Rachel, my best friend from childhood, has been asking me to knit her a hat for three years. When I visited her in Seattle in 2012 we even picked out the yarn and everything.
She requested a cable hat and I’ve never had such a hard time finding a pattern I liked. I started three different patterns including the classic “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Nation” one, but I just didn’t like them.
So I tucked the ball of purple yarn away in my stash and temporarily gave up.
Three years later I called Rachel to tell her I was coming back to Seattle for a work trip and asked if she would like me to bring her anything from home. She reminded me of my hat promise. I was determined this time that I would have a finished hat by the time I reached The City of Flowers.
I went back to Ravelry and found just what I was looking for. It must not have been posted when I last looked up cabled hats.
I used Blue Sky Alpaca’s Worsted Hand Dyed yarn in Mulberry. The downside was I only bought one skein and ran out of yarn two rounds before the end. Luckily I had left a long tail when I started so I had to Frankenstein the yarn toward the end, but it all worked out. PHEW!
I really loved the little braided stitch going up the hat between the cables. It is a good pattern for folks who have gotten down cables but are still not ready for anything complicated.
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
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.
Alaska’s 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.
Boy, sending mail to Belgium takes a while! I’m so thrilled to finally be posting this pattern. I had to wait for it to arrive in my friend’s mailbox before I could publish it. Enjoy!
Last summer an old friend of mine got married on the Greek island of Paros, which is known for its brilliantly white buildings contrasted against the blue Aegean Sea. I wanted to send her a handmade wedding gift that represented the beautiful location of her wedding. Since I have limited artistic talent (I am not a brilliant illustrator as she is), I decided to knit her an ombre scarf. Ombre might still be considered trendy, but I know I’m a little past the height of ombre hype.
I had a difficult time finding yarn that was the right color, so I settled with a “Frozen”-esque ice blue. Elsa wasn’t whom I had in mind when I made this scarf, but I do love the colors anyway.
I wanted to try an unusual stitch pattern instead of doing my basic ribbing or garter stitch. I don’t have a great attention span for stitch patterns that take 14 rows to complete, so I found a lovely pattern that is repeated every 4 rows. This way I can set it down anytime and be certain where I left off. I went with St. John’s Wort Stitch.
St. John’s wort is a flowering plant that is used medicinally as a sort of cureall. It’s supposedly good for treating anxiety, depression and cuts. I made this scarf so my friend can feel cozy and safe, so it’s fitting it is named for a healing, cheer-you-up herb.
I hope my friend is able to think of this scarf as a warm hug from her past. We haven’t seen each other in more than 10 years, so I wanted her to have a little reminder of home and of her happy day in Santorini.
Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet
1 hank Heritage Cascade Sock Yarn, color 5630 (or any sport weight yarn in ice blue that is more than 200 yards). I’ll call this color B
1 hank Heritage Cascade Sock Yarn, color 5682 (white). I’ll call this color A.
1 skein Dale Påfugl mohair, color 0010 (or 100 yards of any mohair brand in white). I’ll call this color 1.
1 skein Dale Påfugl mohair, color 6815 (blue). I’ll call this color 2.
I took it one step further with this fluffy, scrumptious stitch and decided to make an oversized cowl using larger needles and a wider width. Not only is it super cozy, but you can stretch part of it over your head for a makeshift hood. You can wear it looped around your neck twice or have it hang loosely. It’s a versatile piece that happens to be trendy.
Big Fluffy Brioche Cowl
250 grams of heavy worsted yarn such as Lamb’s Pride (I used 2.5 skeins of Loops & Threads Wool to Wash)
Being a lifelong craftaholic I’m no stranger to the pom pom. Memories of yarn-covered tin can pencil holders and ricrack come to mind.
But lo and behold, again my childhood craft projects are becoming popular again (remember friendship bracelets?) Yes, the pom pom is this season’s biggest accessory trend. So I’ve decided to stay on board the pom pom train and offer up a delicious, fluffy, slouchy hat pattern. It’s got extended ribbing in case you want to fold it up for a thicker brim.
When you’re a knitter, there are only so many knitted gifts you can give your relatives. I’ve made hats, cowls, mittens, hats, hats and hats. My family will never tell me “Enough with the hats already!” so I’m of course knitting them all hats this year for Christmas.
My nephew is a Dodgers fan. For his birthday I got him a Dodgers wallet, felt banner and classic metal waste basket. Those gifts went over well (He’s 14 and he gave me an enthusiastic “thank you,” which is a lot coming from a teenager). So I figured he wouldn’t mind a knitted cap in Dodgers colors.
This hat is mostly made from Plymouth Yarn’s DK Merino Superwash, although the grey is Lion Brand. Merino wool is soft and not itchy in the slightest. It’s also warmer than synthetic. Feel free to substitute acrylic yarn if you are trying to save money.
So get those team colors and knit on! You might get an honest “thank you” from your teenage nephew.
Click here if you’d like to make this type of hat for a baby.
Sports Team Knitted Cap
Fits an average size head (my husband, who was the only model I had around, has a gigantic head so the hat is a little stretched out in the photos)
Skill level: easy/beginner
1 skein each of Plymouth DK Merino Superwash in Cobalt (Color A), Natural (Color B), and Light Gray (Color C)
Size US 8 circular and double pointed needles
K1, P1 = knit 1, purl 1 ribbing
k2tog = knit two stitches together
With your circular needle cast on 80 stitches using color A. Join stitches to form a circle, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a marker where you joined the yarn. K1, P1 in the round for 5 rounds or until the ribbing is to your liking.
Start knitting all rounds. Knit 15 more rounds with color A. Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Begin knitting with color B. Knit 4 rounds. Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Start knitting with color C. Knit for 10 rounds. Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Knit 4 rounds with color B. Cut yarn. Switch to color A and knit approximately 8 rounds or until the hat is about 5.5-6 inches tall from the edge.
Begin decreasing as follows:
*k2tog, k6* Repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k5*, repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k4*, repeat * till end of round (switch to double points here)
K one round
*K2tog, k 3*, repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k 2*, repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k1*, repeat * till end of round
*K2tog*, repeat * till end of round.
Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Using a darning needle, weave in all ends. I like to tie the striped yarn ends together somewhat loosely before weaving them in. I have no official technique for this, so do what seems best for you. Just be sure not to tie them together too tightly as that will cause the stitches to look uneven on the outside of the hat.