Sunday, November 18, 2007

Free Watch Cap Hat Pattern

I'm also posting this on Ravelry, but since not everyone is on it yet, here's a free hat pattern for the whole internet to enjoy. I try to do some charity knitting every year. From what I observed in my old guild and elsewhere, most charity knitting tends to be colorful and sized for small children. Some of the organizations that the knitting was donated to actually requested plain black hats for their male clients. So since nothing is worse than looking like you're wearing a charity hat, I present a pattern for a good warm charity hat that doesn't look like a charity hat, and can be worn by an adult man without embarrassment.

Charity Watch Cap by Erica Fire
Knit in the round in brioche stitch with 2 strands of superwash yarn held together. Having walked to work in Buffalo the past 3 winters, I can attest to wool being way warmer than acrylic, and given the circumstances many charity knitting recipients are in, machine washable is much more practical than expecting a single mom to hand wash all her kids' hats and mittens, or a man in a boarding house to find a sink to handwash in.

Yarn: knit holding 2 strands together of a good superwash wool. I've used lambspride super wash, Cleckheaton Country 8 ply, or Classic Elite's superwash. Use 3 balls.

Needles: size 8 16" circular needles and size 8 double point needles.

3 3/4 sts per inch in stockinette on size 8 needles, or size needed to obtain gauge. Be sure to check your gauge--I knit loose!

Sizing: small to fit head size 20 to 21 1/2. medium to fit head size 21 1/2 to 22 1/2. large to fit head size 22 1/2 to 24

Pattern Stitch:

Round 1: *p1, yo, sl 1 pwise wyib, rep from *.
Round 2: *yo, sl1 pwise wyib, k2 tog, rep from *
Round 3: *p2 tog, yo, sl1 pwise wyib, rep from *
Round 4: * yo, sl 1 pwise wyib, k2tog, rep from *
repeat rounds 3 & 4 for the rest of the piece.

*note As you get the hang of knitting brioche stitch you'll find that you can make the yarn over and the slip one immediately after it in one movement. You'll also find that knitting or purling these two together can be done in basically one movement. After a few rows, brioche becomes a fairly fast and easy stitch to knit.

Pattern: For s (m, l)
Cast on 52 (54, 56) sts. Join, being careful not to twist. Knit in pattern until hat measures 9-9 1/2 inches long. End after completing a round 4. Remember that you only knit rounds 1 and 2 after the cast on, and knit the rest of the piece alternating rounds 3 and 4.

Once hat is 9 -9 1/2" long (depending on how deep you'd like the turn up) begin decrease rounds after completing round 4.

Dec Round 1: *p2tog, k1, rep from * around.
round 2: *p1, k1 rep from * around
rounds 3-5: continue in p1, k1 rib
round 6: *p3 tog, k1, rep from * End p3 tog, k1 ([p1, k1], [p3 tog, k1])
(switch to dpn's when there are too few stitches to comfortably fit around circular needle.)
rounds 7-8: continue in p1, k1 rib
round 9:
*p3 tog, k1, rep from * End p1, k1 ([p3 tog, k1], [p3 tog, k1])
round 10: continue in p1, k1 rib
round 11:
*p3 tog, k1, rep from * End p1, k1 (all sizes)
round 12: cut yarn to about 12" long, thread through
yarn needle, run through remaining sts on needles twice, draw them together, run yarn to inside, knot off and weave in end. Weave in beginning end and any other ends in hat. Wash, block lightly without flattening stitches, and wear or donate.


Courtney the Knitting Goddess said...

I did a post today on charity hat knitting and linked to your pattern. It's a great-looking hat!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should sign up for one of these charity caps of yers, now that you've learned to actually, like, knit the top instead of crocheting it on. (=

Anonymous said...

Brioche stitch is one I am unfamiliar with but I thank you for designing such a brilliant cap using it. I am delighted to have a small project to experiment with this stitch pattern. And bravo to you for all your charity work.

lyndylew said...

I love this. It will definitely be on my to try list. Thanks for sharing it.

Unknown said...

I'm starting the hat, and I'm wondering if the p3 at the end of round 6 of the decreases is really a p3tog. Also, I'm curious why there are ending sts (after the *) at all, since it is knit in the round. I'm sorry if it's a dumb question, but this is my first hat. Thanks.

knitica said...


You don't have to apologize for being a new knitter. You're completely right! That should be p3 tog, so I've corrected it in the pattern now. The reason some rows end out of pattern is that [p3 tog, k1] has a 4 stitch repeat, but not every decrease row is a multiple 4 stitches, so on the off rows you'll have 2 extra stitches after you've p3tog, k1 around, so you just p1 k1.

You're the first one to find that error!

Anonymous said...

This looks like just what I've been looking for. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is just what I've been looking for. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hello, New knitter here. This may be a really noobie question but size 8 needle is US 8 or 8mm? Thanks for your pattern, can't wait to try it out!

knitica said...

Good question. Sometimes I forget that the internet crosses boarders. That's a US 8, but please knit a swatch and check your gauge--I know I knit looser and have to go to a smaller needle than many patterns recommend.

Deirdre said...

I am a beginning knitter and just need to clarify something. The pattern calls for needles #8 circular and #8 double point needles. I don't see where or when the needles are changed, so am I correct in thinking I need either the circular OR the double points? I am chomping at the bit to do this pattern with circular needles (a first time venture), so would really like to know what I need to buy. Thanks, this is a really good watch cap pattern.

knitica said...

Good question. I recommend starting on a 16" circular needle. At some point after you've begun to decrease you'll have too few stitches to fit on the circular needle and will need to switch to the double points to finish. When you do this is at your discretion, but you will need both the circular and the double points.

I'm sure you could do the whole hat on 1 or 2 circular needles using the "magic loop" method. That is not something I do myself so you would have to look up the method to figure out what you would need.

John and Doug who invite your comments said...

This may be a silly question, but does the yo go over the right needle, or underneath as if to knit the next stitch? Thanks, Doug

knitica said...

John and Doug etc...

I appologize, but I don't think I understand your question. If you knit from right to left (as over 90% of knitters do) then the yarn over is going over your left needle. You'll find you can do it at the same time as the slip 1 pwise so the two stitches become a unit that you either knit or purl together on the next row.

As I said, I'm not sure I understand the question, so feel free to reword and ask again until I get it. You may also want to search for youtube videos that show brioche stitch. It sounds complicated in words, but is really quite simple once you know how it's done.

I hope this helps.

Onward said...

I just LOVE this hat pattern! It's such a nice, thick pattern and the crown pattern is so much nicer than a lot of hat patterns. Thank you so much!

Clyde said...

John and Doug-

The yarn over goes from back to front UNDER the right needle.

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Dianne said...

Hello! I'm eager to start this hat! Question though - do you cast on with one strand for 54 stitches then switch to 2 strands for the rest of the hat? Or cast on with the double strand 27 times which will equal 54 total stitches?

knitica said...

Diane--cast on 54 sts with the double stand and don't split them when you stitch into them on your first row. For the whole hat you'll be holding two strands but knitting with them as if they are one.