Free EBooks



Evenly Spacing Increases and Decreases (Plus a Free Hat Pattern!)

Jun 26, 2013

     The Slouch Hat by Simona Merchant-Dest
If someone asked me to name my favorite knitted accessory, I'd be hard-pressed to choose. Some days I'd say scarves, some days I'd say mittens. Today, it's hats, because I have a fabulous hat pattern for you, by one of the authors of The Art of Seamless Knitting, Simona Merchant-Dest.

The Slouch Hat is a Fair Isle stunner. The thing I love most about it is the choice of colors. They're jewel-box tones that go together perfectly, with just the right amount of contrast to make the diamond pattern show up beautifully.

Knitted hats are good summer knits—there's no heavy wool sweater or blanket sitting in your lap as you knit! And this one is knit from a cotton-wool blend, so the yarn won't be too warm as it glides through your hands onto your needles.

Making this hat is a lesson in knitting techniques, too! You'll learn how to work a Fair Isle pattern seamlessly without a visible jog. Simona also tells you how to space increases and decreases evenly, which is something that all knitters need to know!

Spacing Increases and Decreases Evenly Across a Row or Round
To determine how to evenly space increases or decreases, divide the number of stitches on your needle by the number of stitches that you want to increase or decrease.

For example, if you have 115 stitches and you need to increase 8 stitches, you'd divide 115 by 8: 115 stitches ÷ 8 stitches to increase = 14.375 stitches In other words, you'll want to increase every 14.375 stitches for an even distribution of the increases. It's not possible to increase within partial stitches, but this number tells you that you'll place most of the increases every 14 stitches and increase every 15 stitches a couple of times. The difference between working some increases at 14-stitch intervals and a few at 15-stitch intervals is unlikely to be noticeable in the garment.

If you are working in rows, you'll want to position the first and last increases (or decreases) at least one stitch in from the selvedge. To prevent the last increase being made in the selvedge stitch, divide the first 14-stitch interval in half, working the first increase after just 7 stitches so that the last increase will be worked 7 stitches in from the end of the row.

The Slouch Hat, from the top
Depending on the type of increase you use, you'll either increase in the 14th stitch or after the 14th stitch. For example, knitting in the front and back of a stitch (k1f&b) requires one stitch to be involved in the increase and you'd work the increase in the 14th stitch; making a yarnover or working into the horizontal strand between two stitches (as in a raised make-one increase), doesn't involve any of the existing stitches and you'd work the increases after the 14th stitch.

When working decreases, remember that two stitches are required to work a decrease (k2tog or ssk, for example). This means that you would work 12 stitches, then work the 13th and 14th stitches together to end up with one stitch decreased in 14 stitches.

—From The Art of Seamless Knitting by Faina Goberstein and Simona Merchant-Dest

Download your free copy of the Slouch Hat, and check out our Sidewalk Sale for lots more knitted accessories!


P.S. Do you have tips on evenly spacing increases and decreases? Leave a comment and share them with us, and let us know what you think of the Slouch Hat, too!

Featured Product

The Art of Seamless Knitting

Availability: In Stock
Was: $26.99
Sale: $17.74


Go beyond the basics! Learn how to convert flat patterns to circular techniques with 12 classic, beautiful projects suitable for all ages.


Related Posts
+ Add a comment


cupcakeenie wrote
on Jul 25, 2013 10:56 AM

I love this pattern. Thank you so much for posting a downloadable version.  It is going to be my next project!

on Jul 4, 2013 7:35 PM

Kathleen Cubley,

i have a question for you....can you do a Fair Isle hat such as this one using the magic loop method? the reason i ask is, those 16 inch length needles cause my hands to cramp up and it sounds nice to not be so tight when knitting a hat such as the one here. is it possible? -n

margiknits wrote
on Jun 29, 2013 6:43 PM

My hint,

For a smooth, even, decrease or increase, remove or add stitches over several right side rows and staggered so that they don't all line up in one place, which may result in a hexagon :)

on Jun 29, 2013 4:47 PM

I can't down load the hat pattern without making all kind of changes to my computer.

Is there an easier, simpler way to access your patterns?

Mickey Pederson

on Jun 29, 2013 9:35 AM

Thanks so much! This is so simply explained and helpful!!

on Jun 27, 2013 3:01 PM

Here's the Slouch Hat link in case you're having trouble:

on Jun 27, 2013 2:56 PM

Love the pattern. I've been looking for something to get me into multi-colored knitting, and this looks like the trick. Too bad I can't find the original yarn anywhere.... the Belle Organic DK shows as discontinued on the rowan site.

on Jun 27, 2013 12:07 PM

Unrelated question:  How do I keep the sides and bottom of a project from rolling?  Thank you

schroddie wrote
on Jun 26, 2013 9:33 PM

I use the iPhone app "Neat Knit." It has a section that calculates balanced and unbalanced increases and decreases!

Janet@108 wrote
on Jun 26, 2013 12:16 PM

Oh Oh Oh! I have been so frustrated by the increase over row issue that I built a little app to solve the problem. It's on my blog at

Hope it helps a few people.

on Jun 26, 2013 10:01 AM

I make chemo caps and am always on the lookout for stylish hats--something that anyone would be willing to wear--something that doesn't scream "I'm a chemo cap"! So, I've added the Slouch Hat to my list of patterns.

When doing "evenly spaced" increases or decreases, I get out my split ring markers. Depending on the numbers involved, I may just eyeball it or I may count out the sts. If it's a small number done over a lot of stitches I just eyeball it. Either way, I put the markers where I'll do the increases/decreases. If they don't look even, I can easily move them. Or if I can see that they're going to hit at a bad point in the design, I can move them over 1 or 2 stitches. This also ensures that I keep them away from the edges. This is also quite helpful when I have to do them "every 14 or 15 sts"--it ensures that I get the correct number of 14 st and 15 st spaces.

PamCollier wrote
on Jun 26, 2013 8:02 AM

Dear Kathleen, thank you so much for making Simona's pattern available as a free download! I taught myself to knit a few years ago and was happy for a while with simple scarves and accessories. Recently, I decided to spread my wings with a sweater. I tried four or five different patterns before I found one that was easy enough to make--and fit, too! The construction is top down. The yoke has evenly spaced increases. Remaining rows are simple stockinette. Nice, but very plain. I'm already busy adapting Simona's fair isle chart to dress up the yoke of my next sweater. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, thank you! The tips in the download as well as the charts--fabulous!  

tinker1205 wrote
on Jun 26, 2013 7:37 AM

The link to the slouch hat is bringing me to the ebook about knitted bags.