Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I made nine wonderful hats and two excellent golf club head covers (if I do say so myself). Many hats were from a great book called Hip Knit Hats, and I learned some really neat techniques from this book. Here's the hat I made for my sister in law, a felted cloche modeled by Owen:
Noticeably absent, however, was any version of that classic winter cap with earflaps. I decided what the heck, I'll have some fun and make up my own pattern! Of course, I had to make three or four before I figured out how to do it in a size that might fit most humans. Interestingly, Owen adopted the first of these for himself, and even though it's huge on him, it looks very cute. (That's him, wearing the giant red–and–orange cap up in the banner.)
This version is the one I knitted for Firefly Mom, because it looks just like Jayne's hat from this amazing, incredible western-set-in-space, Firefly.
So I decided I would share the pattern here. Naturally, I neglected to get gauge in any one of these hats I did from this pattern; if you know that the person you're knitting for has a small-ish head, you may want to stop increasing at 74 stitches, or even 66. Or, try dropping down a needle size – one thing I learned while knitting all these hats is that eventually, you get a feel for whether it's gonna be too big or too small. I hope that my advice here in this post will help you make a hat that won't be sized for Bigfoot.
Karen's Knitted Winter Cap Pattern
Knitted on size 8 double pointed needles and a size 8 16 inch circular needle; ribbing knitted on a size 7 16 inch circular needle
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool, worsted weight, one skein each forest green and light gray (This is the pattern for my brother-in-law's Lucky Fishing Hat, knitted just like Owen's but in a different colorway. Here's why it's called a Lucky Fishing Hat:)
Cast on 12 stitches, and divide among three size 8 double pointed needles; join into a round and place marker to show beginning of round on first needle (when you're finished with the hat, make sure to weave the ends in really tightly up here at the top)
Round one: knit one, make one (by knitting into both the back and front of stitch) twice on each needle; six stitches on the needle, 18 total
Round two, and every even-numbered round: knit
Round three: knit two, make one on each of the three needles – eight stitches per needle, 24 total
Round five: knit three, make one on each of the three needles – 10 stitches per needle, 30 total
Round seven: knit four, make one on each of the three needles – 12 stitches per needle, 36 total
Continue increasing on the odd rows, and knitting on the even rows until there are 12 stitches before each make one – 80 stitches total
Somewhere in these increasing/knitting rounds, which took me about 3-1/2 inches from the crown, you may want to change colors. I started with the green, and went to gray about 3 inches in.
Once you are finished with the increasing/knitting rounds, continue to knit in stockinette stitch until you're at about 7 inches from the beginning (the crown). I changed back to green at about 6 inches from the crown.
To start the ribbing: when your hat is about 7 inches from the crown, switch to the size 7 circular 16 inch needle. Knit two rounds, decreasing two stitches in each round for a total of 76 stitches, before switching to knit two, purl two.
Knit two, purl 2 for 3 inches.
Now, we'll set up for the earflaps.
From the marker: bind off 13 stitches, work 18 stitches in pattern in place on a stitch holder (first ear flap), bind off 22 stitches, work 18 stitches in pattern and place on a stitch holder (second ear flap), bind off 13.
Place 18 stitches from one ear flap onto the size 7 circular needle, work back and forth in pattern for 2 inches, finishing with the inside part (wrong side) of the ear flap facing you.
Turn the hat so that the outside (right side) part of the year flap is facing you.
Knit one, knit two together; work in pattern to the last three stitches, slip slip knit, knit one.
Turn the hat so that the inside (wrong side) part of the ear flap is facing you.
Purl 1, purl two together; work in pattern to the last three stitches, slip slip purl, purl 1.
Continue in this fashion, knitting the decreases on the right side and purling the decreases on the wrong side, until there are four stitches left.
At this point you have two choices: knit these four stitches in I--cord for at least 12 inches, or make a braid that's at least 12 inches long by weaving a few more skeins of yarn into those four stitches and making the braid.
Make the other ear flap the same way.
Weave in the ends, make a pom-pom for the top, and you're done!
If you find that the hat is ridiculously big, you can do what I did with the Lucky Fishing Hat: I gathered the top by taking some of the green yarn, turning the hat inside out, and using a darning needle to pick up a stitch every inch or so around from about 2 inches down from the top of the crown. When I got back to where I started, I pulled the yarn kind of tight and tied a knot (all done inside the hat, so it can't be seen from the outside). I also braided three tassels and attached them to the top, which made the whole thing look totally planned and adorable.
If you try this hat, I'd love it if you give me some feedback on it - how many mistakes did I make, was it too big/too small? In fact, anyone who's diligent about gauge, if you make the hat would you let me know the important details about your hat's sizing? Like, what the gauge is, how big the hat is around, how many stitches you ended up with after you finished the increases, what size needles you used... you'll get credit in a future post, complete with a pic of your hat.