Monday, February 27, 2012

Basket Case Beanie

I recently discovered the magic loop knitting method (for a great instructional video, go here). I have tried knitting in the round with double pointed needles (DPNs) but found them a bit annoying due to the lack of flexibility. One of the first things I ever knit in the round was a tea cosy by Loani Prior and she uses 2 circular needles. I liked the method but it had 2 downfalls - you had to buy two of each circular, which can get expensive; and some projects ended up with a bit of a ladder in the gap between the last stitch on one needle and first needle on the next. The magic loop method doesn't really do this.

I'm currently working on a pair of socks using this method and a number of ladies at my craft group were interested to learn how to do it. They decided they wanted to make a beanie so I was tasked to find a pattern. I wanted something simple, but not boring. I like the basket weave stitch. It adds interest, but it has a pretty easy repeat to remember. I didn't like the decrease section of those I found - they didn't incorporate the basket weave. So I decided to write my own!

This hat only has 6 repeats of the basket weave, one less than suggested.

Yarn: 8ply. I have used acrylic, but anything could be used.
Needles: 4mm. I prefer 1 long circular (60cm+) in the magic loop or 2 shorter circulars. DPNs can also be used.
Sizing: The small beanie will fit a head circumference around 56cm; the large beanie will fit a circumference around 61cm (depending on tension). The small beanie should fit most people comfortably. I, however, have a large head, and there is nothing worse that a hat too tight!

Using your preferred method, cast on 113 sts for a small hat or 121sts for a large. The rest of pattern continues the same for both sizes, there is just an extra repeat of the pattern. Split stitches between DPNs or circular needle/s. Ensure the stitches aren’t twisted.

Depending on what method you are using, you may need to place some kind of marker between the after the second last cast on stitch so you know when you’ve completed a round.
Move last cast on stitch onto same needle as first stitch. Knit the first and last stitch together to join work.
Work in K2P2 rib for 10 rounds or until band is desired length.

Rnds 1-4: *K4, P4. Repeat from * around.
Rnds 5-8: *P4, K4. Repeat from * around.
Repeats rounds 1-8 at least 6 more times. If you like a slouchier hat, add more rounds in multiples of eight until the desired length (don’t forget there are also 13 rounds for the decrease).

The basket weave pattern continues through the decrease
The number in the brackets is the number of stitches remaining, small hat first, large hat second.

Rnd 1: *K4, P2, P2tog. Repeat from * around. (98/105)
Rnd 2: *K4, P3. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 3: *K2tog, K2, P3. Repeat from * around. (84/90)
Rnd 4: *K3, P3. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 5: *P3, K1, K2tog. Repeat from * around. (70/75)
Rnd 6: *P3, K2. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 7: *P2tog, P1, K2. Repeat from * around. (56/60)
Rnd 8: *P2, K2. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 9: *K2, P2tog. Repeat from * around. (42/45)
Rnd 10: *K2, P1. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 11: *K2tog, P1. Repeat from * around. (28/30)
Rnd 12: *K1, P1. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 13: *P1, K2tog. Repeat from * around. (14/15)
Leave stitches on the needle. Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Using a darning needle, pull the tail through the remaining stitches to bind off. Secure end and trim/darn in.

If you have extended the body length and prefer a beret style hat, block over a dinner plate.

1 comment:

  1. Did you use the magic loop method to knit the beanie? I've found it a bit difficult to knit a beanie using this method for some reason.