Catching the second wave of pussy hat knitting here at the beginning of 2018, I adapted the pattern for circular knitting. Notes on this are below. But first, let me say how brilliant Kat Coyle’s original pattern is. I thought about that a lot as I knitted this hat. The concept is brilliant, but also the design of the original pattern is brilliant for the whole idea of a mass protest hat. By designing it as a flat rectangle with only knit and purl anyone could make this hat. A person taking their first knitting lesson could make this hat. Cast-on, knit, purl, cast-off. One set of straight needles. Sew side seams. The idea was for as many people as possible to make as many hats as possible, and really I don’t see how the original pattern could possibly have done a better job of being accessible to as many people as possible. Another brilliant thing about the pattern is the wide K2, P2 ribbing. This is an extremely stretchy ribbing and by having it comprise half the hat it insures that one size really will fit most, if not all, heads. No shaping is inherent in the design concept, but the ribbing makes all the usual initial decreases unnecessary, anyway. The broad band of ribbing can be adjusted on the wearer: some may wear it as is, but others may adjust the fit by turning up the front band. Really, anyway you look at it, Kat Coyle’s original pattern is a brilliant design for its purpose and audience.
So, why did I mess with it? Well, I prefer knitting in the round. Circular knitting is a natural for hats. And I hate sewing seams. I’m not a beginner, so the technique doesn’t have to be rock-bottom basic. Though, really, even knitting this in the round isn’t more difficult than knitting it flat. (Easier, in fact, because no purls for stockinette stitch.) But it does call for an extra technique that a beginner wouldn’t typically learn right away, the Kitchener stitch, for neatly and seamlessly closing the top.
Here’s my adaptation of the pattern. It makes a hat just like the original: all I changed was the technique (and the yarn).
Special techniques needed: Kitchener Stitch for seamlessly closing the top. (I occcasionally refer to this tutorial to refresh my memory on the Kitchener stitch.)
Needles: Size 8, set of 5 dpns. (A circular needle with a short cord would probably also work, but you will still need straight needles for finishing.)
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party (“Party” designates a sparkly yarn). Color: Fuchsia. 1 3 oz/85g skein (164 yds or 150 m)
Cast on 100 sts. (I used the German Twisted cast-on, which is a nice stretchy cast-on that’s become my usual, but there’s no need for a special cast-on; your favorite is fine.)
K2, P2 ribbing for 4.25″.
Then knit another 4.25″ in the round (stockinette st). Total length of piece should be 8.5″.
Divide the sts evenly between 2 needles (straight or dpns). Break yarn leaving a very long tail. Finish with Kitchener Stitch. Weave in loose ends and you’re done!
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