When I was younger my mom taught me to knit (thanks mom!) and I tried to make myself a scarf. I was dropping and adding stitches left and right creating an uneven mess. Not happy, I left it unfinished and moved on to other crafts. A few weeks ago, Becky (the CO of MI&CO) bought a very cute Caron® Cupcakes™ Yarn kit for knitting a pom hat from Michael’s and offered to re-teach me how to knit and purl.
Phase 1: Starting the Hat
Becky had me start by measuring my head and then taking that measurement times 3. This gave me the length of yarn we could use to cast on and ensure it would fit my head. Using circular knitting needles, Becky created a slip knot with the measured yarn on one needle to start the cast. She taught me the long tail cast on method as it makes a nice edge that stretches and doesn’t bunch – perfect for a hat! I cast on an even 100 stitches (later turned out to be 20 stitches too many) and I was ready to make the first row of the brim.
Phase 2: Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl
Looking at some different styles, I decided on a ribbed brim which requires a standard knit 1, purl 1 pattern. I planned to make it 10 rows long since I liked the look of a thick brim. Already familiar with a knit stitch, Becky taught me the purl stitch. It took about 5 rows of knit-purl, before I could finally recognize the difference between the two. Once I did though, it was amazing! Finding a natural rhythm, my speed increased, and I was hooked.
Phase 3: Color Transitions
Always one to complicate easy projects, I wanted the brim of the hat to be all the dark teal. To make this happen, I went through the beautiful yarn I was using and cut the transitions between the dark teal sections, giving me enough yarn to finish the brim. Using a square knot to connect the yarn, I knit it so that the knot strands were hidden on the inside of the hat. Since it was simple enough to do, I went and cut all of the color transitions giving me 5 individual balls of yarn and more creative liberty with how my hat would look. I ended up with 10 rows dark teal, 6 rows dark pink, 15 rows light pink, 6 rows gold, and 5 rows light blue.
Phase 4: Uh-Oh…
After knitting a majority of the hat, I tried it on and it was HUGE!! I pinched it in to where it would fit comfortably and that was about 20 stitches across that I needed to lose somehow. Becky!!! Thankfully, she had a option that didn’t require me scrapping the whole hat. I do not know the technical term for what we did, but in essence I dropped 20 stitches by creating this knit hole for us to deal with after the hat was complete [pictured below].
Phase 5: Closing the top
After another 5 rows of light blue, I was ready to close the top and turn it into a hat. Becky and I decided that instead of dropping stitches to taper it off, I would transfer all of my 80 stitches onto a single stitch (crazy!) and create a cinched top [seen in picture above].
Phase 6: Sewing up
Remember that giant hole Becky had me make? Now it was time to fix my hat so that it would fit my head. Taking extra leftover yarn that would blend in, I used a knitting sewing needle to sew the hat together on either side of the gaping hole [pictured left]. This removed that 20 stitch wide section we didn’t want, leaving it in a thick lump on the inside of my hat. Wanting to get rid of the lump, but not unravel my hat, I used a sewing machine and sewed along the seam that I had made with the yarn [pictured right]. Now I could cut off the extra yarn and the hat would stay together. Whew! Problem solved 🙂
Phase 7: Adding the Pom
The final step was to add the pom-pom! There was a long piece of yarn I had left on the top of my hat from closing it off. I took that and used the knitting sewing needle to thread it through the pom and then stitch it onto the hat. I secured it on the inside with a knot and that was it – my first knitting project was done!