Vortex : Hat Pattern

I’m sure this winter’s arctic vortex won’t leave our memories anytime soon, but we felt that it was worth commemorating with a new winter hat pattern. Let me introduce Vortex!


I know not all of our readers are knitters, but if you’re ever given the opportunity or have the motivation to learn, I highly encourage it! There has been a true resurgence in knitting over the past decade, and this has led to awesome local knitting shops, knitting-focused blogs, and amazing pattern independent designers. If you’re new and wondering where to start, a quick google search will return a variety of handy tutorials and knitting guides. Ravelry is the place to start if you to explore knitting patterns and so much more (my username is winterfoliage, let’s be friends!).

I admit that there’s a slight learning curve, but once you grasp the basics, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how much you can do with just a few stitches. Plus, you can knit while watching TV! You know what this means, right? You’ll now have something to justify those marathon House of Cards sessions and the past two weeks spent doing nothing but watching the Olympics.


Now back to this pattern. Credit for this hat goes to Calder. He requested something soft (note the high alpaca content in this fiber) and thick, but not too bulky (holding the yarn double gives us a bulky feel, but using the size 10 needles creates a looser stitch). He also likes a hat that isn’t fitted like a beanie, and you’ll see that this one has some extra height per his request. Finally, since Calder’s favorite hats are often ones that I made for myself, he suggested that I just make a hat for myself, rather than trying to meet his precise specifications. So that’s what I did, and as luck would have it, he loves it! Of course, we both laugh that this hat does look a bit feminine, but he overlooks that because it’s soft and fits so perfectly.


We’ve written out the full pattern below, but if you would prefer a printable or offline copy, click here for the pattern PDF. For Ravelry users, the pattern is also available here to download or bookmark.

Finished Size: Fits an average adult head size (approximately 22 in.)

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Eco Duo held doubled

Needles: Size US 10 needles ~ Either one long circular for magic loop or a short circular and a set of double pointed needles for traditional circular knitting

 Cast On

Using the long tail method, cast on 72 stitches and begin working in the round. Of course, you can use your favorite cast on, but the long tail cast on provides a bit of stretch that is perfect for a ribbed hat edge.  Knitty’s article provides clear instructions and images for the long tail technique.

Knit Hat Band

Rows 1-10: Knit ribbing. Knit 2 tbl, purl 2 for 10 rounds. Knitting the knit stitches through the back of the loop twists them, and helps the ribbed border keep its stretch through constant wear.

Begin and Work Cabe & Lace

  • Row 11: Knit row one of the six-stitch cable pattern, purl 2, knit row one of the two-stitch lace pattern, purl 2. Repeat those 12 stitches five more times to complete the round.
  • Rows 12-40: Continue in established pattern. You will have completed the cable pattern three and a half times and the lace pattern ten times.
  • Row 41: Work row five of the six-stitch cable pattern, p2tog, work the lace pattern, p2tog. Continue in pattern for the rest of the row (60 stitches remaining).
  • Row 42: Work in pattern
  • Row 43: K2tog three times (over the 6 cable stitches), continue in pattern working the decreases across each of the 6-stitch cables (42 stitches remaining)
  • Row 44: Work in pattern
  • Row 45: Work the double decrease (see explanation below) over the three remaining cable stitches. Continue in pattern working the dd at each of the cable areas (30 stitches remaining)
  • Row 46: Work in pattern stopping at the last stitch. Slip last stitch to the left needle (making it the first stitch of the next round)
  • Row 47: Work dd decreasing over the one remaining cable stitch and the two purl stitches on each side. Continue in pattern working a dd at each of the remaining cable areas (18 stitches remaining)
  • Row 48: Work in pattern
  • Row 49: K2tog for entire round (9 stitches remaining)
  • Break your working yarn, weave it through the remaining stitches, and pull tight to finish the hat. Secure yarn and weave in all ends. Blocking your hat before wearing it will make your yarn blossom, will relax all those cabled stitches, and will allow your hat to sit perfectly on your noggin.

Cable Pattern

(worked over 6 stitches and 12 rows)

  • Row 1: slip 2 stitches to cable needle, hold to back. Knit two stitches from left needle, knit two stitches from cable needle, knit remaining two stitches from left needle. 
  • Rows 2-6: knit all stitches
  • Row 7: knit 2, slip two stitches to cable needle, hold to front, knit 2 stitches from left needle, knit two stitches from cable needle.
  • Rows 8-12: knit all stitches

Lace Pattern

(worked over 2 stitches and 4 rows)

  • Row 1: k2tog, yo
  • Row 2: knit
  • Row 3: yo, ssk
  • Row 4: knit


liveseasoned_spring2014_newhat_wmThat’s it! This hat is so easy, and let’s face it, there’s still a chill in the air, so start knitting.

And tell us what you think. Are there experienced knitters out there? Anyone who would like to learn? Want some tutorials?

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3 thoughts on “Vortex : Hat Pattern

  1. Love it, Katie! And I would totally love some tutorials!! I have so much yarn on hand, hand-me-downs mostly, and I always struggle with knowing whether the yarn I have will be right for a project because patterns I find are always so specific about the yarn they use. If you have any tips on how to deal with that, I am all ears! (Warm and cozy ears after I go make a new hat!)

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