It happens to the best of us... You wander into a yarn shop, anxious, antsy, raring to knit, but then, you are faced with it: the Wall. It's packed full of vibrantly colored fiber, cubbies upon cubbies of yarn, arranged to inspire. But instead of igniting direction, this vertical display of skeins causes, what I like to call (in a hushed voice), Knitter's Wall (gasp!).

It's the knitter's version of writer's block. You find yourself standing there, staring aimlessly, hands thrown in the air, asking yourself, asking the wall, "What should I knit?!?!?!"

Although you can't find Knitter's Wall in any psychology books, I don't need to tell you, it is a real affliction. The good news... there's a solution! All you need is a warm-up project, a project to get those finger muscles moving and knitting neurons shooting. Something that's sparks your interest, grabs your attention, and gets you back into your knitting groove.  The even better news... I've got just the thing for you! The Heel Stitch Hat. 

Heel Stitch is traditionally used for, you guessed it, the heel of a sock. Designed for its durability and cushioning effect, I knew such a striking texture and impressive loft would make up an incredibly handsome and cozy hat.  For gorgeous stitch definition and sumptuous warmth, I used Swan's Island's beautiful Worsted weight organic merino, but most any worsted weight yarn will suit! Once you've completed it, you'll have a hat to keep the cool air out andKnitter's Wall at bay

Materials

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Gauge

6 stitches and 8 rows = 1 inch in Heel Stitch

Sizes

Baby (Toddler, Kid, Small Adult, Large Adult)

  • Finished Circumference: 14 1/3 (15 2/3, 17, 18 1/3, 20 1/3) inches
  • Height: 5 3/4 (6 3/4, 8 1/4, 9 1/4, 10 1/4) inches

If in doubt about which size to make, measure the circumference of the recipient's head, subtract 2 inches and make the hat that is closest to that number.

Notes

Heel Stitch (for even number or stitches)

Round 1: *Slip 1, K1, repeat from * to end

Round 2: Knit

The first Stitch Marker you place is to indicate the beginning of the round. I find it useful for this marker to be a different type or color from the other six stitch markers which will indicate decreases. Towards the end of the pattern, you are to remove the first, third, forth and sixth stitch marker. This is not counting the beginning of round stitch marker.

Slip stitches purlwise with yarn in back.

Pattern

Begin

Using the US size 8 circular needle, cast on 86 (94, 102, 110, 122) stitches. Place a marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Round 1: *Slip 1, K1, repeat from * to end

Round 2: Knit

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until the piece measures 4 1/4 (5 1/4, 6 1/4, 7 1/4, 8) inches from the rolled edge, ending with Round 1.

Shape Crown

Set-up Round: k12 (14, 14, 16, 16), place marker, k9 (9, 11, 11, 13), place marker, k9 (9, 11, 11, 13), place marker, k26 (30, 30, 34, 36), place marker, k9 (9, 11, 11, 13), place marker, k9 (9, 11, 11, 13), place marker, knit to the end of the round.

Next Round: Slip 1, K1, repeat from * to end of round.

Decrease Round: *Knit to two stitch before first marker, ssk, slip marker, K1, k2tog, repeat from * for next 5 markers, knit to end of round.

Repeat previous two rounds 2 (2, 3, 3, 4) more times. On the last decrease round, remove the first, third, fourth and sixth marker. Change to double pointed needles when stitches no longer comfortably fit around needle.

Next Round: Slip 1, K1, repeat from * to end of round.

Decrease Round: *Knit to two stitch before first marker, ssk, slip marker, K1, k2tog, repeat from * for next marker, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Slip 1, K1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat previous two rounds.

Finish

Next Round: Knit to first marker, remove marker, K1, slip the following stitches onto a doublepointed needle until you reach the second marker, remove marker, slip the remaining stitches on to a second double pointed needle

Use kitchner stitch to close the top of the hat. Weave in your ends and you are all done! Hope this hat warms you up!