Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa Hat


This Santa hat pattern is slated to go in the knitting book I'm writing, so it will be up here free for a limited time only.

Stuff you'll need:

About 210 yards of worsted weight yarn in the color of your choice (Santa hats don't have to be red in my opinion). I used one skein of Caron's Simply Soft Eco.

About 130 yards of eyelash yarn. I used Lion Brand Fun Fur.

Size 8 circular needle in a 24 inch length. According to your knitting style, you may also want a 16 inch one.

Size 8 circular needle in a 47 inch length OR a set of DP needles

Size 6 circular needle in a 24 inch length

Scissors

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle

Gauge

With size 8 needles and worsted yarn, you should have 17 stitches per 4 inches.

Fur Cuff

Cast on 20 stitches with Fun Fur on size 8 needle and work even in garter stitch for about 21 inches. Bind off and whip stitch the two short ends together.

Body of the Hat

This is knit inside out. You'll wind up with the purl side of the fabric showing on the outside.

With the size 6 needle, pick up one stitch in each knot along the edge of one side of the fur cuff. That means you'll be picking up one stitch for every other row in the band. You won't be able to see the stitches in the band clearly, just pick up stitches in what looks like the right place, and don't worry about it. We're going to fix it in the next round. Place a marker at the beginning/end of the round.

Count the stitches you picked up. You should have something in the vicinity of 88 stitches, but probably not. The first time I did this, I was 4 stitches short. As long as you wind up with something between about 84 and 92 stitches, it's OK.

Purl one row around adding or subtracting stitches to make a total of 88.

Work even in K2 P2 ribbing for 2.5 or 3 inches.

Switch to size 8 circulars in the 24 inch length (or 47 for the magic loop method). Work even, knitting every round until 6 inches from where you picked up the stitches from the cuff. Somewhere along the way while you're knitting even, place markers after 22, 44, and 66 stitches. Your markers will divide the hat into quarters, and you should have 4 markers placed. This is easier if the one at the beginning of the round is different so that you know when you complete a round.

Decrease Row

*K2tog, Knit to next marker* 4 times.

Repeat this decrease round every third row until 4 stitches remain. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail and thread through remaining stitches . You're going to sew the furry blob at the end on with this, so leave enough.

Switch to 16 inch needle/DPs or 47 inch needle for the magic loop method when there are too few stitches on the needle.

Furry Blob

With the size 6 needle and Fun Fur, cast on 24 stitches. Work even in garter stitch for 16 rows. You'll have a hard time seeing what you're doing and keeping track of the rows. Don't worry. The idea is to knit until the length is about 1/3 of the width. OR knit even back and forth until about 1-1/4 inch from the beginning.

Next row: K 15, K2 tog, turn.

Next row: K 7, K2 tog, turn.

Repeat that last row until there are 8 stitches left on the needle. It's kind of like turning the heel on a sock, if you've ever done that.

What you're knitting is a little cube, and you've knitted three sides, and then connected them with a fourth side. You still need to knit two more sides and connect them to the first four.

At this point, there are two ways you can proceed. Method one: This is easiest to describe. Just continue even in garter stitch for about 2-1/2 inches, bind off and sew down the sides and end of the flap to the 5 sides to make a cube.

Method two: K 8 sts. Pick up one stitch on the side next to the place you stopped. Turn. Next row: K2 tog, K to end (7 more sts), pick out one stitch on the side next to the place you stopped.

Repeat that last row until you are at a point where you've picked up stitches along all the sides except for that 8 stitches at the beginning. Stuff the tail from the original cast-on inside the cube. Bind off and sew the end to the beginning. Use the tapestry needle to bury the end inside the cube.

You should have constructed a little cube.

It's really hard to see what you're doing while you're doing this. My work was very sloppy, and I'm an experienced knitter. But nobody will be able to see the mess.

Before I made this, I couldn't figure out what to use to stuff the cube, but I finally decided to just knit it and worry about it later. This turned out to be a good plan, because with furry yarn, it fills up the center all by itself.

Finishing

Use the end from the point at the top of the hat to sew the furry cube to the hat with the purl side of the hat out. You probably won't need to block it. Darn in ends, turn up the cuff, and you're done.

Now you can keep your head warm and show your Christmas spirit at the same time!

Merry Christmas!

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