Tag Archives: knitting

Zissou Hat — A Free Knit Cap Pattern

Some people feel strongly about Wes Anderson films. I happen to love his styles, colors, sets and costumes. When I saw an old friend post his halloween costume on his Facebook page this week, I knew I had to give it a hand-knit boost.

My buddy, Wes, is dressing up as Steve Zissou from “The Life Aquatic.” Each Cousteau-like character in the film wears a different style of bright red beanie, some with their first initials stitched in yellow.

I’ve made these hats before for my husband and son, but I didn’t bother to write a pattern.

Zissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

If you’d like to make a baby version of this hat, follow this pattern, but just use red yarn (and no ears)

After making this fine cap with a small pompom, I figured it was time to share it with the world.

Zissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Zissou Hat

Fits an average-sized adult head


1 skein of Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice worsted in Scarlet

size US 9 circular and double pointed needles

darning needle

large fork

yellow embroidery thread

Zissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat


k1, p1 = knit 1, purl 1

k2tog = knit 2 together

Zissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

With the circular needle, cast on 80 stitches. K1, p1 for seven rounds.

Knit for 34 more rounds, or until work measures about 5.5 inches from the edge.

Begin decreasing as follows:

Round 1: K2tog knit 6. Repeat for one round.
Round 2 (and all even rounds): Knit
Round 3: K2tog, K 5 for one round
Round 5:K2tog, K 4 for one round (this is where you should probably switch to the double points).
Round 7: K2tog, K 3 
Round 9:K2tog, K 2
Round 11:K2tog, K 1
Round 13: K2tog

Cut yarn leaving a 12-inch tail. With a darning needle, run the yarn through the remaining stitches and cinch close. Weave in all tails.

For the pompom:

Zissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Zissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Wrap yarn around a large fork several times until you have enough bulk for a pom. Cut yarn. Cut two pieces of yarn about 12 inches long and run through the center tine under the wound-up yarn. Tie these two pieces around the bulk of yarn and secure with a double knot. Remove from fork and trim the loops. Form pompom to your liking. Use the long strings you tied around the pom pom to secure it to the hat. Run the four strands from the top of the hat down into the inside using a darning needle. Tie the four pieces together and trim ends.

For the initial: Free hand embroider the initial into the front of the hat above the ribbing. I typed the letter “W” into microsoft word and set it to Futura font to get an idea of how to shape it.

Zissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit NatZissou Hat | A free knitting pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Rainbow Pippi Hat — A Free Pattern

I love me a good ear flap hat. It’s the first real knitting pattern I learned to follow. I reckon I’ve made more than 100 ear flap hats over the years. The pattern is timeless and practical for Alaska winters.

I’ve posted my ear flap hat pattern before, but I thought with knitting season underway that I’d bring it back with one of my favorite color patterns: random stripes. I used to call these junk or leftover hats because I use bits and pieces of yarn from my stash, but after I finished this hat last weekend it made me think of my literary friend Pippi Longstocking. I feel as though Villa Villa Coola probably gets nippy in the wintertime and that if Pippi were taking time away from the South Seas to visit back home with her pals Tommy and Annika, she would wear a rag-tag hat like this one. The braided cords with long tassels also remind me of Pippi’s kooky pigtails.

Feel free to get creative with your stripes, but keep in mind the yarns should all have a similar weight. If you look carefully you can see the green-blue stripe in the middle of the hat is a lighter weight than the rest and it’s slightly inconsistent. But I like it that way. If you don’t have enough bulky yarn, knit two strands of worsted at the same time. Just divide your color into two balls and knit them as though they were one piece of bulky.

Rainbow Pippi Hat | free ear flap hat pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Rainbow Pippi Ear Flap Hat

Sizes XS, S, M, L — I knit size small for a female’s head and size medium for an average male’s head. The BOLD text is the pattern I used for the Rainbow Pippi Hat.

Size US 10 circular and double point needles
Several colors of leftover yarn, either bulky or two strands of worsted knitted together
Tapestry Needle
Pom pom maker (optional)


kfb = knit one stitch, then without dropping the working stitch, knit in the back of the stitch, thus increasing your stitch by one.

k2,p2 = knit 2, purl 2

k2tog = knit two stitches together

Ear flap (make 2):
With two double point needles cast on 4 stitches.

Row 1 (right side): Kfb, k2, kfb (6 st.)

Row 2 (wrong side): purl

Continue to kfb in the first and last stitch of every right side row and purl the wrong side. This will create the triangle shape. Keep going until there are 16 stitches for the XS, 18-S, 20-M, or 22-L. Set this flap aside and repeat with second flap.

