Whit’s Knits: 70′s Ski Hat


When I was a kid every guy I knew wore a hat like this. Triangular, striped and itchy. We've all softened a little in the last thirty years, so this updated version features an impossible-to-complain-about cashmere lining, which is easy once you learn how to do a provisional cast-on. 


This Christmas I'm giving one to all of the men in my family. I can't wait to look around at them wearing their 70's Ski Hats, reminding me of how much I loved those times. --Whitney


The Materials



5 stitches = 1 inch in st st using 1 strand of Cascade 220 and #7 needle

5.5 stitches = 1 inch in st st using 2 strands of 2 ply cashmere and #7 needle

Finished Size 

20" circumference (to fit average man's head)

Provisional Cast-On 

Start with the waste yarn, and crochet a chain 120 stitches long. Using 2 strands of 2 ply cashmere and the #7 needle, pick up 110 stitches. (Please refer to the Provisional Cast-on tutorial if you are unfamiliar with this cast-on.)

Place a marker on the right needle and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist stitches around needle.

Knit 23 rounds with the two strands of cashmere.

Change to main color (MC).

Round 1: *K9, K2tog, repeat from * to end of rnd. (100st)

Round 2: Purl 

Knit 10 more rounds

K5 rounds with color A

K4 rounds with color B

K3 rounds with color C 

Weave in all the ends.

Place the provisional cast-on onto the smaller circular needle (see the Provisional Cast-on Tutorial).


Fold the cashmere hem up inside the hat so that the two circular needle are parallel to each other.


Change to MC.

Next round: *K 1 stitch from the front needle and 1 stitch from the back needle together 9 times, K 1 stitch from the front needle and 2 stitches from the back needle together 1 time, repeat from * to end of round (100 stitches).


With MC knit until hat measures 6-inches from hem edge.

Next round: K1, SSK, K45, K2tog, place marker, K1, SSK, K45, K2tog.

Next round: K1, SSK, K to 2 stitches before next marker, K2tog, slip marker, K1, SSK, K to 2 stitches before end-of-the-round marker, K2tog.

Repeat this last round until there are 20 stitches left, switching to double pointed needles when necessary.

Slip stitches so that the first 10 stitches are on 1 needle and the second 10 stitches are on another needle.


Cut an 18-inch tail.

Bring the needles inside the opening at the top of the hat (yes, this is a kind of weird manouever), and turn the hat inside out. 

Hold the two needles parallel and knit a three needle bind off. (You do this by knitting one stitch from the front needle together with one stitch from the back needle 2 times. Then pass the first stitch over the second, just like a normal bind off...)


backofhat.jpgFinally, I do something that I admit is a little control freakish. I don't like the idea of someone wearing this hat with the jogged stripe side in the front, so I tie a little piece of yarn on the hem that says "This is the back of the hat!" 





All that's left is to weave in the ends, block the hat, and make a few more!


17 Responses to Whit’s Knits: 70′s Ski Hat

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  1. hyunjee says:

    Thanks so much for this pattern! I love it and will make many, I”m sure. Great colors!

  2. NewJerseyLaura says:

    Love the hat! Thank you. I still have my 70′s ski sweater, light blue, that matches – could never give it up…

    I’m with you about jog-annoyance. Check our Meg Swanson’s jogless color joins. Save your little strings for next hat!

  3. kelli ann says:

    ski hat is adorable, in the lifesaver colours:: a cashmere lining no less. fabu! thanks for the pattern

  4. Jus Shar Designs says:

    I remember those too! I was on the ski team, and we all wore them. That was 1984…

  5. Juls says:

    Thanks for the wonderful hat pattern. I made one for a co-worker and plan to make many, many more!

  6. gigi says:

    I am totally making this for my husband, father, and brothers! Gotta start right now though!

  7. dpw says:

    This is the Moriarty hat that was designed and made in Stowe, VT and was very popular. You could order your own design. I have been looking for this pattern for a long time.

  8. Fran Friel says:

    Marvelous blast-from-the-past pattern. Thank you so much for the detail and care, and for sharing so generously!


  9. Vanessa says:


    The men in my family have larger heads (average 24in). How can I make this hat just a smidge larger?


  10. purl bee says:

    Hi Vanessa,

    You could knit at a slightly looser gauge. For example, the outer hat yarn at 4 3/4 stitches to the inch would make a 21-inch hat; or at 4 1/2 stitches to the inch it would make a 22 1/4-inch hat.

    Keep in mind that hats do stretch and you almost always want to make a hat at least two inches smaller than the actual circumference of the head that will wear it!

    Thanks so much for asking and please let us know if you have any more questions!


  11. Deborah says:

    I love your site and have learned so much as a new knitter. I am starting the above hat which I love. I have had no problem with the provisional cast on and joining. I am just at the beginning with the first 23 rounds. I am doing the hat in just two colors of MC black and then a red stripe on either side of a black MC stripe. I am a little confused when after 23 rounds you switch to MC. I have started the hat with the MC of black. I do not know why I am confused. Thank you for any help.

  12. purl bee says:

    Hi Deborah,

    I hate to say this, but it sounds like you might be knitting a hat that will turn out too big.

    In the pattern, the cuff is knit in a different yarn and a different gauge, which is why there is a decrease row which takes you from 120 to 100 stitches. If you're get 5 stitches to the inch with your Main Color and you're using that yarn to also knit the cuff, then you should cast on 100 stitches, not 120. Then you'll ignore the instruction to change to the MC and also Round 1 where it says to *K9, K2tog, repeat from * to end of round. Instead, just go on to Round 2 where you purl.

    I hope this sets you on the right path. Please let us know if you have any other questions and thank you so much for this one!


  13. Brenda says:

    Love working this hat! I think I will never knit a wool hat without a cashmere lining again!
    One question, I'm nearly done and the brim is rolling outward quite a bit. Will blocking solve this? Please tell me I don't have to rip it out and start over with less rows on the lining :(

  14. purl bee says:

    Hi Brenda,

    Well, I would definitely try blocking it! Hopefully that will work, and if not, I would guess that the problem is not with how many rounds of lining you knit but with your gauge. Another thought I have is that the flare may resolve itself once the hat is snug on a head!

    Please let us know if you have any other questions; thanks for this one; and good luck!


  15. Lisa says:

    Hi – the hat you show where green is the MC, what color # is that?

  16. purl bee says:

    Hi Lisa,

    The green color is #8914. Here is a link to all of our Cascade 220 colors: . All of the colors used in these hats are listed in the materials section, by the way.

    Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any more questions!


  17. Lisa says:

    Hi Whitney – ah ok gotcha, it looked a bit darker than the green that was used in the red hat. Thanks for clarifying!


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