quick-knit gift hat

My brother is quite a few years younger than me, but this doesn’t stop us from being creepily similar in a ton of ways. Aside from being charming, stylish, and good-looking, we’re both slightly crabby, very particular, and hung up on all manner of propriety (table manners, event-appropriate attire, driving etiquette, and so on). On looks alone, you’d likely judge him a hoodlum, but he’s actually the penultimate rule-follower. As a kid, he used to carry around a “rule book” that he would pretend to read, then state, loudly, what everyone was expected to do. “RULE BOOK SEVEN SAYS YOU CAN’T BEEP THE HORN”. Seriously…he was five.

No surprise, he’s particular about his clothing. It’s almost exclusively black.  PILES of black t-shirts, dickies, and the omnipresent black, low-top chucks. When it gets cool out, he switches from a series of black baseball caps to an annually-renewed black slouchy stocking cap. I’m pretty sure it’s polyester. While he’s not exactly difficult to shop for, it’s hard to get him anything that’s sort of nice, that he also sort of likes.  I generally start thinking about his Christmas gift in the summer. Last year I sewed him some rather baroque- looking drapes out of some glorious black and gold material I lucked into on the remnants rack. This year, I settled on making him a hat.  A black, plain, slouchy hat that looked like his regular $5 hat, but felt nicer on his head.

Sometimes finding a plain pattern is a total disaster.  Ravelry had a ton of patterns, but they were either too ornate (cabled, multi-colored, textured) or else they were too fitted. The brother insists on a slouchy hat. So, I was in the unpleasant position of having to wing-it. I hate winging-it. A lot. That said, I’m happy to report that the outcome is delightfully plain, soft, and just what I hoped for.  While most experienced knitters would have no problem dashing off a plain hat, some of us…even the experienced ones…like a pattern.  Thus, I give you, The Joe.

side view

The Joe ©
(a hat pattern by melliroo)

one size fits most (from big-noggined brother to tiny-skulled sister)

1 skein Capra Cashmere Yarn , or other DK weight yarn
1 set size 6 circular needles (16″)
1 set size 8 circular needles (16″)
1 set size 8 double pointed

Other tools
stitch marker (I use a looped piece of contrast-color scrap yarn)
yarn needle

1×1 rib (k1, p1) for brim
knit stitch for body

Brim and Body Pattern
On size 6 needles, cast on 96 stitches. Place marker, join round, then knit in a 1×1 rib for 3.5 – 4 inches. Switch to size 8 needles, being sure not to twist stitches. Knit in stockinette until the (soon-to-be) hat is 8 inches long from end-to-end.

Shaping (making a tube into a hat)
Odd rows are decrease rows; even rows are knit straight. This makes the dome of the hat less steep / pointy. Each decrease row reduces the number of stitches by 8.  I switched to the size 8 dpns around Row 10.

Row 1: *K10, K2tog* [88 stitches]
Row 2: and all even rows: knit
Row 3: *K9, K2tog* [80]
Row 5: *K8, K2tog* [72]
Row 7: *K7, K2tog* [64]
Row 9: *K6, K2tog* [56]
Row 11: *K5, K2tog* [48]
Row 13: *K4, K2tog* [40]
Row 15: *K3, K2tog* [32]
Row 17: *K2, K2tog* [24]
Row 19: *K1, K2tog* [16]
Row 21: *K2tog*
Row 22: *K2tog*

Break yarn and thread through remaining stitches to close the top of the hat. Don’t pull it too tight, lest you have a funny little point. Weave the end of the yarn into the underside of the hat. Weave the cast-on end (on the brim) into the underside of the hat. Steam block or leave as is. Thess pics are w/o blocking, but I will block it a bit b/f gifting.

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