Two months ago I shared some of the projects sitting in my knitting basket. Since then there’s been a bit of progress made on almost everything in that post. The socks have doubled in length. I’ve repaired a few of the moth-eaten hats (going to share some of that soon!). I gave you a detailed update about the sweater and am working on a second post in that series. Today, I’m sharing the pattern for Alex’s little hat, which doesn’t look anything like it did in the previous post. All in all not bad work considering those long winter knitting and TV evenings are just getting started!
I tried Alex’s hat on his big head before the last post, and thought it was a bit snug, but didn’t want to admit it to myself. Trying it on him again last week, which involved wrestling that little 18 month old to the ground for a tickle-fest, confirmed my worries that he would quickly outgrow it. Over the weekend I finally ripped out the original hat and started again. A small sacrifice for that little cutie.
In the process I scrapped the tire track pattern for something that was more detailed, would cover the whole hat, and that included at least one traditional motif. This hat is knit from the bottom up, and I developed the patterns as I went, completing one row of color before thinking about what to do next. A quick Google image search for “fair isle knitting” turned up this sample (shown below) and I decided to use the bottom snowflake for the lowest band on Alex’s hat. I knew I wanted to incorporate a heart somewhere (because how many more years do I have to knit hearts into his clothes), so why not a whole band of hearts? Then I finished the top with a red circle to keep the color repeats going.
I’m sharing the pattern here for the exact hat that I knit. I haven’t put any work into up- or downsizing this pattern, but I do think that it would be a fun experiment to knit it with bright chunky yarn and big needles to create an adult-sized hat (just a different version of the simple fair isle hat I knit for our sister Kristin a few Christmases ago).
Yarn : Malabrigo worsted in two colors, I will refer to the color that you use for the patterns as the contrast color
Needles : US 7, 4.5 mm
Pattern Chart : Charts are below, but you can also download a PDF of the charts by clicking here.
- Using your contrast color cast on 96 stitches. Use your preferred stretchy cast-on method (I like the long-tail method).
- Row 1: Begin a K2 P2 rib using the contrast color.
- Rows 2-9: Switch to your primary color and continue the K2 P2 ribbing for 8 more rounds.
- Rows 10-15 : Using the primary color, knit in stockinette for 5 rounds (knit all stitches).
- Rows 16-29 : Snowflake pattern. Repeat Chart 1 six times around each row (you should read the chart from right to left and bottom to top, with the dark squares representing stitches knit with the contrast yarn).
- Rows 30-35 : Using the primary color, knit in stockinette for 5 rounds.
- Rows 36-43 : Heart pattern. Repeat Chart 2 six times around each row.
- Rows 44-51 : Using the primary color, knit in stockinette.
- Row 52 : Decrease row. *K2 K2tog*, repeat ** for the entire row. 72 stitches remaining.
- Row 53 : Knit all stitches.
- Row 54 : Switch to the contrast color. Knit all stitches.
- Row 55 : Decrease row. *K1 K2tog*, repeat ** for the entire row. 48 stitches remaining.
- Row 56 : Knit all stitches.
- Rows 57 & 58 : Decrease rows. *K2tog*, repeat ** for both rows. 12 stitches remain.
- Finish off the hat by cutting your working yarn, weaving it through the active loops, tightening and weaving in all ends.
All in all it’s a super simple hat that will keep any Colorado kid’s head warm with its double layering of yarn from the fair isle knitting. I love it, but I think if I were to knit another one, I might add more little color flourishes between the rows of pattern. Who knows. I do know that I still have yarn left on both of these balls – possibly enough to knit a baby hat for Little A’s little bro!