This hat is a free pattern on our website. After you downloaded it you were probably rather surprised to find it was knit flat since I was obviously working mine in the round on double pointed needles.
Fear not! I wrote down what I did to convert it and am going to share it with you. However, I thought I’d offer a few general tips first.
People get excited to see hat patterns that are knit flat since they aren’t very common.
While it is very logical to knit a hat in the round, since that is the final shape you want, there are times when knitting flat is desirable. Beginners are often intimidated by working in the round. A complex pattern or color work might be better worked flat. You get the idea.
To make this pattern, even the flat version, you should know how to knit and purl as well as be confident reading a pattern.
The hat is worked in a diagonal rib, so you’ll have to be able to keep track of that as you go along. Also, a word of caution, don’t think you can use these numbers to work a plain hat in stockinette stitch. Remember that ribbing pulls in and stockinette stitch doesn’t. If you drop the pattern stitch your hat could end up a weird size.
A few people have contacted us because they were confused about the part where the diagonal rib begins. The hat starts with a few rows of plain P2,K4 ribbing. Then there is a decrease row, then the diagonal rib starts. The rib pattern starts marching to the right. Just follow the directions and you’ll be fine.
Converting Flat to Round
There are a lot of exceptions and things to consider when converting a knitting pattern written flat to working in the round. Far too many for me to cover in this little post, so I’m just going to offer some quick rules of thumb. There are many excellent knitting reference books that go into more depth that you should seek out.
Barbara Walker has a good discussion of the topic in the introduction to her “A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.”
The first thing to consider is that you won’t have to sew a seam when working in the round, which means you can probably safely eliminate at least 2 sts (on a sweater maybe 4 sts) that would have gone to the seam.
Second, think about how your ribbing will come together in the round. You don’t want a wide swath of either knit or purl stitches messing up your pattern.
Third, in general the very broad rule of thumb is that you’ll want to change purl stitches to knit stitches and vice versa. But before you do that willy-nilly you really need to stop and think about what the original pattern is trying to accomplish.
Keep in mind that the purl stitch is the back of the knit stitch. You know this deep down inside, but maybe hadn’t thought about it for very long. That is why ribbing is reversible. That is why when you work stockinette stitch in the round all you do is work the knit stitch.
If the pattern you are converting has ribbing or a lace stitch you’ll want to see where all the knits and purls fall and what will happen if you reverse them. It might be wise to knit a swatch flat following the pattern so you can get a feel for it before you convert it.
Fortunately, in this case, I’ve done that thinking for you. Ready to get started?
In the Round Version
Remember, I can’t claim this is an original pattern. I’m just converting the existing Tintiri Hat pattern. You’ll want to download it to get the specs and there is also a cute matching scarf pattern on there, too.
Yarn: One skein of Mirasol Hacho. (I had about 3 feet left after seaming the flat version and about 9 feet left after working the round version)
Needles: US 6 or size needed to obtain gauge. (For instance, I used a US 5)
Gauge: 22 sts & 30 rows in 4″ over stockinette stitch
Cast on 90 sts
P2, K4 around.
Continue in rib as established until hat measures 3/4 inches from cast on edge.
Begin diagonal rib:
Rounds 1-4: K4, P2 around
Rounds 5-8: K2, [P2, K4] around, ending K2
Rounds 9-12: P2, K4 around
These 12 rounds form the diagonal rib.
Repeat last 12 rounds until hat measures approx. 7″ from cast on edge
Round 1: *K2tog, K2, P2, repeat from * around (75 sts)
Round 2: K3, P2 around
Round 3: *K2tog, K1, P2, repeat from * around (60 sts)
Round 4: K2, P2 around
Round 5: *K2tog, P2, repeat from * around (45 sts)
Round 6: K1, P2 around
Round 7: *K1, P2tog, repeat from * around (30 sts)
Round 8: K1, P1 around
Round 9: K2tog around (15 sts)
Round 10: K around
Round 11: K2tog around to last 3 sts, S1, K2tog, PSSO (7 sts)
Draw tail through all sts on needles, pull tight to close hole, fasten off.
In case you’re wondering
what the differences are between the two versions:
1) Cast on fewer sts to make the initial ribbing work
2) Eliminated the decrease row since you already have 90 sts
3) Worked 2 extra rows at the top of the crown because I thought the 15 sts hole was too big.
You’ll notice the way the colors fall in the two versions of the hat are very different. That is the fun of hand painted yarns in action. You can meld the colors by alternating working 2 rows from both ends of the ball of yarn. (Of course you can also buy two balls of the same color and alternate 2 rows of each. Then you’ll have enough yarn for two hats.)
On a different note, I was reviewing the new free patterns we’ve posted on line and noticed that this Odin hat from Viking Design is also knit flat. It is a basic rib pattern, which makes it very good for beginners.