September 10, 2013

Winter is Coming: Brace Yourself With This Cozy Knitted Hat!

It's going to get real cold, real soon.
Want to try your hand at knitting? or maybe you're already an experienced knitter, looking for a project? I've got your covered. It's hat time.

Over this summer, I hadn't yet come to the decision of taking a gap year. I dutifully prepared myself for Scotland by knitting an abundance of sweaters and hats. The pattern I used for this one was extremely simple - I even had the opportunity to create my own design for the hat.

So, let's talk knitting! Each of there designs can be stacked however you like. Separate them by one, two, or even three rows of different colors, depending on what you like.
I used size 8 needles, and this incredible yarn from Katia, Called "Peru". it's thick and woolen, incredible warm. I have a sweater made of the same material and it's warmer than my winter coat. It also felts well, if you're interested.
This will create a hat for a 60cm head.

First step: the ear flaps.
Cast on 19 stitches. You can either knit stripes, a full color, or a color with a self contained pattern. I knit a blue background with two triangles.
Knit 24 rows, increasing every 6 so as to have a total of 27 stitches. Slip this onto an extra needle so you can knit the second ear flap. Remember to reverse the design on this one if your design is asymmetrical!

Now for the Hat.
Cast on 9 stitches on circular needles - knit on earflap one (right flap) - cast on 36 stitches - knit on earflap two (left flap) - and cast on another 9 stitches. You should have 108 stitches on your needles. You've now got the basic shape of the hat!
You can now start on one of the patterns above. Keep knitting around for a total of 24 rows. 
Here's where it gets a little tough, because you're going to have to keep track of your count. You're going to want to decrease by 7 every other row (every row if you want a rounded rather than conical top). Start by knitting two together evert 15 stitches. Then knit a row normally. Then knit two together every 14 stitches. And so on. It's easier once you get closer to the top, because you can see the decrease lines, and just knit two together once you reach each separate one.
Finish it off, leaving a tail - this will facilitate attaching the pom pom.

Finally, details.
Use a crochet hook to finish of the entire edge of the hat, going around the entire edge, including the ear flaps.
Make yourself a pompom with the four colors and attach it to the top of the hat, using the left over tail to help fasten it.
Cut 2 60 cm strands of yarn of each color. Find the middle of your flap, slip one strand of each color through the stitch. Do a four strand braid and finish it off with a tight knot.

And you've got yourself a hat! 

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