Monday, 19 November 2012

Cat hat - ta-dah & tutorial!

My hat, which I thought was going to be a cat but I'm informed is most definitely a mouse, is finished!

Cat or Mouse hat

I promised a tutorial so I'll try not to disappoint! I must stress that the original pattern was written by Jana Falls which I found on Ravelry and I've merely adapted this for my own purposes. I umm'd and ahh'd over whether to write up the whole pattern to put on my blog and in the end I decided it would be too confusing to keep telling people to look at the original pattern and then mine etc, so here goes.

This pattern is for double knit yarn so if you're using Aran please visit the original :)

You will need:

DK yarn
4mm circular needles
4mm DPNs
A stitch marker
A tapestry needle

For a regular adult sized head you need 114 stitches in total to begin. The pattern starts with the two ear-flaps and works from the brim to the top.

The ear-flaps

On DPNs cast on 6 stitches

Purl the next row to set up.

Row 1a (right side): Knit front back, knit until the last stitch, knit front back

Row 2a (wrong side): Knit 2, purl until the last stitch, knit 2

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have 22 stitches. If you want more or less stitches you need to take this into account later!

Row 1b (right side): Knit all stitches

Row 2b (wrong side): knit 2, purl until the last 2 stitches, knit 2.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 to desired length. 2-3 repeats should do it.

End with a knit row (as in Row 1b)

For the second ear-flap repeat as above, end with the knit row on your circular needle.

hat tutorial side flaps

Making into the hat

With the second ear-flap on your circular needle cast on 46 stitches using a cable cast on. This will be the front of the hat – it's wider than the back. Join the other ear-flap and knit along to the end of this flap. Make sure it's the same way round as the other flap!! Cast on another 24 stitches using a cable cast on.

hat tutorial back

You should now have 114 stitches; 22 for each ear-flap (so 44 together), 46 for the front and 24 for the back. Right...

Transfer the last cast on stitch to the left (or right!) needle and purl two together (p2tog). You should have 113 stitches now.

At this point the original pattern says to knit but I ended up with my purl stitches on the outside (which would mean you'd need to purl!). Even though I've done this twice the same happened so I'm continuing on my random way :)

Purl across the first ear-flap and p2tog where the ear-flap and the cast on stitches meet. 112 stitches now!

Purl across to the next ear-flap, p2tog where it starts (111 stitches), purl across and then p2tog where it ends. You should have 110 stitches now. If you don't, you can either do an increase / decrease or start over :)

The body

The next part is pretty boring. Purl, purl, purl away until your you've got approximately 12cm worth of hat or roughly 34 rows. It's not an exact science and the hat in my photos is probably a little too big so I've scaled down my estimates.

hat tutorial front

The top – decreasing

Ok this bit is why you needed to have 110 stitches so that the decreases work perfectly.

Place a stitch marker. I always get confused with this but the way I remember is my markers a stop sign. I place it on the first stitch I knit or purl, and when I get back to it I know to STOP!

Round 1: *Purl 8, purl 2 together (p2tog)*. Repeat between the *'s til you hit the stitch marker – 99 stitches
Round 2: Purl all 99 stitches

Round 3: *P7, p2tog* – 88 stitches
Round 4: Purl all 88 stitches

Round 5: *P6, p2tog* - 77 stitches
Round 6: Purl all 77 stitches

Round 7: *P5, p2tog* - 66 stitches
Round 8: Purl all 66 stitches

Round 9: *P4, p2tog* - 55 stitches
Round 10: Purl all 55 stitches

Round 11: *P3, p2tog* - 44 stitches
Round 12: Purl all 44 stitches

Somewhere around here it might be easier to switch onto DPNs. Just spread out your stitches evenly across your DPNs, keeping one free that you'll knit (or purl!) onto.

Round 13: *P2, p2tog* - 33 stitches
Round 14: Purl all 33 stitches

Are you using the DPNs yet?

Round 15: *P1, p2tog* - 22 stitches
Round 16: Purl all 22 stitches

Round 17: P2tog until you hit the stitch marker – 11 stitches
Round 18: P2tog until you hit the stitch marker (same as Round 17) – 6 stitches

Cut a long tail, 15cm should do, and pull this through the remaining 6 stitches to finish. This will pull the top of the hat together nicely.

Ears – make two


Using DPNs cast on 2 stitches.

Row 1: Kfb both stitches – 4 stitches
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Kfb into first stitch, knit 2, kfb into last stitch – 6 stitches
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Kfb into first stitch, knit 4, kfb into last stitch – 8 stitches
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Kfb into first stitch, knit 6, kfb into last stitch – 10 stitches
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: Kfb into first stitch, knit 8, kfb into last stitch – 12 stitches
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: Kfb into first stitch, knit 10, kfb into last stitch – 14 stitches
Row 12: Purl
Row 13: Kfb into first stitch, knit 12, kfb into last stitch – 16 stitches
Row 14: Cast off

Keep going until your ears are wide enough. I worked upto this point, you could go bigger or smaller if you wanted.


