Sunday, December 20, 2009

5-hour Hat and Gaiter

[Reposted from my previous blog. The yarn used for this pattern has since been discontinued. Please substitute a super bulky yarn that knits to the correct gauge.]
Many thanks to Suzanne for being a patient model.

This hat and gaiter pattern is a quick and warm knit perfect for beginners or for those (like me) who need a quick and fast project. Knitting took 5 hours total. The hat is made for a 22-23" head. I can pull it firmly down over my ears and it fits great. I don't have tall hair, though. If you have tall hair you may want to increase the total length before decreasing or use the gaiter as a headband. If you have short and fine hair, or no hair like our Styrofoam model below, the gaiter will just look silly as a headband.

A conversation with a friend about reminded me that garter stitch is wider than stockinette and that one needs to increase/decrease appropriately to keep garter from flipping. I used this tip on both the hat and gaiter. On the hat I wanted the garter stitch portion to be wider since it goes around the wider part of the head. I knew that I wanted the band to be wide and cozy around my ears but I wanted the crown to be snug. Decreasing on the first row of stockinette would normally cause flipping up, but I trusted that the taller garter stitch band would counteract stockinette's pull and my big head would keep the rest in place. I was right! No flip here.

I used the same principle on the gaiter to induce flipping. I wanted the top part of the gaiter to flip up over my lower face when I needed it, but to flip down out of the way when I didn't. The garter stitch section here is one ridge shorter, plus I steam blocked half of the garter band in the flipped position so it would be more likely to fold down in front while still remaining upright on the back of the neck.

The explanation of the pattern is now officially longer than the patterns themselves. Onward!


Yarn: Both the hat and gaiter can be made from one 8-oz. skein of Dyeabolical Unspun 2-ply roving/yarn> with plenty left over for a longer crown, longer gaiter, a giant pom-pom, ear flaps, ties, wristwarmers or just to keep on your desk to reach over and smoosh every so often.

Gauge: 9 stitches = 4", post steam blocking

Needle size: I used US 11 double points. I am a notoriously loose knitter. You may find it easier to get gauge on US 13.


Using knitted cast on, cast on 40 stitches on a size 11 dpn

Row 1, 3, 5, 7: Knit
Rows 2, 4, 6, 8: Purl
Rows 9: [k2tog, k8] around--36 stitches remain
Row 10-26: Knit
Row 27: [k2tog, k2] around--27 stitches remain
Row 28: knit
Row 29: [k2tog, k1] around--18 stitches remain
Row 30: Knit
Row 31: [k2tog] around--9 stitches remain
Row 32: k2tog around to last stitch, knit last stitch

Break yarn, weave through remaining stitches and pull tight. Weave in ends. Steam block to finish.


C/O 44 stiches on size 11
Row 1, 3, 5: Knit
Row 2, 4, 6: Purl
Row 7: *K2tog, K9* around--40 stitches
Row 8-18: Knit
Row 19: *Pfb, K9* around--44 stitches
Row 20, 22, 24: Knit
Row 21, 23: Purl
Row 25: Cast off

Weave in ends. Steam block to finish.

© Dyeabolical Yarns, 2008. All rights reserved. Please do not redistribute this pattern without the link and copyright information intact. Contact via email for permission to distribute a printed version of this pattern in your store.


  1. Thank you for this cute, easy pattern. The hat I made will be going to the Innu kids of Natuashish and Sheshasuit in Northern Labrador via Wool Aid.

  2. I love the gaiter hat/headband! Planning on giving it a go & having it ready to wear for this up-coming winter=) TY!

  3. Can you do this with circular needles?

  4. Yes, you can do this on circulars. The gaiter was quick on circular, the hat a bit tighter, so I switched over to two sets of circulars to finish it up. I avoid dpns and almost always use two sets if circulars when things get tight.

  5. If anyone starts doing this, i found that the hat was just a bit too short for most heads. I started the decreases at row 32 instead and the hat came out big enough for even my large-headed guys. Even with increasing length, I used less than one skein of Loops and Threads Charisma on both items, so less than 106 yards. I'm thinking about 90 yards total.


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