How to Knit a Hat w/o a Pattern: Part Five (the end!)
Posted on December 13 2021
Here's our last installment (for now) on knitting a hat without a pattern, a series that, if you pick up needles and yarn and give it a go, may make you a hat expert. And it may open the door to many not-yet-considered knitting possibilities, as well. A template, as opposed to a specific pattern, is something to tinker with endlessly. One idea leads to the next. Memorize the method and no skein will be safe from enchantment—in no time, you will turn it into a hat.
In our last installment, we explored a few easy ways to continue the crown's warm and cushy garter stitch into the body of your hat by working stripes and/or Fair Isle patterns. In this post, we visit two more garter-related options: Garter Slip Stitch and Mosaic patterns.
Garter Slip Stitch makes an interesting variation on straight garter stitch when it's worked in one color. Throw in one or two more colors and you create interesting tweedy effects, which vary depending on whether you change colors on every round or every other round.
Garter Slip Stitch in the round (even number of stitches)
Round 1: Knit.
Round 2: Purl.
Round 3: K1, *sl 1 purlwise, k1; rep from *.
Round 4: P1, *ytb, sl 1 purlwise, ytf, p1; rep from *.
Try these variations:
#1 (two colors, A & B): Work Rounds 1 & 2 in A, work Rounds 3 & 4 in B.
#2 (three colors, A, B, & C): Work 2 rounds in each color throughout.
#3 (three colors, A, B, & C): Work 1 round in each color throughout.
Garter slip stitch worked in Stone Wool's Delaine Merino (Ninebark, Harvest, and Creek), with colors swapped every row.
The second garter-related technique to try is any one of the many mosaic patterns, discussed extensively by the wonderful Barbara Walker in Charted Knitting Designs, A Third Treasury of Knitting patterns and Mosaic Knitting. These stitches are fascinating and invite invention, if you have some graph paper handy. They tend to have an angular feel, but not always. And the simplicity of their execution in a big plus—you only work with one color at a time. No carrying yarn. You simply slip the stitches in the color you're not currently working when you come to them.
The patterns are often shown in stockinette stitch. To work them in garter-in-the-round, be sure to purl alternate rounds.
The T-Square mosaic pattern from Barbara Walker's Charted Knitting Designs. Delaine Merino, Creek with Harvest.
We hope you've enjoyed this series and, even more, we hope you've made a hat or two using our top-down method. Simple or fancy, one-colored or as many colors as there are random balls in your yarn basket, whatever you make will be your own adventure.