Nose & eyes

Using DPNs cast on

Row 1: Kfb both stitches – 4 stitches
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Kfb into first stitch, knit 2, kfb into last stitch – 6 stitches
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Kfb into first stitch, knit 4, kfb into last stitch – 8 stitches
Row 6: Cast off

Whiskers and eyes


Using a tapestry needle and black yarn, sew whiskers and eyes into the hat. The eyes took a while to get right, but it's just three horizontal stitches across two of the 'v' shapes.


Add braids by cutting 9 lengths of yarn 60cm long. Thread through the bottom of the ear-flaps until equal on both sides (approx 30cm for each side) and plait together. Tie in a knot at the end and repeat on the other ear-flap.

I wrote this out as I was going along so hopefully it works out okay. Any problems just leave a comment :) Enjoy!!

x x x x

If you want a more concise pattern minus the waffle read on :)

Ear flaps:

On DPNs CO 6sts
P next row to set up

Row 1a (RS): kfb, k to last st, kfb – 10sts
Row 2a (WS): k2, p to last st, k2

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until you have 22sts.

Row 1b (RS): k to end
Row 2b (WS), k2, purl until last 2sts, k2

Repeat until desired length. End on Row 1b.

When making the second ear knit your last row on circulars.

Making up

With the second ear-flap on your circular needle CO 46sts using a cable cast on – 68sts
K along the second ear-flap and CO 24sts – 114sts

Transfer last CO st onto other needle & p2tog – 113sts

P across first ear-flap, p2tog at the join – 112sts
P to next ear-flap, p2tog at join, p across the flap, p2tog – 110sts


P for approx 34 rows or 12cm


Round 1: *P8, p2tog)*. Repeat until stitch marker – 99sts
Round 2: P

Round 3: *P7, p2tog* – 88sts
Round 4: P

Round 5: *P6, p2tog* - 77sts
Round 6: P

Round 7: *P5, p2tog* - 66sts
Round 8: P

Round 9: *P4, p2tog* - 55sts
Round 10: P

Round 11: *P3, p2tog* - 44sts
Round 12: P

Switch to DPNs

Round 13: *P2, p2tog* - 33sts
Round 14: P

Round 15: *P1, p2tog* - 22sts
Round 16: P

Round 17: P2tog – 11 stitches
Round 18: P2tog – 6 stitches

Cut a long tail (15cm) and pull through the remaining 6sts to finish.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The cat in the hat

This weekend I am mostly thankful for not being dragged up a Mountain. This time last week I was somewhere walking up Snowdon in Wales. "Come for a walk" they said, "it will be fun!" they said. What was presented to me as an "easy" walk turned out to be eleven miles. E-l-e-v-e-n miles! The top had snow, lots of snow & lots of wind. I wasn't prepared for this. Today I've stayed indoors, tucked under a blanket, just to make up for that.

I did do a bit of climbing which while scary was also jolly fun. Again, today I'll be staying indoors, tucked under a blanket, just to make up for that.

I don't usually put my face on my blog, but for the purposes of taking photos of hats there's not really any alternative and there's no one else who's going to model for me.  Except my fluffy owl :)

Knitted cat hat

This is actually the second hat I made...  The first was meant to be a white panda hat from a free Deramores pattern.  I'm pretty sure I followed the pattern exactly but clearly it was meant for a giant with a giant head.  I wish I'd taken some photos before I frogged it, it looked like some sort of bank robbers mask!!!

So, I found another pattern on Ravelry which has ear flaps - hurrah!  This pattern called for using DPNs at the end and I even managed that!  At the end of every round I had the right number of stitches - this has never happened before!

Knitted cat hat

Look at those decreases :)

Knitted cat hat

It was only at the end I realised I'd started to decrease way too early and the hat was pitifully small.  It's destined to be fluffy owls hat now (cos he really needs one right?)

I cast on again straight away...  This time I knitted many many rounds, certain it would be long enough.

Knitted cat hat

Ta dah!  Well not quite, there's more work to do but IT FITS!

Knitted cat hat

Knitted cat hat

And this was my progress from last night - ears!!

Knitted cat hat

I'll be writing up my own pattern at some point.  It's obviously a modification of the one from Ravelry but I had to adapt it to use 4mm needles and your good old DK yarn which I figure this is the most common yarn / needle size in the UK.

I've made a nose and I'm now on the hunt for some buttons for eyes...  Watch this space :)

x x x x