A Hat for Gray Days

It’s generally gray in the Pacific Northwest in the winter. Often the outdoors can inspire your color scheme to match.

This winter has seemed particularly dark due to a heavy flu and cold season in the region. What better to ward off illness than to knit and wear warm hats!

I started this hat without a pattern—I just wanted a black and gray striped hat. At first I thought of doing a jogless horizontal stripe, a pattern I picked up at KnitFit from designer Lisa Ellis. Instead of starting off that way, I decided I wanted a larger ribbed edge and liked the idea of doing it in two colors. But when I’d finished the ribbing, I thought, ‘Why not keep on going?’

I’m sharing the recipe right away, since I usually put it off and don’t do it. I’m trying to be a “finisher” this year, even in my pattern writing.

Following other DK patterns, I started by casting on 80, then 88, but both seemed small even for my small-sized head. I’m guessing the extra bulk comes from holding two yarns together. In the end I landed on 100 for a medium size adult hat. For a bigger or smaller size, I suggest adding or removing eight stitches (pattern can be any multiple of four).

The goal was to create a warmer hat and this design achieves it because the carried yarn creates a textured heat holding layer inside.

Contrasting Colored Ribbed Hat

This pattern should work well for any DK yarn—or for whatever meets the stated gauge. If you use wool, as I did (Patons North America Classic Wool DK Superwash), I recommend superwash and high contrast colors, with the lighter/brighter shade for the knit stitches and the darker/dimmer color for the purls.

Glossary:

  • MC – Main color
  • AC – alternate color
  • PM – place marker
  • SM – slip marker
  • DK – double knit weight yarn
  • K2P2 – Knit 2, purl 2
  • P2K2 – Purl 2 knit 2
  • P2Tog – Purl two together
  • K2Tog – Knit two together
  • CO – cast on

Gauge: 21 stitches and 14 rows over 4 inches

Needles: Size 5 circulars (16”), size 5, 4 and 3 double points for crown; medium (G) crochet hook (optional)

Yarn: 150 yards MC yarn; 100 yards AC yarn in DK weight

Recipe:

CO 100 sts with MC (darker) yarn and PM.

Row 1: With MC only P2K2 the first round being careful not to twist

**NOTE**: Row 1 is different from all the other rows switching purls for knits and knits for purls in order to prevent the purl bumps from the MC/AC color showing on the outside of the hat. But you need to do a rib–even on the all MC row to prevent the hat brim from curling.

Rows 2 through 44 (or until piece measures 6.5 inches): holding MC yarn in back, K2 with AC, place AC yarn in back and P2 with MC. Repeat these K2P2 in alternating colors until you reach the marker and SM.

Row 45: K2, P2, K2 in color. P2Tog. Repeat until you reach the marker and SM

Switch to size 5 double point needles on next round.

Rows 46-47: follow color pattern, Knitting the AC knits and purling the MCs purls.

Row 48: in color pattern, K2, P2Tog twice, K2P1. Repeat until you reach the marker and SM

Rows 49 and 50: K2P1 in color pattern

Row 51: K2tog P2, K2P1 twice in color pattern. Repeat until you reach the end and SM

Row 52 and 53: follow color pattern

Row 54: K1P1, K2Tog, P1, K2tog, P1. Repeat until you reach the end and SM

Rows 55 and 56: K1P1 in color pattern (50 stitches)

Switch to size 4 double point needles on next round.

Row 57: K1, P1, P2tog (with MC). Repeat until to end.

Row 58: K1P2 to end

Row 59: K1P2Tog to end

Switch to size 3 double point needles on next round.

Row 60: K1P1 to end

Cut yarn with approx. 18” of each color remaining.

Run the MC yarn through all of the stitches and pull tight and secure. Feed through the center of the hat crown (to the outside).

Finishing: using a medium crochet create a 10-stitch chain and pull the yarn through to secure. Clip 5 four-inch pieces of each color pulling them through the last stitch in the chain. Wrap an additional main color around these pieces to create a tassel and trim to desired length. Weave in ends.

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