Earlier this summer I made a patriotic hat that I just knew I’d wear at least once before fall. Sure enough it was cool and rainy on the Fourth of July. I was finishing up the pom pom of my Old Glory Hat last month before meeting with my friend Fernanda about some flower arrangements. She lit up when she saw the stars and stripes; she was gaga for the giant pom pom.
She offhandedly suggested I made an Alaska flag hat. I was up for the challenge.
I started this hat on a road trip to Homer where I would be meeting Fernanda and a group of people on Yukon Island for a writing retreat with Julia O’Malley.
By the time my carpool arrived in Homer I was finishing up the North Star.
I think I’ll be making quite a few of these babies.
Alaska Flag Hat — A Free Knitting Pattern
- Lamb’s Pride bulky in Lemon Drop and Blue Boy
- Size US 10 circular needle
- Size US 10 double pointed needles
- Darning needle
- Place marker
- CO – cast on
- K2, P2 – knit 2, purl 2
- st st – stockinette stitch
- K2tog – knit two stitches together
CO 72 st. K2, P2 ribbing for 13 rounds. Place marker.
Switch to blue and knit in st st for 36 rounds or until piece measures 8 inches total length.
Begin decreasing as follows:
*K2tog, k6*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k5*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k4*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round. While doing this, transfer to the double points as you go so there are about 11 stitches on each needle (four in all).
*K2tog, k3*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k2*, repeat till end of round.
K 1 round
*K2tog, k1*, repeat till end of round.
*K2tog*, repeat till end of round. Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Weave in all ends.
Big Dipper Motif:
Stitching motifs as I knit is hard for me because I end up pulling the yarn too tightly behind the work. Instead, you’ll be top-stitching the design. It’s super simple to learn. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t learn this technique sooner as it’s much easier than fair isle or intarsia when it comes to non-repeating motifs. I recommend the tutorial from Wool and the Gang (pronounce “wool” with a British accent and it then it’s a play on words).
I made this chart by layering the actual constellation on top of graph paper. Yay science! That being said, you can rough it a little if you feel as though the spacing isn’t quite right. I ended up shifting the front star slightly. This is really a guideline.
I started with the lowest star on the dipper. It really doesn’t matter where you start the motif, but I eyeballed it so that beginning of the round was in the back. Some of the stars I did individually, gently double-knotting the ends as I went. But for the handle of the dipper I was able to continue without breaking the yarn. Triple knot the ends on the inside of the hat and trim.
Giant pom pom:
I used a small book to make the pom pom. Wrap yellow yarn around the book several times till it’s borderline too bulky to handle. Be sure not to wrap it too tightly so that you are able to slide it off the book easily. Gently remove the book. Take a 24-inch piece of yellow yarn and double it over. Tie this around the middle of the loops as tightly as possible. Double knot it. Use fabric scissors to trim pom pom to your liking, but be sure not to trim the long pieces you used to tie it together. Use these long pieces to sew the pom pom to the hat using the darning needle. Tie ends on the inside of the hat and trim.
And, because I’m feeling patriotic, here’s the Alaska state song depicting our glorious flag.
Written by Marie Drake
Composed by Elinor Dusenbury
Eight stars of gold on a field of blue –
Alaska’s flag. May it mean to you
The blue of the sea, the evening sky,
The mountain lakes, and the flow’rs nearby;
The gold of the early sourdough’s dreams,
The precious gold of the hills and streams;
The brilliant stars in the northern sky,
The “Bear” – the “Dipper” – and, shining high,
The great North Star with its steady light,
Over land and sea a beacon bright.
Alaska’s flag – to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier.