this happens.
With luck you’ll have 32 remaining stitches between the third stitch marker and the Center Back marker. If not, improvise by doing a few rows around and only decreasing in the sections you need to until all three sections have the same number of stitches. (This will never show in the finished product.) (I think.)
Ok, continue working in 1×1 rib, until you get to a stitch marker. Slip the stitch marker, ssk (slip slip knit), and continue in 1×1 rib pattern (sometimes you’ll be doing a knit after the ssk, sometimes you’ll be doing a purl after the ssk). This decrease will make it look like the k rib just decided to make a gentle left and run over all the ribs next to it. The effect will be that the decrease areas will gently spiral up the hat.
Work until you you have 6 stitches left. It’s tough, and irritating to get this far. Take the end of the yarn, slip it through all the stitches that are left, pulling them off the needle. Cinch tight and pop the end through to the inside of the hat. Use the tail at the Center Back cast on point to make the bottom join up and look natural. Hide your other ends. You’re done!
** Lemme double check this, the +1 of “half the stitches plus one” might be referring to the idea that you’ll be needing selvege stitches if you’re making the panel of a sweater. Not entirely sure.
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