Hat without a Name

Work in progress, posted 7/14/08 late, updated 7/28/08 to start with 8 stitches instead of 4. Keep checking for updates, corrections, additional info. At least till it has a name! By the time the name is up, I hope most of the kinks will be worked out.

There will be two sets of directions — basically, two hats.

The first is the easiest, and will give my original vision but not what I ended up doing; a stockinette top-down hat with four eyelet cables and ribbing at the bottom. This one can be customized to size desired.

The second is very similar but not identical to the Floozy hat ; I subtracted a stitch from the plain rib to decrease the size since that was generous (and also increase the length). I also adjusted the length of the ribbing.

Both hats start with a circular cast-on, and that is by far the hardest part of the hat. Persevere! Once you get past the first few rounds, it will be good! The reason I did my hat like this was is that, akin to toe-up socks, it lets you use every bit of yarn and not either run out or have a lot left when you finish (both frustrating, but especially so in the gorgeous hand-dyed yarn I was using for the original hat).

Options for circular cast-on are Emily Ocker’s cast-on (not my favorite as it leaves a bump); Judy’s Magic Cast-on; or what has been called ‘disappearing loop cast-on’ or modified Emily Ocker cast-on. Or: you can cast on 8 stitches in waste yarn of approximately the right weight, knit in a rectangle in stockinette stitch for about an inch, then join in the working yarn and knit one row. Then join to knit circularly. (The waste yarn stitches stabilize and tame the unruly first few stitches and make it easier to do.) Knit in pattern for a few rows (the rectangle will make a ‘bellybutton’), then thread a tapestry needle with the starting end of the working yarn, thread it through the first 8 stitches, unpick the waste yarn stitches, draw the first 8 stitches together and fasten off.

If you can’t stand the circular cast-on, you can start at the ribbing and knit up; the pattern stitch will look the same. Then turn the charts upside down when they’re posted, decrease instead of increase, end with 8 stitches, thread yarn through the 8 stitches and pull tight, and Bob’s your uncle!

Charts will be coming soon.

The ribbing as written is for a fold-up brim.  One can also make a non-fold-up brim by knitting the pattern stitch longer, and knitting the ribbing one to two inches only (depending on size desired) and binding off.

CABLE: = eyelet cable stitch. Conventional instructions call to do this as follows: “Slip two stitches to a cable needle and hold behind work. K 1 from left needle. K2 tog from cable needle.” Which is totally fine. BUT I figured out I can do this without a cable needle, without taking any stitches off the needle, like a twist stitch. So here’s how I do it: Put the right-hand needle into the third stitch on the left-hand needle and knit this stitch, but leave it on the left-hand needle. Then put the right-hand needle through the first and second stitches on the left-hand needle and k2tog. Then drop all three stitches off the left-hand needle. Done! No cable needle to lose drop mess with!

The eyelet cable is a four row cable on three knit stitches, framed by purl stitches. It’s laid out in the directions, but in summary, it is thus:

Row 1, the cable cross/decrease as above (goes from three stitches to two). Row 2 is k, yo, k. Row 3 is k3. Row 4 is k3.

Make 1 — lift the bar between the two stitches (between the two needles) and knit into the back of it (twisting it).

Version 1 (stockinette with 4 cables)

Cast on 8 stitches circularly. Divide among dpns or 2 circular needles in a size appropriate to yarn. Gauge is not critical to this version, as long as you are happy with the knitted fabric.

Round 1: Increase in every stitch by Kf&b around (16 stitches).  Place a marker for beginning of round.

Round 2: K

Round 3: *k1, m1 (make 1), k2, m1, k1*; repeat to end of round (repeat 3 times) (24 stitches)

Round 4: *k1, p1, k1, yo, k1, p1, k1*, repeat to end of round (28 stitches)

Round 5: *k1, m1, p1, k3, p1, m1, k1*, repeat to end of round (36 stitches)

Round 6: *k2, p1, k3, p1, k2*, repeat to end of round

Round 7: *k1, m1, k1, p1, CABLE*, p1, k1, m1, k1*, repeat to end of round (40 stitches)

Round 8: *k3, p1, k1, yo, k1, p1, k3*, repeat to end of round (44 stitches)

Round 9: *k1, m1, k2, p1, k3, p1, k2, m1, k1*, repeat to end of round (52 stitches)

Round 10: *k4, p1, k3, p1, k4*, repeat to end of round

Round 11: *k1, m1, k3, p1, CABLE, p1, k3, m1, k1*, repeat to end of round (56 stitches) (bold area is corrected typo 7/15/08)

Round 12: *k5, p1, k1, yo, k1, p1, k5*, repeat to end of round (60 stitches)

Check fit at this point. Slip the hat on waste yarn and pop it on. It may be big enough if you are using bulky yarn! If so, skip the purl increases in the next round.

