Beginners Cable Knit Hat (Instructions Included)

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Things got busy and I put all my quilting projects on hold.  I left a space to go back to how I organized them all, but from May until the fall, I really didn’t do many crafts.  After visiting Michael’s mom, Mugs, in October, and after she showed me the beautiful Irish sweater she knit her daughter in law, Val, I was stricken by the knitting bug again. For many years I was into knitting double knit mittens so had a lot of yarn around the house.  I decided that I wanted to learn how to do a cable stitch.   I found a hat pattern in my stash and adapted it a bit, and made it first without the cable stitching. A nice day’s work, shown in blues above.  Then I googled what exactly “C4F” actually meant.  I found a wonderful video on YouTube on how to make a braided cable bracelet. Well, that got me thinking.  Use larger needles and double my wool and I can make a cable knit infinity scarf  for my daughter. I finished the scarf and forgot to take any pictures of it, before she took it home.

I then went back to the original pattern I used for the cable knit hat. It took a full day to make, as I had to do some adaptions.  I used my favourite yarn, Bernat Softee Chunky, which I had several previously used balls. This was left over from the mitten days.  I found out later, that this yarn has been replaced by an even chunkier chunky type.  The hat takes a full 80 g/2.8 oz ball of the original Softee Chunky yarn.  The ball I used was varigated. Fun to work with, but doesn’t show up the cable stitching a all!   Note to my self: If you are making cable stitching use a plain colour yarn.  I didn’t have enough of the yarn remaining to complete the hat and knew I would be short, and used a plain grey on the top. It looks fine, but I could have used it instead under the band, after knitting the ribbing, I changed to a larger needle.   At this size it fits a women’s head and is a bit large for a child, but they often like the bulkiness and the loose feeling of a hat. I made several of these and one of which for my grandson.  I used size 4mm and 5mm needles for both hats.  Where it states to do the cable, for the blue hat I did a few rows of seed stitch (K1P1 alternating rows to avoid doing a ribbing) a few rows of knitting, then back to seed stitch prior to starting to decrease for the top. The original pattern was for two needles, different size yarn, different size needles, as well as a complicated to me (but cable stitching had the same reaction a week ago) stitching at the beginning for the brim. I tried it, couldn’t figure it out, then went back to plain ribbing.  You can make a variety of type of hats by just switching up the type of yarn. Heavy or smaller yarn using the same size needles, will make a larger hat.  This has turned out to be my base for a lot of my hats now.  Whether, it is cable or not using a variety of yarn types and needle sizes. I make adjustments for the number of stitches according to the size of the yarn and needles.

Pattern for Cable Knit Hat:

Cast on 76 sts on size 4 mm needles using circular or 4 needles (stitches on each of the 3 needles: 26/25/26). Knit 2 rows.
Next Row: K1.P1 (for this ribbing I knit into the back of the needle to make it tighter) until end of row.
Next Row: Continuing K1.P1 for 2.5″ (6 cm) of ribbing.
Next Row: Change to  size 5mm needles and Knit one row.
Next Row:  Knit and increase evenly across row to 98 sts on needle(s).
Next Row:  Work 9 rows (K1. P1) ribbing (regular knitting not into back of needle).
Start Pattern:
Row 1 and 2:  *P1.K4.P1.K1 Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 3:  *P1.C4F.P1.K1. Repeat * to end of row.

This is where I will interject with regards to C4F which is your cabling instructions.  Take out an extra needle.  Slip off on this needle the next 2 stitches. Keep that in front of your work. Knit the next 2 stitches from your original work, and then knit the two stitches that you just put on the spare needle. This causes the overlap that cable stitching is all about.  The C means Cable, the 4 means that you are working with 4 stitches and if it stated C6F it would have meant take 3 stitches to put on a spare needle. The F means put it in front of your work. If it had C4B it would mean the spare needle with two stitches would be placed on the back of your work, which gives a different effect.  If you alternate between C4F and C4B, then you will have a more braided look, like the YouTube video for the braided cable bracelet suggests.  I can’t believe seasoned knitters kept these instructions as such a secret for years!  It is easy peasy!  Now back to the pattern:

Row 4-6: Repeat Row 1.
Row 7:  Repeat Row 3.
Repeat 4th to 7th Rows until hat measures from start 8-1/2″ (22 cm) ending with the 6th row of pattern.

To shape top: Next Row:  P1. *C4F. P1. K2tog. Repeat from * to last 6 sts. C4F. P1. K1. 85 sts on needle.
Next Row: Knit all knit sts and purl all purl sts.
Next Row:  P1. *K2tog. K2. K2tog. Repeat from * to end of row. 57 sts on needle.
Next Row:  P1. Knit to end of row.
Next Row:  P1. *K1. K2tog. K1. Repeat from * to end of row. 43 sts on needle.
Next Row:  P1. Knit to end of row.
Next Row:  *K2tog. K4. repeat from * to last st. K1. 36 sts on needle.
Next Row:  Knit to end of row.
Next Row:  *K2tog. K3. Repeat form * to last st. K1. 29 sts on needle.
Next Row:  Knit to end of row.
Next Row:  *K2tog. K2. Repeat from * to last st. K1. 22 sts on needle.
Next Row:  Knit to end of row.
Next Row:  *K2tog. K1. Repeat from * to last st. K1. 15 sts on needle. Break yard and thread through remaining sts. Draw up tightly and fasten securely.  Do not press.

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