Simple rib hat

Rib Hat:

First, a note on tension:

This hat is knitted entirely in 1×1 rib, so tensions for each needle size are given here accordingly. More important than the exact number of stitches is the contrasting feel of the two tensions. This pattern is best suited to a unique, handspun yarn which will be different every time, so for best results knitters should follow the quick guide found in the footnote…1

Yarn: 100% NZ merino wool, handspun, 1x 120g skein 2

Needles: 1 set double pointed 4mm

1 set double pointed 6.5mm

Tension (over 10x10cm in relaxed 1×1 rib):

21sts x 24rows on 4mm needles

20sts x 20rows on 6.5mm needles

(over 10x10cm in extended 1×1 rib, approx.):

13sts x 28rows

9sts x 26rows


k2tog – knit 2 together

k2tog tbl – knit 2 together through the back of the loop

p2tog – purl 2 together

Cast on 84sts using 4mm needles 2

Work 3cm in 1×1 rib

Change to 6.5mm needles

Continue in 1×1 rib until work measures 14cm


dec rnd 1; rib8, (k2tog tbl, k1, k2tog, k16)x3, k2togtbl, k1, k2tog,  rib8

r2; continue in 1×1 rib, except over decreased sts from previous round where there will now be 3 kn sts

r3; rib7, (p2tog, k1, p2tog, p14)x3, p2tog, k1, p2tog,  rib7

r4; rib

r5; rib6, (k2tog tbl, k1, k2tog, k12)x3, k2togtbl, k1, k2tog,  rib6

r6; continue in 1×1 rib, except over decreased sts from previous round where there will now be 3 kn sts

r7; rib5, (p2tog, k1, p2tog, p10)x3, p2tog, k1, p2tog,  rib5

r8; rib

r9; *k2tog tbl* repeat to end

r10; k all sts

r11; as r9

Break yarn and thread though remaining 11sts to fasten off.

1 The yarn used for the hat in these images is a chunky, irregular, handspun merino. Every yarn of this type will vary of course, so I recommend the following method to check your tension and adjust the pattern if necessary:

–       The smaller of the 2 needle sizes should produce a very dense, tight rib to hold the hat to your head. Knit a tension square and measure the number of stitches over 10cm when it is comfortably extended. Measure around your hairline, or at the fullest part of your head, and calculate the number of stitches needed to meet your head measurement. If this is close to the amount of stitches recommended to cast on (84) just follow the pattern J If not you will either need to adjust needle size to meet tension given, or adjust the number of stitches to cast on by a multiple of 4sts. Keeping the number of stitches cast-on to a multiple of 4 will mean that the shaping can still be evenly spaced around the hat, just remember to work out how many more or less stitches you will have between the decreases.

–       The larger of the 2 needle sizes should produce a loose, springy, slouchy rib. This forms the main part of the hat and will alter the look of it drastically. Alter this to your own taste, keeping it tighter for a beanie-style hat or looser for a more lacey rib and Tam shape. Please bear in mind that larger needles will produce a larger hat and may require more yarn.

2 from The Good Yarn Stall, Spitalfields Market, London.

3 Use a stretch cast on method, for example this one

which is a very stretchy cast on method by Tillybuddy

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