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Hats: They're what we're knitting

Dec 30, 2011

Blume Hat by Connie Chang Chinchio
I'm excited about hats, as you know. They're super practical, fast, and fun to knit. We're so into hats that we've developed a web page that puts all of our hat resources in one place!

Here's a taste:

Who knows when the first person decided to put something over their head to keep it warm, but knitters know that hats are the one of the most fun and easy things to knit.

When they're worked in the round there is little in the way of shaping, except when you get to the crown.

Most hats are worked from the bottom up, with stitches cast-on and worked in a snug stitch pattern such as ribbing, or in stockinette for a rolled bring hat, using a smaller size needle than is used for the head portion of the hat.

In many hat patterns, the hat is worked straight for the desired length of the crown, then nearly all of the stitches are evenly decreased over the course of just a few rounds.

The yarn is cut, the tail threaded through the remaining stitches, pulled tight, and fastened off to the inside of the hat.

The hat can be topped with a pom pom, i-cord, tassel, or whatever embellishment strikes your fancy.

A great book for learning to make hats is Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns. There are chapters on basic hats as well as the type of hats called "tams."
Four hats from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns

Tips for Hat Knitting

  • For more rounded top shaping, work the tip decreases every other round or every three rounds.
  • If you don't want to knit a hat in the round and you don't mind a visible seam on the finished hat, work it back and forth in a single piece and seam the back.
  • Work the inside of a hemmed edge in cotton to make it more comfortable against sensitive skin.
  • To make a hat wind- and water-resistant, work the yarn at a smaller gauge (more stitches per inch) than recommended. For example, use smaller needles to work a worsted weight yarn at six stitches to the inch. (You'll need to cast on more stitches for this approach, so use your gauge swatch to determine the additional number of stitches needed.)

Check out our Hat Knitting page and get started knitting hats for the new year!

Happy new year!

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The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns

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More than 350 options for caps, tams, and more will satisfy your need for basic projects in multiple sizes and all weights of yarn.


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jomikogle wrote
on Jan 3, 2012 7:27 PM

Here's my question....why can't I find any patterns for the really cool snowboarder hats like those you see in stores like Zumiez or Sports Authority made by clothing companies like Columbia and NorthFace? You know... the ones with lots of color work and huge cables, ear flaps and braids hanging down from the ear flaps. All the cool snowboarding teens in the Northwest have been wearing them for years, buying them at  the mall and not a pattern to be found anywhere!

All of the teens in my life would love to have a hand knitted hat but don't like the patterns available because they're not as cool as the machine made hats available in stores.