Beginner’s Guide for Knitting Hat

winter outfit.JPG

my all handmade winter outfit (cardi knitted by my bf’s mom)

Okay, so here we go. As I also started knitting not so long ago, I do notice the up and downs in knitting. There are many interesting projects to try, as there are abundant amount of free tutorials accessible online. However the classic problem with yarn is, it’s always rather tricky to get the yarn you actually want, in the size like what the tutorial’s suggested. So in this guideline I’m practically gonna tell you how to create your measurement to knit a basic winter hat, despite the thickness/size of the wool. You are free to pick any yarn you like, yay!!

Quite often, I also get questions, what is the difference between knit and crochet. Well, in crochet you basically create a knot, but in knitting you actually drop a knot, if not more like a loop. If you view this beginner’s video for knitting you will see why (scroll down where there is a clickable link to the two types of stitches required to make the hat).

Basically for hats, all you need is buy the yarn you like (I like chunky yarns) and then follow this simple steps to make your own measurements. When you buy your yarn the label would tell you which needle to get. You don’t always have to follow this suggestion. For example, if your yarn says size 10-12 then you will get big chunky braids with size 12 and a rather tighter braids with a size 10. The needle size will determine how the braids look, but it also means it determine how big the holes in between are. For a yarn suggested with a size 10-12 you can use a size 8 for example, for a much tighter braid. It won’t look that pretty since you see less of the texture, but on the other side, the hole in between also get much smaller, which also means your hat will get much warmer. This is what I exactly did with my hat. While I came from a tropical country, the truth is I live in a cold country in North Europe, so I want to keep myself as warm as possible.

In this picture below you see a small knitted blue rectangle. This is a ‘test piece’ and you only use the right/knit stitches for this. Related to the previous paragraph, the test piece below is the same yarn I used for my hat, knitted with a size 12 needle (compare how the braid looks with my hat which used a size 6 needle). This piece is made by making 10 stitches in 10 rows. When you have this, measure the length. Mine is 11 cm. Simply then, it means that 10 stitches makes 11 cm. So to make a hat with my head circle (52 cm) I will need 47 stitches. Simple math 🙂 I normally add 1 stitch (so I actually work with 48 stitches cause you technically stitch two stitches together to make the shape circular) but its optional. Some people like their hat to just sit right, some like it rather tighter.

 testsquare1.jpgOkay. Here is how to make the bottom part that looks like it has bars at the bottom. This part is more elastic than the rest, and its meant so your hat can sit comfortably. Start the first stitch with a ‘right’* stitch and then one ‘left’*. Remember to start the second row by connecting the ends so its circular (this is if you’re using a circular knit needle like mine, otherwise you will need to stitch it together after you are finished). If you would like your bars to have more distance in between then do two lefts instead of one. The bars are the ‘right’ stitch and the flat ones are the ‘left’. How many rows really depends on how you like it, but I did mine about 10 rounds.

To make the body part of the hat with the little heartsies, you will need another yarn color that gives a nice contrast to the base yarn color. I used medium blue, and it works perfectly well. Just remember to pick the yarn that has around the same thickness with the main color yarn.

In the rest of the hat we will only use ‘right’stitches. To start the next round, I made three stitches cream (base color) and just stitch in the blue yarn. So three stitches cream, one stitch blue. The amount of the cream determines the distance between the hearts, so again it depends on the design you desired. If you want more hearts, then reduce the amount of the cream stitches, and vice versa. Each of one blue stitch will create a heart. This is because the braid shapes like a heart, therefore this is actually a very simple design. When stitching in the blue yarn, no need to knot and just knit normal, leaving a short tail that you can secure later.

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In the next round, I create a whole round of only cream stitches. After that, instead of inserting the blue after the third cream stitch, I added it in after the fifth one so the hearts are not aligned, but the hearts in the next row will be placed in the spaces between the hearts from the previous row. In short, I repeated the same steps over and over again until I reach the height I wanted. If you tried it on and it fits perfectly, then add another one or two row because when you tie it up in the end, it will rather move up and be a tad shorter.

To end the hat, pick up a thinner yarn and insert it to a needle (a similar color with the base color preferred). Insert it through the loops one by one by taking it out from the knitting needle and then inserting the thin thread through the loop. Pull through and secure the ends to the inside part of the hat. I used a cotton yarn for mine since its much firmer than wool so it holds better. Also, with thinner yarn the hole in the end became smaller. Now secure the ends from the inside with a tapestry needle, add a pompom on top and you’re done! 🙂 Kindly comment below if you have any questions and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Happy knitting!

*right and left stitches are German terms, right stitch in English is knit stitch and left stitch is purl stitch.

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