Hat: Start the hat using the same color as the ear flaps. With the circular needle, cast on 12-XS, 14-S, 16-M, or 18-L stitches for the back of hat; knit across stitches of the first ear flap making sure the right side is facing you. Cast on 20-22-24-or 26 stitches for the front; knit across second ear flap. There will be 64-72-80-or 88 stitches in all. Join stitches carefully without twisting. K2, p2 on the front and back part of the hat (regular knit the ear flaps) for four to six rounds. This will make the nice ribbing and will prevent the hat from curling up.

Cut yarn, leaving a six-inch tail. Bring in a new color and knit 2 or 3 rounds, depending on your preference. Cut yarn, leaving a six-inch tail.

Continue knitting and changing stripes until the hat is about 5.5 inches tall. I usually go with 31 rows from the edge of the hat. Bring in the original color you used for the earflaps and brim and knit one row.
Start decreasing as follows:
Round 1: K2tog knit 6. Repeat for one round.
Round 2 (and all even rounds): Knit
Round 3: K2tog, K 5 for one round
Round 5:K2tog, K 4 for one round (this is where you should probably switch to the double points).
Round 7: K2tog, K 3 
Round 9:K2tog, K 2
Round 11:K2tog, K 1
Round 13: K2tog

Gather remaining stitches with a darning needle and fasten off. Weave in all tails. The inside of your hat should look pretty cool, with all sorts of colorful ends. Tighten all the knots you made and then double tie them. Don’t pull too tightly as you want the stitches on the outside to look uniform. Just play with the tension of the knots before double knotting. I then knot the yarn ends vertically to one anther, if that makes sense, and trim them. 

Rainbow Pippi Hat | free ear flap hat pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Braided ties:

Using all the colors from your stripes, cut 6 strands of yarn, about 24-inches long. Fold them in half and push the folded edge through the bottom of the ear flap from back to front. Draw the ends of the strands back through the loop and tighten the loop.  Divide the strands into three groups and braid them till they are about 8 inches long. Tie a knot at the end of the braid and leave two inches as fringe. Don’t cut the ends of the fringe until you’ve put in both ties. That way you can cut them evenly.

For the giant pom pom:

Use all your color strands together to create the pom pom. I love my pom pom maker, but you can also use the giant fork method. Once your pom pom is trimmed and pretty, secure it to the top of the hat using yarn and a darning needle. I like to go through the pom pom a few times to really get it to stay on the hat. Rainbow Pippi Hat | free ear flap hat pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Rainbow Pippi Hat | A free ear flap hat pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Brioche Turban — A Free Pattern

I’ve been all about the brioche stitch lately. Ever since I found a left-handed video tutorial on HandsOccupied.com, I’ve been hooked! It’s really a simple stitch, involving yarn overs and slipped stitches and best of all (no offense to my good friend Annie) it involves absolutely no purling!

In just a week I’ve made two scrumptious, fluffy cowls and I felt ready to experiment with the stitch.

I put together this simple turban headband in just a day’s worth of mindless knitting. It went together quickly and with minimal effort.

I highly recommend checking out this gal’s tutorial, as it makes more sense to see this easy stitch in action than it is to read it.

Brioche Turban | Free Knitting Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Brioche Stitch Turban


1 skein of worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart Boutique Treasure in the Watercolors colorway)

Size US 10 straight needles

Darning needle

safety pins (optional)

Brioche Turban | Free Knitting Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Brioche stitch:

Cast on 10 stitches.

Foundation row: YO before you even start knitting (this is the strange part where it’s easier to understand visually), slip the first stitch purlwise, k1. Repeat YO, sl 1 pw, k1 till the end of the row.

Row 2: *YO, sl 1 pw, knit the 2 criss-cross stitches together. Repeat * to end of row.

Repeat row 2 till work measures about 40 inches, or a few inches less than twice the circumference of your head. It helps to “try on” the turban as you’re knitting it as your yarn’s stretchiness may be different from mine (see assembly instructions below).

Bind off all stitches. Cut yarn leaving an 18-inch tail.


Here’s a rough demonstration of how to assemble the turban using a sash since I’d already constructed mine by the time I wrote this post.

Brioche Turban | Free Knitting Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Start with the middle of the strip at the nape of your neck and wrap the ends toward the top of your head. Twist the ends of the strip around twice and bring them back down toward the nape of your neck. Pin ends together.

