A few weeks ago I saw this awesome hat on Jane Brocket’s blog that she made up one weekend. Immediately I wanted to make it but sadly, she did not post a pattern. The part of me that is lazy and wants someone more clever than I to tell me exactly how to achieve the results I want was very bummed. The other part of me shrugged it off, said “challenge accepted”, and began to plot the making of what was sure to be my new favorite hat.
A couple of weeks and one trip to the yarn shop later, meet Checkerboard Hat (more commonly known as my new favorite hat):
I worked it out the pattern using a few different hat patterns as starting points. The hardest part for me to get right was the crown–figuring out how to keep the pattern going as well as how to shape the top of the hat so it had the right amount of (but not too much) ease. I had to rip it and redo the crown once but I think I really like what I ended up with.
This hat is so super easy and held my interest while knitting because of the fun color changes. Plus I finished it in just one weekend. I really love the way it turned out.
Just so you can see how cute this hat is on different people, I asked my sisters to model it for you too. They of course said yes (they are cool like that.)
Side note: My sisters are really pretty. (Just saying.)
Now, I really can’t claim this as my pattern as it is a blatant copy of someone else’s knit but in case you desire your own Checkerboard Hat I am including what I did. I really hope it makes sense. Enjoy.
Yarn: Dalegarn Falk (24×30=4″, sport weight), I bought one skein each for the main color and the 5 checkerboard colors. I think it would also be fun to try one solid color and a hand-painted yarn that changes color for the contrast yarn.
Needles: US 4 & 5
Ribbing: With main color and US 4 needles, cast on 112 stitches. Join to work in the round and knit in 2×2 rib for 1 inch.
Main body: Switch to US 5 needles, join first contrast color, begin checkerboard pattern (knitting 2 stitches in the main color and 2 stitches in a contrast color) and at the same time work one round of *K4, M1* repeat until the end of the round. (140 stitches)
Continue in checkerboard pattern (first two rows identical and second two are switched) switching out the contrast color after a full repeat of the pattern (in other words every four rows). Knit until hat measures 6 1/2 inches.
Crown: Begin decreases while keeping stitch pattern. (Note: In order to keep the look of the stitch pattern, sometimes the decreases result in one stitch for that color. Give it a few rounds and those single stitches will meet up with its partner again.)
Round 1: *Knit 12, K2tog* repeat to end. (130 stitches)
Round 2: Knit one round in pattern.
Round 3: *Knit 11, K2tog* repeat to end. (120 stitches)
Round 4: Knit one round in pattern.
Round 5: *Knit 10, K2tog* repeat to end. (110 stitches)
Round 6: Knit one round in pattern.
Round 7: *Knit 9, K2tog* repeat to end. (100 stitches)
Round 8: Knit one round in pattern.
Round 9: *K2tog* repeat to end. (50 stitches) Note: The pattern now switches to a one color each stitch repeat.
Round 10: *K2tog* repeat to end. (25 stitches)
Round 11: *K2tog* repeat to last stitch, Knit last stitch. Cut tail and pull through remaining stitches.
Weave in ends.