Get Twisted With the Koolhaas Hat!

One of our most popular knitted hat patterns, the Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood, is a wonderful project for many reasons.

The Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood

It's a perfect unisex hat; really attractive on both men and women (I knit one for my brother a couple of years ago). It's a great project for practicing the twisted stitch technique. And it's a quick, addicting knit. I knit mine in about three evenings; the pattern is easily memorized after the first couple of repeats.

After knitting this hat, I really fell in love with twisted stitches. They're stitches that are simply knitted through the back loop and they travel across each other like cables do, but usually just one stitch crosses each other at a time.

Jared, who often uses architecture to inspire stitch patterns, designed this hat as a tribute to the work of architect Rem Koolhaas. His design for the Seattle Public Library is a lattice pattern of steel and glass. The Koolhaas Hat is knit with a springy yak/wool blend that emphasizes the strong geometric structure and sculptural quality of this twisted stitch pattern.

Meg Swanson wrote an article for Interweave Knits in the fall of 2010. In it she talked a little bit about the history of twisted stitches:

Twisted-Stitch Knitting

How to knit through the back loop

Both Styria (north/central Austria) and Bavaria (southern Germany) claim to be the district of origin for this beautiful knitted fabric. Beyond tracing the beginnings of the twisted-stitch knitting tradition to the eighteenth century, little detailed history is available about the technique. Motifs were passed along from knitter to knitter and tangibly preserved for future generations by means of knitted samplers.

With its traveling stitches and cables, the technique is similar to Aran knitting except that each knit stitch is worked into the back of the stitch: thus the name twisted-stitch knitting. With no "plain" stitches, the knitting itself is relatively slow, but the reward is enormous as the twists tighten and raise each stitch to enhance the detail of the resulting topography.

If you are familiar with basic cable techniques, you will have no difficulty with the right and left twists because they are actually the smallest possible cables: one stitch crossing over another. You merely have to get into the habit of working into the back of each knit stitch.

—Meg Swanson, Interweave Knits, Fall 2010

Here's Eunny Jang to show you how to work twisted stitches:

I know you'll love knitting the Koolhaas Hat as much as I did, so I encourage you to get one of our new kits today! They come with natural brown yarn, blue yarn, or ruby red yarn, delivered right to your door.


P.S. Have you knitted the Koolhaas Hat? What did you think of twisted knitting? Let us know in the comments!


Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

25 thoughts on “Get Twisted With the Koolhaas Hat!

  1. I have not knitted this hat, but I have used the twisted stitch and love it. I especially like knitting the “Tree of Life” pattern in Vogue Knitting – the cables branching off in opposite directions look like fir trees.

  2. I’ve knit both this hat and Jared’s matching scarf. They are both gorgeous and, it is true, stunning on both men and women. The pattern is mesmerizing, quick to learn and extremely satisfying to watch develop.

  3. I’ve knit both this hat and Jared’s matching scarf. They are both gorgeous and, it is true, stunning on both men and women. The pattern is mesmerizing, quick to learn and extremely satisfying to watch develop.

  4. Stunning pattern in just about any color I would imagine!
    Ms. Eunny, I’m wondering, could you do a tutorial in continental style? Please?
    …..pardon my ignorance….

  5. The Koolhaas Hat pattern as shown in my purchased pattern made from 100% yak.
    164 yards per 100 grams

    the KIT offers 50% yak 50% wool
    150 yards per 56 grams

    This seems to be a sizable difference…resulting in probably SIZING differences.

    Do i need to purchase TWICE the amount of yak/wool skeins? or HALF the amount of yak/wool skeins?

    The recipient has a wool allergy…i’m trying to avoid the ‘itch’ factor completely.

    Love the design…which Bijou Basin fiber will work best?

  6. Hi Folks! We’re checking into ordering more yarn so we can offer more kits for the Koolhaas Hat. In the meantime, here’s the link for the hat pattern:

    This hat works with any worsted-weight yarn (it takes about 170 yards), so for now, dig in your stash and have fun!


  7. Is there a way to do this hat on circulars? I’m not one to use DPNs if I can help it. DPNs just feel so unwieldy to me. Foreign objects really. I like being to feel like I’m in control of my tools (in this case needles) when I’m working and I nearly never feel that way when I got yarn cast onto DPNs. In fact, I’m about to unravel a Fair Isle beret in progress because I don’t like how my DPNs have made a mess. (Notice I’m not blaming myself here, all blame is on the needles!)

  8. I knit this hat several years ago when it came out in the magazine. I used a Cascade 220 Heather and it is nice and warm. I get compliments on it all the time and have been asked for the pattern many, many times.
    It was a mental challenge to knit with all the twists and crosses, but that is what I am after in my knitting.

  9. I knit this hat many years ago when it came out in the magazine. I used a Cascade 220 Heather and have received many, many compliments. Several people have asked me for the pattern.
    I found the pattern a mental challenge with the twists and crosses, but that is what I look for in my knitting.

  10. I picked out some yarn with this project in mind as I had the original print version of the pattern. Aha! yarn bigger than what is recommended, but a 16″ circumference will sit on the top of my big head like a marshmallow. Sized the needles up one increment, did a swatch, and away I went. Put in some old movies, and my fingers went to town. Almost up to the decreases and realized it was almost 2 AM! Can’t wait to finish it.