I spin a lot of scrappy, uneven (on purpose, really!), small
amounts of yarn for myself; it’s just the type of spinner
I am - experimental, not wanting to devote tons of time to full-sized
skeins, just wanting something fun to play with.
What to do with
all these little skeins? Hats, of course! Oh hats,
how I love hats.
So, one day I was brainstorming
and came up with this handspun-friendly
idea of knitting a hat top-down, measuring
the gauge once there’s
enough area to do so, and continuing
on to form the hat around that gauge
-- no swatching needed, and the same basic hat can be made in
all kinds of different yarns for very different
All that customization possibility naturally
led to custom sizing options as well;
by simply increasing to different widths,
this base pattern can make a cloche style,
a beret style, or a super slouchy style hat!
And then it
all comes together at the bottom with
a buttoning brim - a 3-inch flap which
fastens to be fitted to the wearer’s head,
with 1, 2, 3, or more buttons, depending
on gauge and personal preference.
quite a simple pattern, nothing more
than knit/purl, increase/decrease really,
but your choice of yarn and buttons can
really make it your own original piece!
& photos: Lee
Meredith [version 2 shown at top, version
4 shown at bottom]
Cloche [Beret, Super-slouchy] (shown in all sizes)
Height: approx. 8[9, 9.5] inches
Circumference at fullest part of hat: approx. 22[24, 26] inches
per inch: approx. 7
used: 100 yards total. (40
of top yarn, 40 of middle yarn, 20 of
sts/14 rows = 4 inches in stockinette
Version 2 (alpaca stripes super
No company (gifted raw fleece) [alpaca;
un-carded fleece]; color: natural; unknown
sweater unknown alpaca blend; recycled
yarn]; color: hand-dyed pink, orange,
yellow, green; unknown weight
per inch: approx. 9
yards total. (70 of each yarn)
with a Twist Baby Twist
from raw fleece, 2-ply
sts/20 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st
Version 3 (super bulky alpaca brim
body] No company (assorted bits of fiber)
[wools and alpaca; mostly pieces of roving];
color: assorted; 3.4 ounces
No company (gifted raw fleece) [alpaca,
some dyed wool locks; un-carded]; color:
natural; 2.4 ounces
per inch: approx. 5
used: 61 yards total. (40 of body
yarn, 21 of brim yarn)
draw, navajo plied; corespun
Version 5 (gray cloche
style -- Commercial
in Color [superwash merino; 250yd/229m per
114g skein]; color: Grey Tabby; 1 skein (only
half of the skein was used)
sts/26 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st
set of 5 double-point needles in size appropriate
for yarn chosen
1 16-inch circular needle
in same size as double-point needles
Tool: Louet S10; [bobbin drive]
stitch markers – be sure one is different from the others
or gauge measuring tool
buttons, as desired
Sewing needle and thread
or yarn, suitable for sewing on buttons
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
This is a formula-style pattern, designed to be used with any
gauge. If desired, you can swatch and measure your gauge before
beginning; this is a good idea if you are unsure of the best
needle size to use with the yarn you've chosen. However, you
can also just begin knitting and measure your gauge when instructed
to do so.
Once you have your gauge measurement,
you will be instructed to do some very
simple calculations to fill in the blanks
within the pattern.
skp: Sl 1, k1, pass
slipped stitch over st just knit.
Using a double-point needle, CO 4 sts.
When working Round 1, work into the
first CO st first, bringing the yarn around behind the other
CO sts (as if working I-cord).
Round 1: [Kfb] 4 times, using a different needle for each [kfb].
8 sts: 2 sts on each needle. Round 2: [K1, kfb] 4 times. 12 sts. Round 3: [K to last st on needle, kfb]
Repeat Round 3 until there are enough
sts to switch to circular needle (approx. 4 inches worth of
sts on each needle).
Next Round: Using circular needle, [k to last st on
end of double-point needle, kfb, place
marker] 4 times, placing unique marker
last to indicate end of round.
Spread work flat (but do not stretch) and measure gauge. Measure
2 inches worth of sts in the center of one of the four sections
separated by markers. Divide gauge over 2 inches by 2 to find
your stitch gauge per inch.
Multiply your gauge per inch by 22[24, 26] (for cloche[beret,
super-slouchy hat]) to find the number of sts you'll need for
the crown, adding or subtracting 1 or 2 sts if necessary to
obtain a multiple of 4 sts.
Crown stitch number:
Increase Round: [K to 1 st before marker, kfb] 4 times.
Repeat this round until you have reached
crown stitch number.
Work in stockinette st until hat measures 2.5 inches from last
Multiply your gauge per inch by 18 to find the number of sts
you'll need for the lower hat body.
Lower hat body
Decrease Round: [Ssk, k to marker] 4 times.
Repeat this round until you have reached
lower hat body stitch number. Note that you may reach this
number before the end of a decrease round (before all 4 decreases
have been worked); if this happens, k to the end of that round.
At end of last round, remove marker, skp. Turn work so that
WS is facing; brim will be worked back and forth in rows.
Before beginning the brim, there are two numbers you'll
• In the first row, you'll bind off
enough sts to make one inch. If your
gauge per inch is not a whole number,
round it to the nearest whole number.
Write this number in the space given
in Row 1 below.
• Multiply your gauge per inch by 3
to find the number of sts you'll cast
on to make the button flap. Write this
number in the space given in Row 2 below.
Row 1 [WS]: Sl 1, BO _____ sts (including slipped st), k to
end of row, removing markers.
Row 2 [RS]: CO _____ sts, k to end.
Row 3 [WS]: P. Rows 4-5: K all sts. Row 6 [RS]: K1, [yo, skp] to end of
button flap; k to end of row. Row 7 [WS]: P. Rows 8-9: K.
BO all sts.
Weave in ends. Try on hat to determine best button placement,
then sew on buttons. Yarnovers worked on button flap serve as
Wet block hat. For cloche, use a balloon or other head-shaped object; for
beret size, use a plate or a piece of cardboard cut into correctly sized
circle; for super slouchy hat, use a plate with a towel wrapped around
it to make it bigger, or a cardboard piece cut to size.
Version 3 [left];
Version 2 [right]
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Lee Meredith is a maker of things, doer of stuff in Portland, Oregon.
At leethal.net you’ll find everything she does, which includes
more knit accessory designs, her leethal quick knits club (2 mini-skeins
of yarn + 2 quicky patterns each month), her ebook (Game Knitting),
knit kits with recycled hand-dyed yarn, and handspun of course!
Besides all this knit-related goodness, Lee also makes other
crafty kits and sets, and writes lots of assorted craft tutorials,
reviews, etc on her blog, do