Natasha Scarf

Are you impatient? Then this is the scarf pattern for you. Using super-ultra-chunky yarn and large needles, you can make one of these scarves in less than an hour if you concentrate.

If you make this scarf a little on the tight side, it makes a great ski headband.

Materials and vital statistics I Measurements: 18 inches in diameter x 6 inches I Yarn: Ultra-chunky yarn; 50 yards

Brown Sheep Burly Spun is a good choice of yarn, or if your local yarn store stocks spinning supplies, you can also knit this scarf from unspun spinning fiber.

1 Needles: One pair of size US 13 (8 mm) or 15 (9 mm) needles

1 Gauge: Unimportant. As knitted here from unspun spinning fiber, the gauge is approximately 1 stitch per 1 inch.

Directions

Cast on 8 sts and knit, wrapping yarn around your needle twice. When you knit the next row, the extra wrap will drop from your needle and make the row twice as high as it would normally be. Continue knitting this way until piece measures 15 to 17 inches (or large enough to wrap around your neck snugly, but not too tightly).

Bind off and seam the ends together.

Three-way Hat

All the hats in this section are based on the same basic principle: Adult human heads are about the same size (give or take a little), and knitted in the round with some decreases at the top, the hats will fit no matter what yarn you use. A good way to make sure a hat will fit you is to try it on after you've knit 1 or 2 inches; rip out the existing stitches and move up or down a needle size if it's a little too small or big.

Plain Hat with Rolled Brim

This most basic of hats is nicely shaped for just about every head size. Add any stitch pattern you like after knitting the first 5 rounds. If you stop the stitch pattern just before the decreases, you don't have to worry about adjusting the decreases to the pattern.

Materials and vital statistics 1 Measurements: 21 inches in diameter x 7K inches 1 Yarn: Worsted-weight wool; 100 yards

1 Needles: One 16-inch size US 7 (4>2 mm) and size US 8 (5 mm) circular needle; four or five size US 8 (5 mm) dpns; yarn needle to weave in ends

1 Other materials: Stitch marker

1 Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per 1 inch

Directions

Using a size US 7 circular needle, cast on 80 sts. Join round, being careful not to twist the stitches, and place marker to denote beginning of round.

Knit 5 rounds.

Switch to size US 8 needles, and knit 5 inches.

Begin decreases:

Round 1: * k8, k2tog; rep from * to end of round. Round 2 and all even rounds: Knit without decreasing. Round 3: * K7, k2tog; rep from * to end of round. Round 5: * K6, k2tog; rep from * to end of round. Round 7: * K5, k2tog; rep from * to end of round.

Note: At this point, you may want to switch to dpns because the diameter of the round is much smaller than the circular needle's length. Simply distribute the remaining stitches evenly over three or four dpns and knit with the remaining needle (the fourth or fifth, depending on how many you're using).

Round 15 to end: Continue knitting (* k2, k2tog *) until fewer than 10 stitches remain.

Cut yarn, leaving at least a 12-inch tail. Finishing

Thread tail onto yarn needle and then slip remaining stitches onto yarn needle. Pull opening closed, push yarn tail to reverse side of fabric, and weave in ends.

Ribbed Watchman's Cap

This classically masculine hat looks great on women, too — just choose a bright color, or trim it with a knitted flower (see Chapter 20). Patterned yarn such as a handpainted, multishade colorway will be broken up by the 3-stitch rib, which is an interesting visual effect.

Materials and other vital statistics I Measurements: 21 inches in diameter x 7/2 inches I Yarn: Worsted-weight wool; 125 yards

I Needles: One 16-inch size US 9 (5/2 mm) circular needle; four or five size US 9 dpns; yarn or tapestry needle

I Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per 1 inch

Directions

Cast on 84 sts.

* K3, p3; rep from * until piece measures 6 inches. Begin decreases:

Round 1: * P1, p2tog, k3; rep from * to end of round (70 sts).

Round 3: * P2, k1, k2tog; rep from * to end of round (56 sts).

Round 5: * P2tog, k2; rep from * to end of round (42 sts).

Round 7: * P1, k2tog; rep from * to end of round (28 sts). Switch to the double-pointed needles, dividing stitches evenly.

Round 9: * K2tog; rep from * to end of round (14 sts).

Round 10: * K2tog; rep from * to end of round (7 sts).

Cut yarn, leaving at least a 12-inch tail.

Finishing

Thread tail onto yarn needle, and then slip remaining stitches onto yarn needle. Pull opening closed, push yarn tail to reverse side of fabric, and weave in ends.

Earflap Hat

If you ski or spend a lot of time outside in the winter, chances are you know all too well how cold your ears can get. This hat is the solution, and it can be knit in a number of different ways.

Materials and vital statistics

I Measurements: Hat is 21 inches in diameter x 7K inches. Earflap piece varies based on the method used.

I Yarn: Worsted-weight wool; 150 yards

I Needles: One 16-inch size US 8 (5 mm) circular needle; four or five size US 8 dpns; yarn needle or tapestry needle

I Other materials: Two buttons (optional for earflaps)

I Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per 1 inch

Directions

Knit a plain rolled-brim hat or a ribbed cap based on the earlier patterns —

it's your choice! To add the earflaps, choose one of these different methods:

I Method one: Pick up 30 stitches on one side of the hat. Decrease at the beginning and end of each row until you're left with 3 stitches. Bind off. On the opposite side of the hat, repeat. If you're adding earflaps to the ribbed cap, you can continue the ribbing on the flaps if you like, or use seed stitch or some other stitch pattern.

I Method two: Cast on 3 stitches with the yarn used for the hat. Increase at the beginning and end of each row until you have 30 stitches. Knit 17 inches. Decrease at the beginning and end of each row until you're left with 3 stitches. Bind off. Pin the center of the long flap onto the top of hat (or top center, inside the hat), and stitch it into place with a yarn needle and spare yarn.

I Method three: Create a long flap, as in method two, but include a buttonhole on either side. Sew decorative buttons to the hat so that the earflap piece is removable.

Variations

You can vary this hat in a number of ways:

I Sew yarn pompoms onto the ends of the earflaps (plus one on top for good measure). We talk about a pompom maker in Chapter 2.

I Make flaps from contrasting color yarn.

I Knit flaps in a Fair Isle pattern (see Chapter 13) or other color work.

I Knit flowers (see Chapter 20) to decorate your flaps.

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