Pattern: Fine Gauge Knitted Beanie Style Hat/Cap

Disclaimer: This patterns was created based on rough math, available yarn, and vague memory of what my gauge usually is with this type of yarn. After the satisfactory completion of the project, I've compiled my memory of the process and evidence gathered from the finished object. There are two sets of directions: a narrative description of the process written in plain English, and pithy knitting shorthand. I make no guarantees, feel free to notify me of any errors or improvements to the pattern, but I think it should work. Enjoy!

I was finished with most of my other knitting project and needed something new that would keep me interested and would last more than a couple of days. I had a 100 gram ball of Lion Brand Magic Stripe Yarn (I believe it only comes in 100g balls), and I defiantly wasn't in the mood to make socks, and this yarn has been lying around for a while, so my mom suggested making a hat. So I started to make a hat, and I'm usually fairly wary of hats, cause I have a problem getting the crown decreases to come out right. Despite this, I am moving to Wisconsin in a few months, and I need all the woolen garments I can make, so I started making a hat.

I usually get somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 stitches to an inch with this kind of yarn, on US 1 or 0 size needles. Generally I use US 1s for 4 ply yarn, and US 0s for 4 ply yarn. Magic stripe is 6 ply, so I used 1s (Susan Bates, coated, in this case). After measuring my head, I cast on 150 stitches, (or more accurately had my mom cast on 150 stitches). She used the long tail method; any kind of elastic cast on method will work, though. I began knitting in 2x2 ribbing, (that is knit 2, purl 2), for 3.5 inches. I should note, that by the third round I had 148 stitches at e this point. I tend to decrease as appropriate rather than increase to correct errors in establishing a ribbing pattern, it's unnoticeable without a magnifying glass, and in this case, it makes the cast on a bit more forgiving.

After 3.5 inches, switch to stocking stitch, it might be prudent to decrease 7-10% of the total stitches, as this point, (10-15 stitches, evenly spaced). I must admit that I forgot to do this on the original model, and I haven't gotten to that point on the second hat yet. Again, knit for 3.5 inches, plain stocking stitch, or perhaps a hair more. I knit about 3.75 inches.

It's now time to begin the crown decreases. Rather than randomly choosing thright number of spokes and decrease types, I modified the pattern for a sock toe that I'd seen my mother do. It's from the mismatched striped socks in Nancy Bush's "Knitting for Travelers," or "Road Knitting" (there's one book, the question is with my memory), and believe it or not, it worked: unbelievably well.

For the first decrease round knit seven (K7), knit two together (k2tog), and repeat for the entire round; then knit seven rounds plain. Then knit the second decrease round, which is knit six (K6), knit two together (k2tog) and repeat for the rest of the ro0und, then knit six rounds plain. Continue in this pattern, there are eight rounds in total. After the knit one, knit two together (repeat for the round), and the single plain round that follows, knit one round of knit two togethers, and end with a single plain round. The 16 inch circular needle will probably become too large after the knit four knit two together round, so switch to double points, or some alternate method of knitting very small rounds, but you probably knew that.

By this point you've probably noticed two things. First of all, those decrease rounds don't fit evenly into the round. This is ok and is not ultimately detrimental to the final hat. It's possible that this only happened because I had 148 stitches, and not a more even 150. But I'm sure some will want to alter the number of stitches because not everyone has a head that's SamSized. You could alternate the decreases so that they come out perfectly, or make sure the number of stitches you chose is perfectly divisible. But I'd recommend that you not worry about it, I admit that I move the last decrease over a stitch or two to make it more even, but not worrying about it is just as effective. Knitter's choice.

Also, you've noticed that you've come to the end of the pattern and you have 7-10 stitches, on your needles. I grafted (Kitchener stitch) this opening closed. I think it looks great. If you're afraid of grafting, don't worry I am too. You could also break the yarn and draw through the remaining stitches (especially if you want to add a pom-pom.) After this, weave in the two ends, smile pat yourself on the back, and start on a second one.

Pithy Directions for this Fine Gauge Knitted Beanie Style Hat/Cap

Gauge: 7 st/in on US 1's Needles: 16" Circular US 1s, and 1 set of US 1 double points. Yarn: 1 skein of Lion Brand Magic Stripe Yarn. 100 grams. There will be leftovers. The finished product weights about 60 grams. Other Materials: 1 Tapestry needle, and a marker (or suitable length of yarn)

Directions: CO 150 st on 16" cn. Join (being careful to not twist, of course). Establish K2 P2 rib.

When piece measures 3.5 in. switch to st st. *K8 K2tog repeat from * 15 times for one round. (optional.)

Knit plain for 3.75 inches.

Crown Decreases: *K7 K2tog repeat from * till end, fudging the last few stitches as desired. K 7 rounds plain.

*K6 K2tog repeat from * till end, fudging the last few stitches as desired. K 6 rounds plain.

*K5 K2tog repeat from * till end, fudging the last few stitches as desired. K 5 rounds plain.

*K4 K2tog repeat from * till end, fudging the last few stitches as desired. K 4 rounds plain.

*K3 K2tog repeat from * till end, fudging the last few stitches as desired. K 3 rounds plain.

*K2 K2tog repeat from * till end, fudging the last few stitches as desired. K 2 rounds plain.

*K1 K2tog repeat from * till end. K 1 rounds plain.

*K2tog repeat from * till end. K 1 rounds plain.

Using Kitchener stitch, graft remaining stitches together. Weave in ends. Apply Hat to head, folding the ribbing up over the ears. Prepare to be complimented for your new hat, and cast on 150 for another one.

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