Carefully remove the turban and pin together the long edges where they meet from the center loop toward the back of the headband. Using the 18-inch tail of yarn, thread a darning needle and sew together the short ends that you first pinned. Starting at the center back toward the front knot, sew together the long ends from underneath, running the needle through the wrong side stitches.

Brioche Turban | Free Knitting Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

You can be as messy as you like because you won’t be able to see these stitches. Stitch together the long sides until you’re two inches away from the center knot. Tie off the yarn and weave in the end. Take a new 18-inch piece of yarn and sew on the other side of the turban in the same way, from the back seam toward the center knot. Here’s a crummy drawing of where the stitches should go:

Brioche Turban | Free Knitting Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Remove all the pins, place on your head and admire how awesome you are for making a functional piece of clothing.

Brioche Turban | Free Knitting Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Guest Post: Fan and Feather Lovey — Free Pattern

Today I have the honor of hosting a pattern by the ever-so-lovely Annie Ciszak Pazar, owner of Anchorage’s Bella Boutique and author of the crafty blog Annie’s Arts and Follies.

I’ve always admired this lady for her unique jewelry and undying motivation for knitting big ol’ scarves and cowls.

Recently a mutual friend of ours had a baby — today actually! I felt like there was no better day to showcase the stunning blanket Annie made for her new little girl. So I’ll hand it over to Annie:

I have a blanket on my bed which I affectionately call Lovey. Lovey was a gift from my grandmother at my mother’s baby shower for me, 30-some years ago. Lovey is still around. And on my bed. Needless to say I have a very tolerant husband and perhaps some slight attachment issues. So when it comes time to make special soft and cuddly things for my friend’s little ones, I choose the Lovey pattern – also known as Fan and Feather for those in the biz.

Fan and Feather Baby Blanket | Free Pattern

The first blanket I made was for my friend Jeni when she was expecting her second little one, Robert, as she and I have known each other for 97% of our lives – so it was only fitting she have a Lovey too.

Fan and Feather Baby Blanket | Free Pattern

(Left: my Lovey in 2011. Right: Robert’s Lovey)

  • Using a US6 (4mm) needle cast on a multiple of 18 stitches + whatever you want for a border, but at least 1 stitch on either end (I add 10 – 5 on each side).
  • Knit 10 rows
  • Assuming 5 stitches at each end, work the following 4 rows until you reach desired length:
  • Row 1: knit
  • Row 2: purl
  • Row 3: k5, * k2 tog 3 times, (k1, yo) 6 times, k2 tog 3 times * repeat from * to * until last stitch, k5
  • Row 4: knit
  • When you have reached desired length, knit 10 rows to finish border. Weave in ends.

Fan and Feather Baby Blanket | Free Pattern

This latest blanket is for a local fab lady who keeps me in popsicles all summer on her funky custom PopCycle bike complete with cooler sidecar. I worked on this one from Alaska to New York and back again, and find it only appropriate that it already be travelling as the parents to be met while exploring the world in another country.

This is a super easy and rather fast pattern which looks more complicated than it is. In a bout of bravery I entered one in the Alaska State Fair 2 years ago and brought home a green ribbon and honorable mention in the baby blanket category. But what it really comes down to, is my hope that the kiddos for whom I make these little Lovey’s, love them as much as I love mine (or maybe a little less – there’s that attachment thing…).

Want to see more of Annie’s work? Check out her Etsy store!


Simple Striped Baby Blanket — Free Pattern

Knitting a blanket isn’t difficult. It can be a bit monotonous and seemingly endless. I much prefer knitting hats where there’s a definite start and end and it can be completed in an afternoon.

That being said, there is something special about giving someone a hand-knitted blanket. It shows you care enough for the person to spend a lot of time and sometimes money on a thing she will hopefully cherish for years and years.

Simple striped baby blanket --Free Pattern

Here’s a pattern for a lovely baby blanket that measures approximately 29″ x 32″. I recommend it to knitters of all levels. I used a worsted superwash wool so no matter what temperature the gift recipient washes it in, it will not shrink.

Simple striped baby blanket --Free Pattern

I based my pattern on two different designs from Altadena’s Baby Designs and the TLC Channel’s website (who knew they had knitting patterns?) You can make this pattern on whatever needle size you like and make it as long as you like. I randomly selected the color pattern and width of the stripes, but what follows is the exact rows and combinations for this particular blanket. Make the stripes the way you want. This is more of a guide.

Simple striped baby blanket --Free Pattern


Long size 8 circular needle (mine is about 38 inches)

2-3 balls Ella Rae worsted superwash wool in light grey (I used exactly two balls, so you may want three just in case)

1 ball Ella Rae worsted superwash in limestone green

1 ball Ella Rae worsted superwash in moody blue

darning needle


Except when you’re bringing in new color, slip the first stitch of every row.

