Sunday, August 16, 2009

Double Knit Snowboarding Hat with Earflaps

Alternative title, "My first hat", but that just sounds so boring. So being that I'm going snowboarding (aka having my face shoved in snow) in Switzerland in a few months, I saw it as a brilliant excuse to knit something deliciously complicated.

For those of you not interested in my rambling, just scroll down to the pattern at the bottom (not that I think anyone will be able to actually follow it).

Having never attempted circular knitting or two colour knitting before, I decided to figure them both out at the same time. (My logic is infallible, shush.)

Initially the pattern I decided on, was this one:
Knit Ear Flap Hat Pattern

Things were progressing fairly well (once I managed to actually find a shop that sells circular needles less than 30" in length), mostly thanks to this (awesome site), as you can see below:
However, those of you who have any experience with Fair Isle knitting, should know that the inside is just awful. Loose strands everywhere! Especially in a hat, where you have to take into account that it will have to be able to stretch to fit on a head, well it wasn't working for me.

I then remembered seeing something about double knitting on the site mentioned above, and seeing as I was planning on knitting a lining for the hat anyway, it was perfect. After looking around, I came across an article on, which saved my hat. On, she shows you a few methods on how to hold the yarn while double knitting. Being a British knitter myself, I couldn't figure out Continental knitting and eventually ended up holding both yarns in my right hand, one on the index finger and the other on the middle.

Seeing as I was redoing the hat anyway, I figured I might as well make my own design.

Now then, for the important part.

Yarn Used:
50g of Double Knit in Purple
50g of Double Knit in White

4mm Circular Needle (16")
4mm Double Pointed Needles
4mm Crochet Hook
Stitch Marker (I used one of my rings)
Cardboard (for the pom pom)

4" x 4" = 23st x 34 rows

19" circumference. I read somewhere that you should measure the head it's for and subtract 2" for a beanie.

dpns - double pointed needles
mc - main colour (purple)
cc - c...c... other colour
k1 - knit 1
p1 - purl 1
m1 - make 1
k2tog - knit 2 together (note here, that because this is double knitting, you'll have to use another needle to swap two stitches around, so you end up with MC, MC, CC, CC instead of MC, CC, MC, CC, before knitting them together.)

Important Note:
Usually with double knit patterns, I've noticed that they tend to treat it like a single knit pattern and just assume that the knitter will know to do the opposite in the other colour. I didn't feel like doing that, which may or may not be confusing to some. Generally, all you have to remember to do is just move the yarn of the colour that's in front back and forth (unless you're K1 P1-ing, as opposed to my K1 K1-ing, in which case, move both yarns back and forth).

Using the dpns, cast on 9 stitches in MC, I used Backward Loop Cast On, I would advise against using Long Tail Cast On in this case as it already "knits" one row for you, which messes up the double knitting.

Note: To keep the two layers together, twist the MC and CC yarns at the beginning of each row, anti-clockwise.

Row 1: K1 MC, *(K1 CC, K1 MC), repeat from * 4 times. (You can also K1 MC, P1 CC, which will make the hat reversible, but I was being lazy and didn't feel like purling.)
Row 2 (and every even row): P1 MC, *(P1 CC, P1 MC), repeat from * until end of the row.
Row 3: K1 MC, K1 CC, M1 MC, M1 CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 3 times, M1 MC, M1 CC, K1 MC (7 MC and 6 CC total)
Row 5: K1 MC, K1 CC, M1 MC, M1 CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 5 times, M1 MC, M1 CC, K1 MC (9 MC and 8 CC total)
Row 7: K1 MC, K1 CC, M1 MC, M1 CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 7 times, M1 MC, M1 CC, K1 MC (11 MC and 10 CC total)
Row 9: K1 MC, K1 CC, M1 MC, M1 CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 9 times, M1 MC, M1 CC, K1 MC (13 MC and 12 CC total)

Repeat until:
Row 21: K1 MC, K1 CC, M1 MC, M1 CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 21 times, M1 MC, M1 CC, K1 MC (25 MC and 24 CC total)
Row 22: P1 MC, *(P1 CC, P1 MC), repeat from * until end of the row.
Row 23: Slip 1 MC (purl-wise), *(K1 CC, Slip 1 MC), repeat from * until end.