Round 13: *k5, p increase by purling into front and back of next stitch, k3, pf&b, k5*, repeat to end of round (68 stitches)

Now, if you need the hat bigger, keep increasing by m1 increases every other round as established, around the first and last stitches in each ‘quadrant’, until hat is desired circumference.

Otherwise, knit straight from here as follows:

Round 14: *k5, p1 (or 2), k3, p1 (or 2), k5*, repeat to end of round

Round 15: *k5, p1 (2), CABLE, p1 (2), k5*, repeat to end of round

Round 16: *k5, p1 (2), k1, yo, k1, p1 (2), k5*, repeat to end of round

Round 17: *k5, p1 (2), k3, p1 (2), k5*, repeat to end of round

Repeat these four rounds until hat length is six inches (15 cm). End on round 15.

Change to one size smaller needles.

Start ribbing: *k1, p2, k2, p1 (or 2), k2, p1 (or 2), k2, p2, k1* , repeat to end of round.

On next round, if you had only been purling 1 stitch, increase to p2 by purling in front and back.

Knit approximately 6 inches of k2 p2 ribbing, or to desired length. Bind off loosely in pattern (k the knits, and p the purls). Weave in ends, etc. All done!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK, that was the easier one!

Version 2: 8 cables

Cast on 8 stitches circularly. Divide among dpns or 2 circular needles in a size appropriate to yarn. I used US 10 (6 mm) needles for bulky weight yarn, which knit up at 14 stitches/4 inches (10 cm)

Round 1: Increase in every stitch by Kf&b around (16 stitches). Place a marker for beginning of round.

Round 2: K

Round 3: *k1, m1 (make 1), k2, m1, k1*; repeat to end of round (repeat 3 times) (24 stitches)

Round 4: *k1, p1, k1, yo, k1, p1, k1*, repeat to end of round (28 stitches)

Round 5: *k1, m1, p1, k3, p1, m1, k1*, repeat to end of round (36 stitches)

Round 6: *k2, p1, k3, p1, k2*, repeat to end of round

Round 7: *k1, m1, k1, p1, CABLE*, p1, k1, m1, k1*, repeat to end of round (40 stitches)

Round 8: *k1, p1, ktbl# (knit through the back loop), p1, k1, yo, k1, p1, ktbl, p1, k1*, repeat to end of round (44 stitches)

Round 9: *k1, m1, p1, ktbl, p1, k3, p1, ktbl, p1, m1, k1*, repeat to end of round (52 stitches)

Round 10: remove end of round marker, k1, replace marker (shifting beginning of round). *p2, ktbl, p1, k3, p1, ktbl, p2, k1, yo, k1*, repeat to (new) end of round (56 stitches)

Round 11: *p2, ktbl, pf&b (purl increase by purling into front and back of same stitch), CABLE, pf&b, ktbl, p2, k3*, repeat to end of round (60 stitches, corrected stitch count.  You will increase to 64 stitches on the next row.  64 stitches will be the stitch count for the rest of the cabled portion of the hat, other than on the cable cross rows, when the stitch count temporarily drops to 60.)

You are done increasing and now will knit straight as follows:

Round 12: *p2, ktbl, p2, k1, yo, k1, p2, ktbl, p2, k3*, repeat to end of round

Round 13: *p2, ktbl, p2, k3, p2, ktbl, p2, CABLE*, repeat to end of round

Round 14: *p2, ktbl, p2, k3, p2, ktbl, p2, k1, yo, k1*, repeat to end of round

Round 15: *p2, ktbl, p2, CABLE, p2, ktbl, p2, k3*, repeat to end of round

Knit until total length of hat from beginning is 6 inches (15 cm).

End on a row 13 or 15. On the subsequent row (14 or 12), knit as directed except omit the yos. On the following two rows, knit as directed, except instead of ‘k3’, read ‘k2’.

You should now have *p2, ktbl, p2, k2, p2, ktbl, p2, k2* x 4 (56 stitches).

Change to one size smaller needles and begin the ribbing.

Ribbing: *p2, k1, p2, k2, p2, k1, p2, k2*

Knit for approximately 6 inches, or to desired length, or until you run out of yarn.

Bind off loosely in pattern (k the knits, and p the purls).

#a plain knit stitch can be substituted for the knit through the back loop if desired

Here’s how Version 2 looks in progress, in non-photogenic yarn:

2 responses to “Hat without a Name

  1. I can’t wait to cast this on tonight! I’ve never used the circular cast on method for a hat… here’s to learning new techniques! Thanks CathyCate!🙂🙂

    -Gwenn aka Gwendolynie

  2. Cathy..
    we are just back from Cabo and I found your package in the mail. Yea! Later this week I will cast on and let you know how it is going. The cast on (circular) looks interesting.

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