Free Hat Pattern: Happy Thanksgiving
This post is coming out on Thanksgiving Day and boy howdy did I have a tough time deciding what to write about. Not for lack of topics, mind you, but because I have too many topics! There’s Black Friday which I have lots of opinions on. There’s Thanksgiving events, which comes with all sorts of family baggage (figuratively and literally). There’s the actual giving of thanks for the many many blessings in my life. And then there’s all the things that I have been making! Because, it turns out, November is the time that I start to feel feverish if I’m not making stuff.
I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps it’s the short days which make evenings feel super long. Maybe it’s the cold weather that sets off a nesting or hoarding instinct. Or maybe it’s the upcoming holidays that make me feel like I need to get some gifts going. Either way, I have been making up a storm of things. We have been cooking, baking, hot gluing, painting, molding, mixing, knitting, spinning, and sewing over here.
Next to my bed hangs a party dress I started 2 days ago awaiting its first wear for Thanksgiving day. (A #sewfrosting project I’m hoping I have the wherewithal to photograph for a post next week). On my nightstand I have a dog sweater about ⅓ of the way done.** Under that sits the reference books I’m using to try and finish up the pattern for Faerie Sweater***. On my dresser is my first attempt at making a solid perfume (mixed success).
**SIDENOTE: I know dog sweaters are ridiculous. My brother has warned me he will not stop making fun of this once he sees it. And I agree this is something that has to be done because ridiculous things deserve jovial ridicule. But my blue heeler gets cold. I know he’ll hate wearing it, but I want to feel like I at least tried to help him. Also, if he hates it too much, he can wear it as a sweater of shame every time he barks inappropriately.
***If anyone out there wants to be a test knitter for the Faerie Sweater, please let me know.
But the project I’m going to talk about today is sitting here on my lap. It’s a simple project, perfect for holiday knitting in that it is tedious and can be done with lots of people around (once you get used to the stitch) or while you watch a movie.
I really love knitting hats. They are some of the perfect beginner projects in that they are very forgiving for sizing, and act as a great intro to DPNs (double-pointed-needles). The inspiration for this hat came partially from the children’s book by P.D. Eastman, Go Dog Go. In it, there are an array of ridiculous hats, and this one is my favorite.
SIDENOTE: Ignore the other dog’s opinion, he obviously is a jerk. ALSO, if you need a laugh and have read this book to your children too many times, I strongly recommend this letter to this little poodle who is trying to impress other dogs with her hats.
This was a BEAST of a project for me. Usually I finish hats in about a week. This one took about a year because it’s sooooo long. Also, I used this project as a scrap buster. So I just started throwing in a new color every time ran out of a skein and found something in my stash that matched my color scheme. Originally, I was going to go for a rainbow look, and I might still do that, if I make another one.
This super long hat is obviously ridiculous. But while being ridiculous, it can pretend to be pragmatic because it can also act as a scarf! It does not get a horse breed name like some of my other patterns, because it was inspired long ago, before I started that trend. Also, my kids call it the Dragon-Santa hat. And that name is too good to replace.
I mostly started the hat because the Dragon Skin stitch has intrigued me for years and I wanted to finally give it a go. This stitch is found in Melissa Leapman’s book The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook: An Essential Collection of 300 Designer Stitches & Techniques. This was my first time doing a quilted stitch pattern, and it certainly won’t be my last.
Dragon Skin Stitch in the round:
Start with a multiple of 6 for the number of sts
Rnds 1 & 2: With B, *p3, slip the next 3 sts with the yarn in front repeat from the * around
Rnds 3 & 4: With A knit around
Rnd 5: With A *k4 insert the right-hand needle under the 2 loose strands several rows below and knit the next st catching the strands behind it, k1; repeat from * around
Rnd 6: With A knit around
Rnds 7 & 8: With B *slip the next 3 sts with the yarn in front, p3; repeat from the * around
Rnds 9 & 10: With A knit around
Rnd 11: With A *k1, insert the right-hand needle under the 2 loose strands several rows below and knit the next st catching the strands behind it, k4; repeat from * around
Rnd 12: With A knit around
Super-Long Dragon-Santa Hat Pattern
Needles: Set of size 6 DPNS and size 8 DPNs
Yarn: A butt-ton of scrap yarn in complementing colors and of similar weights (I considered this a scrap busting project, it will take 3 or 4 medium sized skeins or 7 or 8 decently size remnant skeins from other projects. The intent is to have fun and use up scrap, so don’t think about it too hard. If you run out of a color, just switch it up, you can also switch which is color A and which is color B. Weight of the yarn does not have to be exactly the same, I used skeins ranging between a sport and an Aran weight.
The total length of this hat is over 5 ½ feet long plus a pom-pom.
Using size 4 DPN, CO 100 sts using a stretching method (I used a 2 needle method, but Italian Tubular would work great too). Divide sts evenly between 3 DPNs. Place marker to denote beginning of the round
Rows 1 - 10 : K1 P1 around
***NOTE: This project would also work great with 70 or 80 rows of ribbing to help it stay on better. I was just so excited to start the Dragon Skin Stitch that I went with 10 rows only.
Row 11: Switch to size 8 DPNs and knit 1 row. Knit into the front and the back of the 1st stitch and the 5th stitch so that the total stitch count is now 102
All rest of the rows: Begin Dragon Skin Stitch (see above). Keep the stitch count at 102 for 8 inches.
Decreasing the width: decreases should occur at the end of the round. In order to avoid messing with the stitch pattern too much, I decreased the stitch count by 6 sts over 3 rows each time I did a decrease. To do this start the decrease 12 sts before the end of round 1 or 7. P2tog 3 times. Then strand across the next stitch instead of the next 3 stitches. This will be the end of the round. For the next round, continue as normal, purling the 3 sts which were previous p2tog and stranding across the last 6 sts again. Then on the next row, you will be knitting around. Continue as normal, but when you reach the last 6 sts of the round, k2tog 3 times. You have now decreased by 6 sts and the decrease isn’t very visible.
These decreases should occur about every 2 inches after the first 10 inches so that only 42 sts remain once the hat is about 24 inches long.
Keep working in Dragon Skin over 42 stitches until hat measures about 56 inches long. You want it to be long enough that you can roll up a brim and wrap the tail around your neck and over your shoulder.
After the hat is 56 inches long, perform a decrease row every inch until only 18 sts remain. On row 6 or row 12 break yarn and pull the tail through the remaining sts.
The pom-pom for this hat is 7 inches wide. I created it using a piece of cardboard cut in the rectangle shape with a cutout which I drew in the diagram below. There are fancy pompom making do-dads you can buy, but it’s pretty easy to do this with materials available at hand.
Wrap 2 colors of yarn around the cardboard in each of the sections that have a 4” line in the picture. Once you have a LOT of yarn wrapped around and feel that the amount willl give you a good volume pompom, go ahead and wrap around 20 more times in each section just to be sure.
Using a darning needle, pull yarn through the center of each section (see arrow in diagram) by pressing the darning needle to the cardboard. Once you have it through the loops, tie it as tightly as you can.
Now, cut the outside of the loops (where the word cuts are in the diagram). Once the loops have been cut but BEFORE you pull out the cardboard, pull another length of yarn around the strands and tie it again as tightly as you can.
Fluff out the strands of yarn and use a scissors to shape the pompom into a smooth round shape.
Now use the darning needle to attach the pompom to the end of the hat. Weave in ends and wear happily!
And that’s it! Happy Thanksgiving y’all! Cheers!