Break yarn. Repeat for other earflap.


With your circular needle and MC, cast on 24 26 st (again, I used Backward Loop Cast On).
Turn and K1 MC, *(Slip 1 CC, K1 MC) across the stitches of the one earflap.
Cast on 61 65 more stitches using MC.
Turn and K1 MC, *(Slip 1 CC, K1 MC) across the stitches of the other earflap.
Cast on 25 27 more stitches using MC.
Join the work, placing a stitch marker between the first and last stitch.
(108 MC sts + 108 CC sts = 216 Total)

EDIT! Thanks to Sue and Becky for pointing out my complete failure at basic addition.

NOTE: With regards to the slipping of stitches here, be sure never to knit CC into MC stitches or vica versa (until you get to the pattern of course). The only reason why I'm slipping here is because I'm only casting on with purple and I don't want to knit through my white stitches with the purple, so I'm ending the earflaps with one more row of white, so I can slip the white while casting on the purple brim.

Row 1&2: *(K1 MC, K1 CC), repeat from * for entire row.
Row 3-32: Follow the pattern shown above (feel free to make up your own pattern, keeping in mind that 108 should be divisible by it's width and try to keep it around 30 rows high.) For alternative colour stitches, just K1 CC, K1 MC instead of the usual K1 MC, K1 CC.

Continue with *(K1 MC, K1 CC) rows until the hat measures about 4.5" from the brim (alternatively, until it fits in such a way that only your crown is still open).

Start the decrease!
You will have to switch from the circular needle to the double pointed needles when it starts getting too small for the circular needle. I think I switched at around row 11 or 13.

Row 1: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 10 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 2 (and all even rows): *(K1 MC, K1 CC), repeat from * for entire row.
Row 3: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 9 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 5: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 8 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 7: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 7 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 9: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 6 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 11: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 5 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 13: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 4 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 15: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 3 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 17: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 2 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 19: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC, *(K1 MC, K1 CC) repeat from * 1 times] repeat entire bracket until end of row.
Row 21: [K2Tog MC, K2Tog CC] repeat entire bracket until end of row.

You should have 9 MC and 9 CC sts left. Break yarns and weave the tails through remaining respective stitches (ie. MC through MC, CC through CC); draw up firmly, secure on wrong side.

With the right side facing and the crochet hook, using MC, attach the wool center back and single crochet all around the endges including the earflaps. Take care to keep the work flap (ie. don't crochet too tightly). Join with a slip stitch in first single crochet. Fasten off.

Cut nine 30” strands of MC and draw through stitches at point of a earflap to the mid-point of the strands. Divide the lengths into 3 sections of 6 strands each and braid them. Knot the end of the braid. Trim ends even. Repeat for the other earflap.

Using the cardboard, cut out two donut shapes in the size you want your pom pom and make a pom pom in CC. (For more detailed instructions on how to do this, Google is your friend.) Attach pom to the top of your hat.

Feel proud and take moronic photos of yourself wearing it.


  1. Fascinating! The pattern I mean.
    Is it a skull or is it something else?
    Leaving out some of the edge bits, it could be a heart - with a winking eye.

    Am not likely to go skiing, but I think this just made it onto my "to do" list.

    Thanks for this,
    -- change bracketed caps for symbols

  2. It's meant to be a heart-shaped skull and crossbones aye, you're spot on. ^_^

  3. I love it. The colors, the design, EVERYTHING. I can't believe this was your first attempt at both double knitting and colorwork (I've done one of each, and I'm more than a little intimidated at trying BOTH!) However, I'm putting it on The List...

  4. Wow! Honestly, before I do this pattern I'm gonna have to learn Double knitting. Hopefully it works out...

  5. for the earflaps I did them but I didn't like the shape they came out as. Kind of triangluar. Do you have any advice on how I can make them slightly more rounded?
    \ / instead of this
    \ /
    i i
    i i

  6. Love the hat! Thanks so much for posting the pattern. I was just at Lucy Neatby's open house on Saturday. She gave me a brief lesson on double knitting and I also bought her double knitting DVD. I was REALLY hoping to find a double knitting earflap hat and you came to the rescue!

