Crafting for men isn’t always easy, but a tasteful knitted cap is often just the right thing for a guy. I knitted this hat for my husband, and he was really pleased to receive it as a gift. He wears it all winter long, and often gets lots of nice comments and compliments on it. This hat is really a homemade gift that a guy will actually like. To make one like it, you’ll need:
Pattons Classic Wool in Dark Brown and Light Brown (1 skein each)
Size 6 16 inch circular needle
Size 6 set of double pointed needles
A chart of your choice to follow
Cast on 88 stitches using the dark brown onto the circular needle and join to knit in the round, making sure the stitches aren’t twisted. Knit 3 rounds in a knit 2, purl 2 rib pattern using the dark brown.
To change colors, knit every stitch around with the light tan color, and then continue in the 2X2 rib pattern for about 20 rows, or three and a half inches. After the ribbing is complete, it’s time to plan the color work pattern.
I used two patterns from the book 1000 Great Knitting Motifs by Luise Roberts. I picked two motifs that would fit evenly into 88 stitches. One had a repeat of 4 stitches and the other had a repeat of 8 stitches. I knit the smaller motif using the dark color as the background color, then knit a row plain in the light color, knit the larger motif, knit another plain row, and added the smaller motif at the top again to make a patterned band all around the cap. My patterned area is 20 rows high.
If the motif you wish to use doesn’t fit evenly, simply knit a plain row after the last ribbing row and decrease or increase evenly within this row to have the correct number of stitches. For instance, if your desired repeat is 10 stitches long, increase two stitches opposite each other on this row. Choose a motif that won’t require a drastic change in the stitch count. Any more than four either way will effect the fit of the hat too much.
I recommend the book 1000 Great Knitting Motifs, but you can find a chart that you like and adapt it to this project in many knitting books and in free online patterns. Two color knitting is very popular and hugely varied in the motifs that are available.
While working the color work, you can hold a strand in each hand if you’d like, or whatever feels most comfortable. Make sure not to pull the floats behind the work too tightly, since a hat needs to have some stretch and give to it. Men are notorious for refusing to wear anything that is tight or uncomfortable to them! If you want to make a homemade gift a guy will actually like, comfort is a big priority.
After the color work is finished, knit with the light color in plain stockinette until the hat is the desired height, generally six to eight inches from the cast on edge. A tip that I use is to make a hat as long as my hand, from the heel of my hand to the tip of my middle finger, before beginning the decrease rounds.
The decrease rows follow. When the stitches are too few to fit comfortably on the circular needle, switch to the set of double pointed needles.
K6, K2tog, around
K5, K2tog, around
K4, K2tog, around
K3, K2tog, around
K2, K2tog, around
K1, K2tog, around
K2tog, around to last three, K3tog
Break off the working yarn, and use a yarn needle to thread the four remaining stitches onto the yarn, drawing them together. Bury the working end of the yarn and clip it off. Sew in the rest of the yarn ends, and your hat is finished!