Twisted Rope Hat--Knitting Pattern

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Twisted Rope Hat 2
EDIT: The download links on this page may not be working properly. The new home base for this pattern is on my new website. Go here to get your free pattern download:

This spring, my friend B. from Arkansas surprised me by sending up some organic, grass-fed chickens and soy-free eggs from her farm (delish!!!) and a skein of wool for me via my mother. The only thing she wanted back was the wool--reformed into a hat shape for her daughter H., who is almost three, but one that would be "boyish" enough for her infant son N. in two years.

So, here it is. I am quite pleased with how the design turned out, actually. Also, I started this in the van on our way home from Edmonton in September, and it was already dark--so I did the cable band in the dark by counting, with the occasional quick switch-on of the map light to check my numbers. Remarkably, I did not have to "un-knit" any of it! Yay!!

Unfortunately, I did not double-check the size before I began (as I did not have e-mail access in the van!), so I ended up making it too small and had to make another one in Toddler size. This pattern has been tested in the 3-6 month and Toddler size--the other two sizes I did by the numbers. Please let me know if there are any errors.

The hat is constructed by first making a cabled band that is grafted together at the ends. Then stitches are picked up for the crown and ear flaps. Twisted yarn ties and topper are the perfect finishing touch!

Click on the pattern name to download a copy of the pattern in a PDF file. Please give credit to this blog and include the copyright and e-mail address for any re-use. Thanks.

Edit, June 17, 2012:
This is one of my first designs, which I have been giving away on my blog for nearly two years now. It has proven to be extremely popular, but every so often, I have noticed on Ravelry that people have had problems with it. This is the revised version I did after re-testing it. Please note the different (more accurate) yarn weight. There are also two styles of earflaps and two extra sizes available in the revised version. The back is slightly longer than the front to cover the neck. Thank you for choosing my design.

Twisted Rope Hat
By Talena Winters. ©2010. Revised ©2012.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Sizes: Fits 3-6 mo. (up to head circ.: 15 in./ 37.5cm) 6-12 mos. (16 in./ 40 cm) 12-24 mos. (17 in./ 42.5 cm), 2-4 yrs. (19 in./ 47.5 cm), Child/Ladies’ Small (21 in./ 52.5 cm), Ladies’ Large (23.5 in./ 59 cm)

Materials: 2 (2, 2, 2*, 3, 3) 76 oz/50g skeins heavy aran-weight wool (approx. 78 [89, 101, 128, 148, 180] yds/72 [82, 93, 118, 136, 166] m) set of five 4 mm. double-pointed needles (dpns), cable needle (cn), yarn needle, scrap of yarn tied in loop for marking

Gauge: 20 sts, 28 rows = 4”/10cm in stockinette stitch. It is extremely important that you check your gauge with this pattern! Most of the problems I have seen people have with this pattern are because they knit much looser than I do, and didn’t check their gauge. You may need to go down a needle size or two.

*See Notes at end of pattern.


Cable Band:
Start using only two of the dpns as straight needles. Cast on 16 stitches. Use a soft cast-on, as you will be grafting it together with the other end.

*Row 1: K2, p3, k6, p3, k2, turn.
Row 2:P2, k3, p6, k3, p2, turn.
Repeat from * once more.

Row 5: K2, p3, slip 3 sts. to cn and hold in front, k3, k3 stitches from cn, p3, k2, turn.
Row 6: As for Row 2.

*Row 7: K2, p3, k6, p3, k2, turn.
Row 8 :P2, k3, p6, k3, p2, turn.
Repeat from * once more.

Repeat Rows one to ten 9 (10, 11, 12, 13, 14) more times, so you have 10 (11, 12, 13, 14, 15) "twists" in your cable. Band should measure approximately 13.7 inches/34 cm (15 inches/38 cm, 16.4 inches/41 cm, 17.75 inches/44.5 cm, 19.1 inches/48 cm, 20.5 inches/51 cm) from start. Use Kitchener Stitch to graft ends together--make sure to alter the stitch for all the changes in knit and purl as you graft! Weave in ends.

Pick up 64 (72, 80, 88, 96, 104) stitches along one edge of band and distribute between 4 dpns. (I found that I had to pick up approx. 7 stitches for every 10 rows [one cable repeat] of hatband, give or take a few.) Place yarn marker at beginning of round. Knit in the round until crown measures approximately 3.5 (4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6) inches/8.8 (10, 11.2, 12.5, 13.7, 15) cm from the bottom of cable band. (See Notes at end of pattern for finished crown height measurements in order to make alterations as necessary.) Don’t stretch the band while you measure, but do unfurl the bottom edge slightly to how it will lay once you pick up the bottom stitches.

Crown decreases:
Rnd 1: *K6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11), k2tog* around.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: *K one less than previous decrease row, k2tog* around.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 3 & 4 until only 32 (32, 40, 48, 56, 64) sts remain.

