X Marks the Hat (Child's Hat and Scarf)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This hat was deliberately designed to fold easily. By doing some slightly complicated finishing for the top, an X shape is created. When it's on the head, the points of the X are not noticeable (because of preemptive decreasing), but when taken off the hat naturally folds nice and flat. Hat is knit in the round. You can slightly see the X shaping on my lovely model, Gerome Giraffe. Even though it is knit in a basic rib pattern, there is not much lateral stretch because of the bulky weight yarn.

This will fit an average sized child's head (18in/45cm), 4-12years.

X Marks the Hat: Child's Hat
Materials: 2 skeins (one full; one partial) Lion Brand PolarSpun 1.75 oz./50 g (137 yd/125 m) 100% Polyester. [I now see this is discontinued. Another fluffy bulky weight - CYCA 5 - should substitute, as long as you knit to gauge]
Size 10 US (6.0mm) 16" circular needles
Size 10 US (6.0mm) circular needles (length not important)
Stitch holder
Darning needle

Gauge: 14 sts/20 rows makes a 4in (10cm) square in K1; P1 rib

Cast on 64 stitches
Join, being careful not to twist, and place marker at beginning of row
Work in basic ribbing stitch [(K1; P1) repeated] for 7in (17.5cm)
Begin decrease rounds:
Round 1: [K2Tog; (K1; P1) 6 times; SSK] 4 times (56 sts rem)
Round 2, 4, 6, 8: Work in pattern (K the K's, P the P's)
Round 3: [K2Tog; (P1; K1) 5 times; SSK] 4 times (48 sts rem)
Round 5: [K2Tog; (K1; P1) 4 times; SSK] 4 times (40 sts rem)
Round 7: [K2Tog; (P1; K1) 3 times; SSK] 3 times (32 sts rem)
At this point you have a slight tapering at four points on the hat. Now for the tricky part: forming the cross seams at the top.

Option 1 (what I did): 3 Needle Bindoff
Fold the hat so that the beginning and end of the round are touching. Work 3 needle bindoff (using second set of needles) for 4 stitches.
Slip last stitch onto holder. (One arm of the X finished)
Slip next 4 stitches onto second set of needles.
Work 3 needle bindoff with these stitches plus the next 4 stitches
Slip last stitch onto holder. (Second arm finished)
Continue process with next two sets of 4+4 stitches.
You're left with 4 stitches on the holder.
Cut a long tail and thread through live stitches; slip from holder and pull tail tight.
This will create a slightly overlaid X on top of the hat.

Option 2: Bind Off and Seam
Starting from last row of decreases, bind off all stitches.
Turn hat inside out
Pinch hat at Stitches 8, 16, 24, 32 (or, rather, evenly distributed four times around the hat).
Seam hat along four arms of the X.
This will create a concave seam (rather than overlaid), for a different look. I'll do pretty much anything rather than seam, though (thus, hats in the round!)

Option 3: Grafting/Kitchener stitch
Proceed as with 3 needle bindoff, except work Kitchener stitch.
This version will have a less noticeable X at the top; and I find it difficult to do grafting with such a fuzzy yarn.

For all options: Secure ends to inside.

Child's Scarf
1 partial skein Lion Brand PolarSpun (see above)
US 10 (6.0mm) needles (type not important)
Darning needle

Cast on 14 stitches
Basic rib pattern for all rows: (K1; P1) 7 times in each row
Work for 36" (90cm)
Bind off in pattern
Weave in ends.

If you'd like a longer scarf, there should be give in your yardage of yarn. I estimate I could have added at least another foot onto the scarf and not been in danger of running out.

Tip: I read somewhere that the perfect length for a scarf that is meant to wrap around the recipient's neck, aim for the recipient's approximate height. I tend to make childrens' scarves slightly shorter than that - for fear they'd trip - but generally stick to a children's scarf length of 36-48in (90-120cm) and adults' of 60-72in (150-180cm). This will vary depending on the width; wide scarves tend to be shorter and skinny ones longer.


  • Amy Jane

    Your suggested lengths for scarves was exactly what I was looking for - thanks!

  • Thank you so much for giving me the approximate length for a child's scarf. My daughter suggested 60 inches for her 4 year old. My own scarf is 65 inches! so I knew she couldn't be right. I'll go with 36". Thanks again.

  • Echo the other comments - the suggested length for a children's scarf was just the information I was searching for.

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