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June 5, 2011

Easy slouchy hand-knit hipster hat (free pattern!)

I love knitting hats and I make a lot of them, mostly for family members and friends who live in colder climates. But there is one style of hat that is everywhere right now, even in summertime Los Angeles: the slouchy hipster hat. It's longer and a little looser that a traditional knit hat and you don't turn up the brim. Bright colors and textured cotton-blend yarn give this hat a relaxed Venice Beach look.

Here is my vintage bear modeling the hat:
(That's just a placeholder pic until I get some good pictures of my nephew Brett in his hipster hat.)

Free Pattern: Easy slouchy hand-knit hipster hat

Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate

• Heavy worsted-weight yarn, approx 220 yeards. I used one ball of Noro Taiyo color #6
• Gauge: 4.5 stitches/inch
• Needles: 16" Circular and double-pointed needles (DPNs) of same size. I used size 9 needle, but you may need to go down to a size 8. I tend to knit a little tighter than most knitters. Knit a swatch if you're in doubt.
• Other: Stitch markers, one large-eye yarn needle, scissors.

Things you may find useful when knitting this hat:
• The easy roll-brim hat pattern, the basis of all my hat recipes
Working with circular needles
• A little diatribe on decreasing stitches
• My regular ribbed-brim hat recipe

General hat tip: I have learned from knitting approximately one gagillion hats that for most adults you can estimate a good fitting hat at 18" of finished fabric. This particular hat is a bit slouchy, measuring in around 20" in finished diameter. If you want a closer-fitting cap (like a beanie) check back in a few days, I've made a few of those, too and will post the pattern shortly.


Cast on 88 stitches. Join for knitting in the round, making sure your stitches are not twisted. You can place a marker if you like, but the world will not stop spinning on its axis if you don't have a marker. I never use one until I'm ready to start decreasing.

Knit in (Knit 1, Purl 1) ribbing for 1 1/2" or so.

Switch to stockinette, which means you knit every stitch in the round.

Knit in stockinette until the hat measures 9" or 9 1/2" from the cast on edge.

Begin decreasing:
- Place a marker to denote the beginning of the round, if you haven't already been using a marker.
- (Knit 9, Knit 2 together)* across the round. End with 80 stitches.

***TIP*** After every decrease place a marker. Use different colored markers from the one you use to signify the end of a round. This little trick will save you so much time and brainpower when decreasing for a hat. Now every time you work a decrease row, you know to knit together the two stitches just before the markers.

- Knit one round.

- (Knit 8, K2tog) across round. End with 72 stitches.

- Knit one round.

- (Knit 7, K2tog) across round. End with 64 stitches.

- Knit one round.

- (Knit 6, K2tog) across round. End with 56 stitches.

- Knit one round. This is also where I switched to double-pointed needles (DPNs).

- (Knit 5, K2tog) across round. End with 48 stitches.
- (Knit 4, K2tog) across round. End with 40 stitches.
- (Knit 3, K2tog) across round. End with 32 stitches.
- (Knit 2, K2tog) across round. End with 24 stitches.
- (Knit 1, K2tog) across round. End with 16 stitches.

Cut the yarn tail, leaving about 10 inches of yarn. Thread the yarn through a large-eye needle and pull it through all the remaining stitches on your needles. I do this twice because I am a little OCD. Weave in all ends. And you have a hat!

Markers after every decrease, plus a different marker to denote the beginning of a round.

Yes, it's a loooong hat.

My self-portrait picture-taking skills have seriously devolved.

Posted by laurie at June 5, 2011 11:59 AM