    I just hope mine turns out 1/2 as good as yours did :o)

  7. Maybe I'm a bit thick but I can't fathom out how to cast on to join the ear flaps. If I cast on the 24 st then the 61 and the 25 I make that 110 not 108. Can you put up a video of how you join them as I am lost.

  8. Sorry, but this hat comes out absolutely enormous!! I've done a bit of research today and have scoured the net for similar patterns - the biggest I can find (for a man) has only 160 stitches all round. Even hats using sock wool and much smaller needles don't have anything like as many stitches in the round as this hat. Something is wrong somewhere!

  9. Theresa, you are double-knitting, so it's a tube - basically 2 hats. Each of these hats starts with 108 stitches, not 216. There are lots of double-knitting tutorials on the net :)

  10. Oi, I'm terrible with keeping up with this site. I vow to be better.

    @Sue, Staring at it now, I'm only getting 104 not 108. I'll take a look at it again tomorrow when my brain is in better working condition. Fail on my part though.

    @Teresa Hey! As Lynn says, you're in effect knitting two hats, each 108 sts around, inside each other. That way it's double lined against cold stuff.

    I didn't actually think anyone would try this pattern, it's so hard to explain. A video might actually work better, though it's be a -very- long video.

  11. Firstly, Darkfire, you already know that I love this hat, so I want you to know I'm not posting this to complain, only to hopefully help others.

    I just ran into the 104 stitches, not 108 problem. I didn't realize it until I got done with the first row of the hearts pattern. That'll teach me to go back and count my total stitches after casting on, won't it?

    So I'll now be frogging 3 rows + the cast on. I'm going to try casting on 26 stitches instead of 24, then 63 instead of 61, and 27 instead of 25. That should give me the 3 of each color, or 6 total stitches that I need to make the 216 that work with the pattern. Wish me luck! I will let everyone know if that works. :)

  12. :( I know, I would've changed it earlier, but I wanted to wait to go home and double check before changing it, but if you've also encountered the same issue, then my counting isn't wrong and it is only 104. Drat.

    Okay let me fix the pattern, (I'll mark what I've changed).

    Thanks for letting me know!

  13. How do you crochet round the edges? Otherwise, it's looking like it's going to be slightly big (I'm about to start the decrease) but will nevertheless be a very cosy hat.

  14. Hmm okay well it's quite a simple crochet. I attached it at the middle back and then I did a double crochet edging. So I'd crochet through the knit edge and do another chain into that, then crochet through the next knit stitch, then chain that and so on.

  15. Thanks! Didn't do it perfectly so it's not as flat as I'd like but it'll do :) Now just to finish off adding bear eyes/ears/nose... hopefully will get it done before tomorrow as a Christmas present to myself =]

  16. Wow, looks like I'm late to this pattern but LOVE it. Can't wait to do it.
    The perfect set of knitting Needles to get are from Denise. I got one set of knitting and 1 set of crochet and have plenty of cords for any project :)

  17. ok tried your hat 3 different times. thought i was counting wrong. is the 26 stitches 26 total stitches or 26 of each color? same with the 65 and 27 after the ear flap addition. love how you did that. had no trouble till i started on the heart pattern. have my eyes on the black hat you did from this idea to can't wait to see the graph for that one.

  18. You do amazing work! I'm in love with your blog. ^-^

  19. When you say "cast on" in MC how do I get the additional 9 stitches in the CC? Am I supposed to start with 9 stitches total, or 18 stitches for the first ear flap?

  20. You say csst on 9Sts then on the first row says:
    k1 MC, * ( k1 CC, k1 MC ) 4 times that makes 18 Sts. How come on
    Row 3: k1 MC, k1 CC, M1 MC, M1 CC, ( k1 MC, k1 CC ) 3 times, M1 MC, M1 CC, k1 Mc... ( 7 MC, 6 CC ) total of 13 Sts all..
    These makes me confused..
    Can you pls help me and explain further..