Cast on 144 stitches. Knit in garter stitch for 16 rows.

Row 1: Knit across

Row 2: K8, P8, *K4, P8*, repeat * until 8 stitches remain. Knit 8.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 while following this stripe pattern:

14 rows grey, 6 rows limestone, 12 rows blue, 6 rows limestone, 26 rows grey, 4 rows limestone, 4 rows blue, 10 rows grey, 8 rows limestone, 30 rows grey, 12 rows blue, 10 rows limestone, 8 rows blue, 4 rows limestone, 20 rows grey, 6 rows limestone, 6 rows grey, 14 rows blue, 6 rows grey, 12 rows limestone, 6 rows blue, 6 rows limestone, 14 rows grey.

Knit 15 rows in garter stitch and bind off using the stretchy method.

Simple striped baby blanket --Free Pattern

Now the fun part! Weave in all ends. This is the downside to stripes. A whole lot of ends. I don’t have any scientific method of weaving in ends, so do what works for you.

Simple striped baby blanket --Free Pattern

You could also block your blanket, but I figured this one won’t be shrinking much so I didn’t bother. If you have a good reason why I should block it, please leave me a comment. 🙂

Simple striped baby blanket --Free Pattern

Hope you find this pattern helpful and good luck knitting a blanket. You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment and relief when you’ve finished.


Here’s baby George all bundled up and cozy with his new blanket:

Simple striped baby blanket --Free Pattern

The Easy Way to Line a Hat

I could knit hats all day, but ask me to line a hat and chances are I’ll never do it. Something about measuring a head, cutting out fabric and sewing it into a hat seems like way too much work.

I was recently deconstructing a cashmere turtleneck for another project and was trying to figure out how to use the turtleneck tube. Headband? Too ugly. Hat lining? Perfect.

The Easy Way to Line a Hat | Alaska Knit Nat

Here’s how to line a hat with minimal effort. Just some scissors, pinning and whip stitches.

What you’ll need:

An old turtleneck

Fabric scissors

A person’s head (not yours)

Straight or safety pins

Needle and thread


Cut the tube of the neck away from the body of the sweater. I cut below the seam so it wouldn’t unravel over time.

Turn the tube inside out and put it on a head with the seam in the back.

Put the hat over the tube and line it up the way you’d like it (if there’s a seam to the hat, it should also be in back). Let the hat overhang the tube by 1/4 inch.

Pin the tube to the hat all the way around. This way it will remain stretched out as you sew it and won’t cause the hat to pucker.

Remove the tube and hat from the head and thank your head for its assistance.

With thread matching the color of the hat, whip stitch the lining to the inside of the hat, trying to sew into the inside knitted stitches so as not to reveal the thread on the outside of the hat. The following photos are from a different hat and turtleneck.













That’s it! Now your hat is warmer and cozier.

Pink Elephant Scarf

A few years back I got hooked on a pattern from Pickles.no called the Simple Luxury Scarf. It was indeed simple and I must have made five or six of them.

The pattern calls for two different high-quality yarns to be knitted at once. Each scarf was setting me back about $28.

Now that I’m not able to splurge on every yarn desire I decided to try the pattern with an inexpensive yarn. It turned out great and totally gift worthy. Patons Divine Yarn contains a little wool and mohair so you still achieve the fluffy, luxurious look and feel. I call it scrumptious. And at $4 after a JoAnn’s coupon, I call it a great deal.

I didn’t refer to Pickles’ pattern this time around and it turns out I made it slightly differently, which is why I’m providing my pattern below; but I want to be clear that it originated from Pickles’ pattern.

This pattern is for any level of knitter. It’s a great way to pass winter weekend where it’s -3 degrees outside.


1, 100-gram ball of Patons Divine Yarn (I used the Chantilly Rose color)

a long size 15 circular needle

darning needle


M1FB = Make 1 stitch in the front and 1 in the back of the same stitch, thus increasing your work by one stitch.

M1 = make 1 stitch

Special note: You’ll be using a circular needle only to easily hold a large number of stitches required for this scarf. You will not be joining the work in the round.


Cast on 4 stitches.

M1FB into the first stitch. Knit to end of row.

Repeat previous row until you have used most of the yarn.

Final row: M1FB, K1, M1 *K3, M1. Repeat * to end of row. It’s ok if you have a few extra stitches at the end. Just knit those. Cast off final row. Using darning needle, weave in ends.