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Wednesday
Nov262008

Whit's Knits: Simple Pleasures Hat

For this hat, I wanted to use the most luxurious fibers I could get my hands on and to let the yarn speak for itself by keeping the shape casual and the design simple. Jade Sapphire's 2 Ply Cashmere Silk answered the call. Doubled for the cuff and combined with a laceweight mohair (Rowan's Kid Silk Haze or Alchemy's Haiku) for the crown, the Cashmere Silk is one of Purl's gems. It is unbelievably soft and supple; it's beautifully hand dyed; its materials are of unparalleled quality; and it's surprisingly affordable. Whenever I knit with it, I spend as much time admiring what I've knit as I do actually knitting! 

If you've never knit a hat before, this is a wonderful place to start. You will learn to knit in the round (with circular needles), but can delay the dreaded double pointed needles because they're not necessary for this pattern. Even if you've knit hundreds of hats, this may be welcome news!

To get started, please visit keep on reading. If the yellow mittens are catching your eye, check out last March's EZ's Mitts entry - it's a great time of year to be thinking about mittens! -Whitney

Updated: A New Simple Pleasures Hat

To make the version of this hat posted on August 30, 2012, you will need the following materials. Please note, the needles are smaller than in the original pattern. Over the years, thanks to the feedback of our wonderful readers, we found that dropping down a couple of needle sizes is a good idea. Cashmere blooms quite a bit with wear, so at first, the 14 1/2-inch circumference may seem a bit small, but after a wear or two, it will feel just right!

The (Updated) Materials

The (Updated) Gauge

6 1/4 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch using the larger needle and 1 strand of each yarn

 

Original Simple Pleasures Hat: The Materials

  • 1 ball of Rowan's Kid Silk Haze, 70% super kid mohair, 30% silk (This color is "Majestic", #589.) (For more color options, consider Alchemy's Haiku mohair/silk blend. The equivalent gauge of Kid Silk Haze, it's a beautifully hand dyed alternative.)
  • 1 skein of Jade Sapphire's 2 Ply Cashmere-Silk, 45% cashmere, 55% silk. (This is color is "Tea Leaves".)

The Pattern

Gauge

4.75 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch, using the larger needle and 1 strand of cashmere silk and 1 strand of mohair

Finished Size

18 inches in circumference, unstretched. To fit an average woman's head.

Note

For this pattern, I call the Cashmere Silk "Yarn A". (It is doubled for the cuff.) I call the Mohair "Yarn B". (For the crown, one strand of Yarn A is combined with with one strand of Yarn B.)

To double Yarn A, either wind the skein into two balls and pull one strand from each ball. Or, wind a center-pull ball (by hand or, more easily, on a swift) and pull one strand from the inside of the ball and one from the outside.

Cuff

Using 2 strands of Yarn A, cast 92 stitches onto the smaller needle.

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches. Place marker to indicate the end of the round.

Round 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 until the piece measures 6 inches from the cast on edge.

Crown

Cut one of the strands of Yarn A and add one strand of Yarn B (so that you're knitting with one strand of A and one strand of B).

Change to the larger needle, and knit every round until the crown measures 7 inches from the top edge of the cuff.

 

Next Round: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (69 stitches)

Knit 2 rounds.

Next Round: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (46 stitches)

Knit 2 rounds.

Next Round: *K2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (23 stitches) (This round will be a litle tight on the circular needle. Feel free to switch to double pointed needles if you want, but I didn't find it neccessary.)

Cut a 12 inch tail and thread it onto a tapestry needle.

Thread the tail through the remaining 23 stitches.

Remove the circular needle and pull the tail tight. Thread the tail through the center top to the inside of the hat.

Weave in all the tails. (Remember to weave in the cast on tail on the right side because the cuff will be worn folded up.)

The hat looks a little funny...

...but starts to look a little less funny when you fold the cuff...

...and then looks totally cute when you put it on!

