Hats are fundamentally rectangles that taper off at one end and might have some ribbing at the other. These are great things to do with handspun yarn. It takes about four ounces to make a hat. Spin it at least sports weight. Thicker yarn leads to warmer hats. These are also fun to knit from stash. You can make the brim one color and the body of the hat another. It only improves the hat.

So, here are the basic construction guidelines for a hat. Itís done flat and the seam is sewn up later. First, make a swatch in whatever pattern you want to use to get your gauge. This is a good place to try out some of those stitch patterns in your stitch library. See how they work up. Or stick with garter (knit every row) or stockinet stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for simplicity sake. Next, find out how wide the hat should be. Just measure around the head where the brim would sit. For me, thatís 23 inches. Hats donít need to be perfectly precise. The difference of an inch or so wonít be noticed really. They stretch most times. Finally, multiply the number of stitches per inch your pattern yields by the number of inches the head is. Youíll need to adjust that number to the patternís repeat, so if you are doing k2 p2 ribbing, the number has to be divisible by 4. Thatís the number of stitches to cast on.

Now you can choose to rib or not to rib. If you decide to rib, you have lots of options. Iíd like to suggest stay with 1-2 inches if you donít want the brim to turn up and 4-4/12 inches if you do. Knit your ribbing section if you want one, then switch to your pattern stitch. Adjust the number of stitches by increases or decreases if you have to. Knit in pattern stitch until your hat is about 7 inches long, 9 if you have a turned up brim.

Then you need to do your decreases. Work 4 stitches in pattern, decrease 1 across. Work next row in pattern, Repeat this process for 1 Ĺ inches. Now, without casting off, leave a tail long enough to sew up the side of the hat and cut the yarn. Thread a yarn needle with that tail and thread it through every stitch on the needle, starting with the one furthest from the tail. Pull the needle out and the yarn tight. Seam up the side, weave in ends, and youíre done