Monday, 7 December 2015

Scrap Hat Recipe (free pattern for a stashbusting hat)

Dearest knitters, verily I say unto you, 'tis the season for elving. And, because of that I thought I would share my recipe for my scrap hats. This is not really a pattern - it has not been tested by test knitters, or tech-edited or checked for mistakes - it's just a loose set of instructions. The extra bonus is that you don't need to buy any yarn for this, just use your scraps!!

This is a one-size hat for a man or woman. Actual hat size is in the region of 58cm. 

You will need approximately 75g of double knit yarn in colours of your choosing. I find it easiest to group together like colours (e.g. shades of blue, or shades of green) with one or two contrasting colours for interest. If you want to add a knitted lining, you will need more yarn. I usually make my linings in one colour - just choose something that will be comfortable to wear next to the skin. 

As the hat is textured, it is also possible to include heavier and lighter yarns.  I find knitting with 2 strands of 4 ply yarn works well, although one strand can be tolerated in small doses. Chunky or aran weight yarns can be similarly tolerated in small doses.

something like 18 stitches to 10cm worked in st st in the round on 3.75mm needles.

Cast on 100 stitches using a 3.75mm circular needle (or DPNs) and using DK yarn. If I do add on a few stitches for a bigger hat/head then I make sure I use a multiple of 4 - just to make working out the decreases a lot easier!

Knit until work measures 5 cm. This will make the roll up brim of the hat.

On the next round begin your first purl band, and purl for at least 2 rounds. 

Knit a few rounds, and then purl again as your fancy takes you.

Continue to alternate between knit bands and purl bands. I tend to make my purl bands between one round and 3 rounds and my knit bands a bit more than that. I don’t count the rounds between bands, but alternate by eye.

Change colour whenever you feel the urge or your current scrap of yarn comes to an end. Since the whole point of this hat is to use up yarn then there is no need to count stitches, rounds or master the jogless join.  When changing colours you can either employ your usual yarn joining technique and weaving in ends as you go or do what I do and knit the old yarn with the new yarn for a few stitches. This might be seen as slovenly, but in a project like this perfection is not necessary and I like the variegation you get when you knit two yarns together. Do what you have to…

Continue until the work measures approximately 18cm finishing with a purl band of 3 rounds (roughly).

On the next knit round, begin to shape the crown as follows:
*k2tog tbl, k21, k2tog , rep from * until end.
Next alt round: *k2 tog tbl, K19, k2tog rep from * until end.
Next  altround: *k2 tog tbl, k17, k2 tog rep from * until end.

Keeping pattern correct, work crown decreases until…

For a flat topped hat suitable for a bobble
… only 8 stitches remain, then break yarn, run tail through stitches and pull tight, sewing in end firmly to secure the top of the hat. A bobble if desired.

For a hat with a stalk
… work until 4 stitches remain then knit a few cm of i-cord before casting off. I like to tie a knot in my i-cord stalks, so I normally make the stalk about 10cm or so.

For a hat with a tassle,
… work crown decreases until only 2 stitches remain then work 15cm of i-cord, cast off and attach a suitable tassel to the end of your i-cord.

Weave in ends, wash hat gently, shape and dry.

If you want to add a knitted lining, then it's fairly straightforward: pick up stitches inside the brim of the hat. The round where the outer hat changes from stocking stitch to reverse stocking stitch provides a useful place to pick up these inner stitches. Knit the lining using your preferred rib pattern - I use either 2x2 rib or 2x1 rib, just depending on my mood. Knit until the lining reaches the start of the crown shaping on the outer hat, then work crown decreases. I usually work these as follows:

round 1: *knit 2bl, knit 8 , repeat from * to end.
round 2: work in pattern
round 3: *knit 2tbl, knit 7, repeat from * to end. 
round 4: work in pattern..

Keep this going until you have only 3 stitches between decreases, then decrease every round. when there are only 8 or so stitches left, then break yarn, pull through and close up. It should look something like this.... 

Happy knitting folks! I'd love to hear about any scrap hats that you make....