Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monkadoodle's Stocking Hat

My youngest son, then two, grabbed a skein of Lion Brand Home Spun yarn out of the bin while we were at Walmart several months ago and said, "Mommy, can I have this one? I like this one. Can you make me a hat please?"

I was in a hurry and trying to stick to my shopping list that day. Thus, I almost said no but he had such a big smile on his face, his eyes were shining, and he had never asked me to knit him anything before. So I said, "OK, buddy. One Monkadoodle hat. Are you sure you want that yarn? You can pick any other yarn here if you want or we can go to the yarn shop and get something really nice."

He stood that for a moment looking at all the different yarns and colors around him in the aisle, walked up and touched different skein, then, shaking his head, turned back to me saying, "No, I want this one."

Out of curiosity I asked, "Why that one?"

He grinned and said, "It's soft and BLUE!"

How could I argue with such an emphatic love of blue. Laughing, I said, "It's good that you know what you like, Monkadoodle. OK, put it in the basket. I'll try making a hat for you with this stuff. I can't promise how it will turn out because I've never knitted with this yarn before but we'll see what I can come up with."

So we got home and I tucked the skein away in my stash and spent the next few months thinking about what kind of hat I could make with Home Spun. I love the color, Montana Sky. It is blue with subtle changes to blue green and it is soft. It's the first #5 bulky yarn I've ever tried. It looks almost like a boucle', except the strand is stronger.

So after looking around online at different projects made with this stuff and scratching my head, I decided that this yarn was not going to give me very good stitch definition so a basic ribbed hat would probably be the best. I also wanted this to be a hat that he could wear for several winters and ribbing makes for a nice stretchy, able-to-grow-with-a-growing-head kind of hat. So this is what I ended up making for him.

This is a very easy, basic hat pattern. There is nothing special about it in any way, shape, or form and there are probably a dozen similar patterns running around out there either free or for purchase. I've made so many basic hats that I don't really look at a pattern anymore and all the patterns I have used are beginning to blur together in my mind anyway. I did not even check gauge on this prior to making it. I just cast on what looked like about the right amount based on other hats I've made and went from there.

You will need:

  • #9 16-inch circular needles
  • #9 DPNs
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Homespun Yarn (but you can probably use
    just about any yarn you want just make sure to adjust needle size and # stitches
    cast on so that it will fit the desired head circumference)
  • Stitch marker
  • Yarn Needle

Gauge: 4 stitches = 1 inch in stock stitch (I did not measure gauge until after I was finished So this is how it worked out.)


  • Using circular needles, cast on 72 stitches. Put a stitch marker on the right needle to mark the beginning of the round.
  • Join, being careful not to twist the stitches and knit every round in 2X2 rib (K2, P2. Repeat to end of round.) for 6 inches from cast on edge.
  • Switch to knit stitch. Knit all rounds for next 2 inches (total of 8 inches from cast on edge).
  • Next begin the decreasing as follows:
    Round 1: K6, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (63 stitches remain)
    Round 2: K5, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (54 stitches remain)
    Round 3: Knit
    Round 4: Switching to DPNs, K4, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (45 stitches remain)
    Round 5: Knit
    Round 6: K3, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (36 stitches remain)
    Round 7: Knit
    Round 8: K2, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (27 stitches remain)
    Round 9: Knit
    Round 10: K1, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (18 stitches remain)
    Round 11: K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (9 stitches remain)
  • Cut yarn leaving 5 inch tail and thread onto yarn needle.
  • Pull it through the remaining stitches and cinch it tightly to close the hole.
  • Weave in the end on the inside of the heat. Weave the end on the brim of the hat being mindful that the cuff will be turned up on the hat.

This pattern is based on the notes I jotted down as I was making it. I have not tested this pattern yet but plan to in the near future. Thus, it may be subject to a few changes in the future. If anyone out there is interested in becoming a pattern tester for me, please let me know.


  1. This is a lovely story; please tell me, does he like his new hat?

  2. Yes, based on his smile when I gave it to him, I think he does. Though, I really won't know until the freezing weather gets here (in another 6 weeks most likely) and he chooses between last year's hat and his new hat.