Decrease 8 times every round until 8 stitches remain. Break yarn, leaving a 12" tail, and use a yarn needle to thread through remaining stitches and draw up tight. Weave in end well.

Ear/Cheek flaps:
Fold hat in half with back “seam” of hatband on one fold. With brim up as though to knit, count to the right of the opposite fold 8 (9, 10, 11, 12, 13) sts (1/8 of hat circumference). This is where you will begin picking up stitches.

Pick up 64 (72, 80, 88, 96, 104) stitches around cable band and distribute evenly on 4 dpns—16 (18, 20, 22, 24, 26) sts each needle). Make sure that the back "seam" of hatband is in the centre of one of the needles.

Knit in the round for 4 rounds.

Cast off the first needle—16 (18, 20, 22, 24, 26) sts on needle opposite the "back". Knit back-and-forth rows in Stockinette Stich for 4 more rows, ending with a purl row. K 16 (18, 20 22, 24, 26), cast off the same, then knit the same. You should now have two needles holding stitches on opposite sides of the hat, with 16 (18, 20, 22, 24, 26) sts on each of those needles.

Work with 2nd set of sts (leave 1st set on dpn for now).

Original Long version (solid brown hat pictured):
These flaps reach to the chin.

*Row 1: Sl 1 knit-wise, p across.
Row 2. Sl 1 knit-wise, k across.*
Work between *-*s 3 (2, 1, 0, 0, 0) more times.

*Row 9: Sl 1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Row 10: Sl 1, purl across.
Repeat from * until 8 (10, 10, 12, 12, 14) sts. remain. Bind off. Weave in end.

Revised Short Version (Beige and Brown hat pictured):
During revisions, I decided that not having the earflaps meet under the chin might be preferable to some. I leave the choice of which hat to make up to you.

Row 1: Purl across.
*Row 2: Sl 1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Row 3: Sl 1, purl across.
Repeat from * until 12 (14, 16, 18, 20) sts remain.

*Row 1a: Sl 1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Row 2a: Sl 1, p2tog, p to last 3 sts, ssp, p1.
Repeat from * until 6 sts remain.

Last row: as for Row 1a, but bind off as you knit. Weave in end.

Join yarn at beginning of purl row on other ear flap. Complete as for first ear flap.

Ties and Tassels:
Cut 3 lengths of yarn approx. 8-10 inches long and use a yarn needle to thread across "button" on top of hat. Adjust so that there are two equal lengths. Twist each set of 3 to the right while twisting the two sets around each other to the left. Make an overhand knot about 1 inch from the end by wrapping the end around itself, inserting through from the hat-end and pulling tight.

For ties, cut 3 lengths of yarn approx.16-20 inches long and use a yarn needle to anchor behind two stitches at bottom centre of hat flap. Use same procedure to twist and tie as for tassel. Repeat for other tie. Check that knots are the same distance from end on each.

Please e-mail errors in this pattern to talena@wintersdayin.ca.

• For the 2-4 yr size, you may have to unravel your gauge swatch to make this hat. If you don’t want to do this, buy another ball.
• Approx. crown heights planned for (adjust to your recipient’s measurements): 3-6 mos: 5.5”/13.75 cm, 6-12 mos. 5.75”/14.5 cm, 12-24 mos: 6”/15 cm, 2-4 yrs: 7”/17.5 cm, Child/Ladies’ Small: 7.5”/19 cm, Ladies’ Large: 8.5”/21.25 cm.

sl: slip, move st from one needle to the other without working
ssk: slip two stitches as if to knit, insert left needle tip through both sts on right needle from right, k2tog.
ssp: slip two stitches as if to knit, insert left needle tip through both sts on right needle from left, p2tog.

Twisted Rope Hat 1

DSC05230 cropped web.jpg

Twisted Rope Hat

Twisted Rope Hat

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  1. You're a woman of so many talents!! Love ya!

  2. Jennifer - Thanks!

    Mom - You HAVE to say that! ;-) Love you!

  3. This really is a beautiful hat, thank you so much for sharing the pattern with us! Just wondering if, by chance, you've made it for an adult?

  4. Thank you, Kathy! I haven't--yet, though I may try that next winter. If you are on Ravelry, you can search for this pattern there and take a look at some of the other projects--one gal used a very loose gauge and it ended up fitting her. If you want to try and do the math yourself, I was figuring that 10 rows of the hatband would equal one inch, and that about 7 stitches would be knit into each inch of hatband when picking up. You will have to adjust the total number of stitches to be divisible by eight using an adjustment row when you first start decreasing, then you can likely decrease as indicated in the pattern (use your judgment.) I had no ease allowed either way due to the tightness of the fabric I was ending up with, so I made the hatband the exact same size as the head circumference. Depending on the elasticity of the hatband you are ending up with, you may want to adjust for some negative ease.

    Good luck!


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