edit: update post here with different versions and link to free pattern pdf download, which is also on ravelry.
2015 update: This is post/pattern is REALLY old and not a good representation of my pattern-writing style, but I’m leaving it up so it can still be used… I plan to make an updated pdf in a more current style/format, eventually, but that might not happen for awhile. For now, the pattern is offered for free down there, but don’t judge ;)
ok i have a bit of free time, woo!, so i’m gonna write this pattern while watching mary tyler moore on dvd, yeah! first i will give you some background to show how i came to the design, which will hopefully encourage some people out there to try mixing different ideas from different patterns to come up with your own designs!
these are 3 patterns i knit which taught me some new techniques (photos taken from head huggers, knitty, and interweave knits)
and my versions:
the first one, spiral knit cap by patti mcguire on head huggers, i knit a couple years ago, my first hat not knit in the round. it taught me the spiral concept which i’ve used in several hats since then. the basic idea is increasing on one edge and decreasing on the other. i made the pattern without the bottom cuff or pompom, super simple. so for the orange hat, i did the spiral, but with an extra added increase and decrease to make the wave.
the second is tychus by brooke t. higgins on knitty, which i knit about a year and a half ago; it taught me short rows, which is a very useful technique to know. basically, you just don’t knit to the end of the row – you stop before the end and turn. in the tychus pattern that’s all there is to it, but usually you need to wrap the next stitch so it’s all smooth with no holes. i’ll explain that in a minute. this is a really good pattern to first learn short rows, if the concept is new to you.
and the third is short-row hat by veronik avery on interweave knits (2015 update: the link works now), which i just made a few months ago. this is a pretty intense hat to knit, took me awhile, i wouldn’t recommend it to a brand new knitter, but i absolutely love the finished product! i copied the garter stitch brim and i-cord topper for my orange hat. this pattern also taught me the invisible/provisional cast on, which would be very useful for the orange hat, although i’m usually too lazy to do it when i start my hats, so i end up picking up stitches at the end for a 3-needle bind-off instead.
so for this pattern, you’ll need to wrap and turn for the short rows, which looks like “w+t” in the pattern. this means you bring your yarn to the front of your work between your needles, slip the next stitch over to your right needle, bring the yarn back around the stitch to the back of your work, slip the stitch back to the left needle, and turn the work to begin knitting in the other direction. it sounds super complicated, but you get the hang of it real quick so it’s no big deal. you can see some photos here if you need to see it being done.
you can choose how to begin and end the hat – i cast-on normally and then when it came time to join the edges i picked up stitches on the cast-on edge and closed it up using the 3-needle bind-off method. it would make a lot of sense to cast-on using the invisible/provisional cast-on, then you don’t have to pick up the stitches at the end. if you would rather not do any of these, you could be cast-on and -off normally, then sew up the seam however you choose.
i used the make 1 increase, but you can use the knit into back method instead if you prefer.
i’m writing the pattern with a stitch marker helping you keep track of the short rows, but you can choose not to use it.
finished hat measures about 10 inches across bottom when laid flat, unstretched. it fits my 22inch head perfectly.
the yarn i used is di.ve teseo, a little less than one ball (98 yds)
us size 10 1/2 straight needles
gauge is about 4 stitches/6 rows per inch
cast-on 35 stitches either normally or with the provisional cast-on (see explanation of different options above)
start with the wrong side so that the tail is on the top, so purl (p) until last 6 stitches (sts), knit (k) 6.
now you start the pattern, which is made up of wedges formed by short rows.
k 6 sts, knit 2 together (k2tog), k 4 sts, increase (inc) 1, k 3 sts, inc 1, k to last 5 before end, k2tog, w+t.
p 5 sts, place marker, p to last 6 sts, k 6 sts.
k 6 sts, k2tog, k 4 sts, inc 1, k 3 sts, inc 1, k to marker, remove marker, k2tog, w+t.
repeat the last 2 rows three times, so you have 3 sts after inc before marker.
p to last 6 sts, k 6 sts (don’t place marker anywhere).
k 6 sts, k2tog, k 4 sts, inc 1, k 3 sts, inc 1, k to last 2 before end, k2tog.
slip 1 st, p to last 6 sts, k 6 sts.
repeat the wedge 8 times, or until hat measures the circumference of your head when stretched.
if you used the provisional cast-on, now you can slip those stitches onto your other needle and 3-needle bind-off up to the top.
if you cast-on normally and want to pick up stitches for a 3-needle bind-off, you need to skip that last purl row of the last wedge, and instead bring the cast-on edge around and pick up 35 stitches down to the bottom. (before picking up, you should slip your working stitches onto the other needle, so the needle is facing the opposite direction.) now grab a 3rd needle and bind-off up to the top.
if you want to sew up your hat instead, on that last purl row of the last wedge you can bind-off, then use the tail to sew it up. leave the tail super long so that you can use it to pick up stitches and finish the top.
ok at this point, you’ll have a hole in the top about the size of a quarter, like this:
you can choose to cover it with a pompom or something, whatever you want, but i’ll tell you how i did it.
use double pointed needles (dpn’s) a little smaller (i used size 10s) to pick up sts around the hole (i picked up 12 sts, but you don’t need to be precise here). k around once, then k2tog, k1, around twice, then k2tog until you have 3 left total. put all 3 on one dpn and knit an i-cord as long as you want it. break yarn and use a tapestry needle to pull the tail through the center. weave in ends and you’re done! yeah!
i would love to hear any feedback, so i can make changes if things are hard to understand. and i would really love to see people’s finished hats!!
2015 update: I left the above post as it was, when I wrote it waaaay back when I first started dabbling in knit design, but if I were rewriting the pattern now, I’d definitely tell you to use a provisional cast-on (here’s a tutorial) – I’d never recommend that picking up stitches for a 3-needle bind-off idea (what was I thinking?!) – and I’d be more clear about the short rows (here are a couple of methods you could use for wrapping), and there are other issues… but it’s mostly an okay, usable pattern, so I’m leaving it there. Just don’t judge my current pattern-writing quality on this one!