Ribbed with a Twist Child's Hat

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
This very cute child's hat has a lot of things going for it:
1: It uses only one skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease (yarn is held doubled for extra thickness!).
2: It knits up pretty fast, since it's done on US 10 (6mm) needles, and for the most part in a simple K2 P2 rib.
3: For interest there are some twist stitches done a few inches up - these break up the monotony of the ribbing and make a cute pattern when stretched.
4: The ribbing means it will fit a variety of head sizes - and so will be of use for a good long time.
5: The curly toppers add a bit of whimsy - we don't want our kids to be too serious too fast!

Gauge (unstretched): 14sts and 17 rows per 3in (7.5cm) square in K2; P2 rib in the round on US 10 (6mm) needles
Finished dimensions (unstretched): 7.5in tall by 13 in diameter (19cm by 32.5cm), not counting topper.

1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool) Pines Print Colorway [3oz/85g to 197yd/180m]
US 10 (6.0mm) needles - either two circulars or a set of double-points, however you like to do knitting in the round
1 stitch marker (may want additional 5 for crown)
darning needle.

Special Stitches: NOTE: Terminology about the RT and the LT is mixed. This is what my knitting guru - Barbara Walker - calls this stitch!
RT = Right Twist: Knit second stitch on left needle, without slipping first stitch. Purl 1st stitch. Remove both stitches from left needle.
LT = Left Twist: Purl 2nd stitch on left needle through the back loop, without slipping first stitch. Knit 1st stitch normally. Remove both stitches from left needle.

Holding two strands together, cast on 72 sts.
Place marker and join for knitting in the round (do I need to remind you not to twist your cast on?)
Work as follows for 2.5in (6cm): (P1; K2; P1) repeat to end of round (18 times)
Twist row 1: (RT; LT) repeat to end of round (18 times)
Work as follows for 1in (2.5cm): (K1; P2; K1) repeat to end of round (18 times)
Twist row 2: (LT; RT) repeat to end of round (18 times)
Work as follows for 2.5in (6cm): (P1; K2; P1) repeat to end of round (18 times)

Crown Shaping:
Row 1: (K2tog; P1; K2; P2; K2; P1; SSK) six times (60 sts remain)
Row 2 and all even crown rows: Work stitches as they appear. I know this is confusing, but you want to stick to the K2; P2 rib as much as possible - around the decreasing gores you'll have to pay attention to the pattern as it exists on that row and work accordingly.
Row 3: (K2tog; K2; P2; K2; SSK) six times (48 sts remain)
Row 5: (K2tog; K1; P2; K1; SSK) six times (36 sts remain)
Row 7: (K2tog; P2; SSK) six times (24 sts remain)
Row 9: (K2tog; SSK) six times (12 sts remain)
Row 11: K2tog six times.
Cut yarn, leaving long tail, and cinch through remaining live stitches.
Pull through and weave in ends.

You may wish to use 5 stitch markers (different from the round starter) to denote where your decreases are placed. This type of decreasing will create a dominant rib that travels from the body of the hat all the way to the top, with the other ribs curving in to it. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

Optional toppers:
These curly bits are taken from Nicky Epstein's book on embellishments. You will make three, one of each length.

Curl 1:
Holding ONLY 1 STRAND, Cast on 12 sts using the long tail method.
Row 1: Knit into the front and back of each stitch. (24 sts rem)
Bind off all stitches.
Cut long tail.

Curl 2: As curl 1, but cast on 16 stitches.
Curl 3: As curl 1, but cast on 20 stitches.

Note: feel free to make the curls longer or shorter, make more or fewer, as your heart desires.

Using darning needle, securely sew each curl to top of hat, weaving in ends to inside of crown.

Theoretical adult sized version:
Cast on 84 sts.
Work an additional 1/2-1 in (1.75-2.5cm) in sections of body below and above the twist section.
Work crown shaping for 7 repeats, instead of 6; end with 7 live stitches.
The curls look a bit goofy on an adult!


  • liz

    Thank you so much for posting this! I started knitting this hat this morning and ended up deciding to go for a straight 2X2 rib instead, but still used your decrease. It knitted up great! And the decrease is beautiful. Thanks again!

    Permission to post my adaptation on my blog with a link to yours and giving you credit?

  • KT

    Permission granted! I do love this hat - so easy but so cute. :) KT

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    All content in this blog, including patterns and photos, is the intellectual property of Katherine Vaughan. All rights under US Copyright Law are reserved. Teachers, please direct your students to download/print out their own copies of patterns used in class. You are, of course, welcome to use items knit from any pattern for charity or sale, with the statement "design by Katherine Vaughan" appreciated.