If you're thinking about making someone a hand knit gift this season, a charming, chunky, cable stitch hat should be on the list of contenders. Hats are really easy to make and have so many possible variations. You can change up the type of yarn, the colors and the stitch pattern in endless ways.
I've made lots of knitted hats over the years and for the most part just make up the pattern. I've always knitted my hats flat because it's easy enough to stitch up the side seam and I never seem to have circular needles at the right length. So, basically what I do, is determine the finished size I want for my hat, then swatch my yarn to determine gauge. Determine the number of stitches to cast on. Choose a stitch pattern and knit until I'm about 1 inch shy of the finished height. Then I decrease the stitches to shape the crown. So here's what I did to make this hat.
Disclaimer: This is a (mostly) untested and definitely not perfect pattern. I do not guarantee that it will work for all knitters.
Chunky Cable Knit Hat
Finished measurements: 21 inch circumference, 10 inch height
Gauge: 4 inches = 9.5 sts and 12 rows
1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick
US size 13 straight needing needles
Cast on 48 stitches. Make a knit 2, purl 2 rib for 4 rows.
Six Stitch Cable Pattern
Row 1: (RS) *p1, k6, p1* Repeat to end of row.
Row 2: *k1, p6, k1* Repeat to end of row.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 one time.
Row 5: (RS) *p1, slip 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k3, knit 3 sts from cable needle, p1* repeat to end.
Row 6: *k1, p6, k1* Repeat to end of row.
Repeat Cable Pattern 1 time. Begin to shape crown.
1st Decrease Row: (RS) *p1, sl2 to cable needle, k2tog, k2 knit 2 sts from cable needle, p1* repeat to end
3rd Decrease Row: (RS) *p1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, p1*, repeat to end
5th Decrease Row: (RS) *p1, sl1, k2tog, psso, p2tog*
6th Decrease Row: (WS) p2tog 6 times, k1
Cut yarn about 20 inches long and thread on needle. Run needle through live stitches and pull tight. Sew up side seam.
Here are a few other hand knit hats of various yarn and stitch patterns. As you can see, the pale blue alternates cable stitches and a knit stitch panel. The long white seed stitch hat in the back folds up to make a brim. If you want to add a brim to your hat, make the rib stitch section at the beginning about 5 inches long or desired length.
One of the great things about making hats is that because they are so quick to make (especially with a chunky yarn), you can really experiment and try new things. If it doesn't work out you can always frog it and start again.
What are you knitting this season? Do you have any go-to knitted gifts?
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