Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hatcowl: a free hat or cowl pattern

Every time my fingers type Hatcowl, my brain sees 'Howl' and I think of Howl's Moving Castle, in which - coincidentally - the heroine trims hats for her mother's shop.  This has absolutely nothing to do with today's pattern, so thank you for your patience.  And do check out Howl's Moving Castle if you haven't seen it.

Okay: Hatcowl!

Inspired by an alpaca-blend hat I had to make myself give away, this charming accessory is a glorified tube with a cable eyelet detail at one end and a drawstring at the other.

You can pull the drawstring tight to produce a hat, or open it up to produce a cowl (which means that you'll need a scarf and a beanie as backup to cover whichever part of you is likely to be left in the cold; sorry.)

When I tried on the original, I was struck by the flattering quality of this very basic structure.  See what I mean?

So cute!  And what a great vehicle for self-striping yarn - the number of stitches never changes, so the stripes don't either.

Because the cable eyelet design stands right at the beginning of the round, it's important to use the cast-on tail to conceal the little jog at the join. 

If that's not something you do well, check out my tutorial on that process, and the first comment that follows.

The cable eyelet stitch is a little more complicated than the rest, but not much if you take it stitch by stitch.  If you aren't comfortable with it, just skip that part of the instructions and jump straight to the ribbing.  Because who cares about the front when the back has so much flourish?

Sizing: I only offer one size in this pattern, but I used the stretchiest ribbing for the bottom for maximum size flexibility within it.  My head is 22" around and this hat, at 19" when resting, is very comfortable.  If your head is bigger than mine, use yarn that's mostly - or all - wool.  Maximum elasticity!

If you're totally in love with this colour combination by the way, I hate to tell you it's a club colourway from Twisted Fiber Art, I think from the winter of 2014: Big Bad Wolf.  If I see it come into regular circulation I will let you know, but trust me: there are tons of other amazing options at Twisted.  Or you can check your yarn stash for another sport-weight yarn.

Difficulty Level
Close to beginner, if you leave out the cable eyelet pattern and just knit ribbing throughout.  The pattern is knit in the round.  Increases and decreases are included and described, and the drawstring is braided by hand.


Twisted Fiber Art Playful (100% superwash merino, 300 yards/100 grams), 80g 
3.5mm 16” circular needle or size to obtain gauge
cable needle 
stitch marker

26 sts, 16 rows = 4” in stocking stitch
Finished Dimensions 
9.75" tall, 19” around


Laurinda said...

Seen Howl's Moving Castle? I OWN Howl's Moving Castle! :-) Thank you so much for this pattern, I think it will be perfect for my son-in-law... but next Christmas. There are too many gifts to knit as it is! It will be a lovely, relaxing knit after the holidays

Mary Keenan said...

It is SO good to own that movie, isn't it? I watch it a lot - I find it so relaxing :^) If you do get around to the Hatcowl I hope you enjoy it... I am loving wearing mine, it's so easy to put on and keep on, and it seems so flattering too!