While there are many ways to knit in the round, many knitters prefer the traditional favorite, double pointed needles. Double pointed needles are used in sets of 4 or 5, with live stitches on either 3 or 4 needles and a 4th or 5th needle working the stitches. Hats work up quickly with very minimal finishing on double pointed needles, making this a good choice as a gift project or for yourself. While you should be sure that your needles produce a nice fabric with your chosen yarn, a knitted hat can be made with any weight of yarn.
Things You'll Need
- Double pointed knitting needles
Knit a gauge swatch, Cast on 30 to 40 stitches and knit until you have an approximate square. Measure how many stitches are in 4 inches of your knitting, both in stitches and rows. Write down these numbers.
Measure the intended recipient's head, both around and to assess the necessary depth of the hat. If she has a 20 inch head, and your gauge is 5 stitches to the inch or 20 stitches to 4 inches, you will need approximately 100 stitches. Work with an even, easily divisible number. Multiples of 8 or 10 are ideal. Once you know how many stitches you need, cast these stitches on, dividing them evenly between your double pointed needles.
Join your knitting to work in the round. The cast on was finished on needle 3 or needle 4 and you will begin knitting with your working yarn on needle one. Knit 1 inch to 2 inches of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing, depending upon your preferences and the desired size of the hat. While your square or triangle of knitting will be a bit floppy initially, after a few rows you will find handling double pointed needles much less awkward.
Begin knitting all stitches once you have completed the ribbed band on your knit hat. Knit even to your desired depth. For an adult hat, the total length including the ribbing should be between 6.5 inches and 8 inches when you begin decreasing.
Begin decreasing to form the crown of the knit hat. Work decreases every other row, using your base cast on as the basis for your decrease intervals. If you have cast on a multiple of 10, your first decrease row will be knit 8, knit 2 together to end of row. Knit the next row even, without decreases. Knit 7, knit 2 together on the following decrease row. Remember to knit without decreases on every other row. Rearrange stitches on your double point needles as needed. Continue in this pattern as set until you have only 2 stitches between each former repeat. Knit 2 together across the row, bring the working yarn through the stitches and pull tight.
Tips & Warnings
- Add a pompom if desired to add a bit of character to the hat.
- Other stitch patterns, including cables and simple colorwork can easily be incorporated into a basic knit hat.
- Use stitch protectors to hold your live stitches in place when you are not knitting.
- Make sure that you use needles appropriate to your yarn. Size 7 double point needles will work well for worsted weight yarn.
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