Reader Comments (72)

I think this is so pretty, yet simple. Its a great idea to use the two different yarns.
November 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
Awesome job Whit! It's beautiful! I can't want to make this!!!
November 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCalia
whit' ... it's a deliciously beautiful hat ... what color is the koigu kpppm of the sweater ... and when did that get whipped up?! ... ;) ... kisses ... kisses ... kisses ...
November 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterina and gumby
Very nice pattern! And yes, totally cute when you put it on! Can't wait to make this one. :)

I loved the mittens in March, and I still love them now! Might have to get started on some of those, too. Thanks for the post!
November 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteph
Thank you for the pattern. The hat looks very nice and the pattern seems easy. I have been following your blog for a little while. Thanks for the nice posts as well.
November 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeste
Love the hat and am anxiously awaiting everything to be back in stock at Purl to make it! Just lovely...
November 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen.
Beautiful project... this will be my holiday indulgence. Can you tell me what pattern you used to make your sweater?
November 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarolanne
I love this hat. I made it really fast in just one day. It's so cozy. Thanks for the great pattern!
November 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim
I love it, I think I might make it for somebody as a Christmas gift!
November 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNatalia
Lovely!
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris T.
this is so great! its cute, fancy and easy (looking, im such a beginner!) all at once :D thanks for the pattern!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersaz
Could you please tell me what pattern that sweater is from and the yarn too...Thanks
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Has anyone made this hat for a man? Would it just be and inch or two more in circumference?
Thanks,
January 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbecky
Hi Becky,
Yes, that should do it! Good luck!
January 10, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you so much.
January 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbecky
I love this more and more. It is indeed simple - and beautiful.
February 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMax
im giving it a shot with dpns and a more chunky yarn. why the pattern uses #8 needles if the yarn looks so thin in the picture? if it comes out nice im gonna use the cashmere blend im saving for something special since im a beginner and i dont wanna make a mess with it.
September 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermarianna
wow! this is such a great pattern! so simple and really beautiful. i made this hat in just a couple of days, and though mine is chunkier and a lot less elegant than yours, it's still really cute! i made mine with stripes and i put a big pom-pom on the end. it's a great winter hat because it's really warm. thank you so much!! :)
October 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterannie
Il est vraiment très joli ce bonnet et il a l'air très confortable.
October 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLP
I'm a bit of a beginner and am a little confused with using two strands of the same yarn--do you cut the whole skein in half, do you just double it while making it into a ball? I can get my head around knitting with two SEPARATE yarns, but I'm getting a little confused with two of the same. :)
November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
Hi Lydia,
The easiest way to do it is to make a ball where you can pull from both ends of the yarn at once (this is most easily accomplished by winding the ball on a ball winder, you pull one strand from the outside of the ball and one from the center). If you can't do this, you can instead wind two balls of the yarn and pull one strand from each ball. You won't need to make two equal halves, maybe one ball that is approximately 1/3 of the total length and the other approximately 2/3.
Hope this helps!
November 23, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks so much! I ended up doing the two balls and I'm finishing up the cuff tonight which is great because tomorrow is my day off and we just got a lot of snow here in Massachusetts, so now my head can be warm and cozy!
December 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
Sorry, this is probably common knowledge, but what's the purpose of knitting the band of the hat on a smaller needle, and then the rest on a larger needle?

Thanks!
December 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermolly
I just finished this for a friend's birthday, and I don't think I'll be giving it to her. I put it on to see how it looked and I don't want to take it off even long enough to weave in the ends. It is so cute and incredibly comfortable - thank you!!!!!!
February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertbell
How does a doubled up lace weight work on a size 8 needle? I tried this and it looks nothing like it. What am I doing wrong?
November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Hi Heather,
Without knowing what yarn you are using, or being able to check your gauge, it's going to be a bit of guesswork to help you figure out what is wrong. But here are a few pointers to help you get going in the right direction:

Make sure that you are getting the required gauge, which is 4.75 stitches per inch in stockinette. If your gauge is looser, you will need to go down in needle size, if it is tighter, you will need to go up in needle size.

The other issue is that one of the yarns that Whitney used is mohair which "blooms" when it is knit, filling in the space between the stitches. So you'll want one of your yarns to have this property.

Please let us know if this helps, or if you need further assistance.
Good luck!
November 7, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, want to know pattern for the sweater, yarn and color for the sweater too, thanks, Rita
February 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRita
Hi Rita,

The sweater is just a simple raglan that I knit up without a pattern, although if there is enough interest I may have to write it down and post it!

The yarn I used was Koigu's KPPM which is here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/409-Koigu-Wool-Designs-Koigu-Painters-Palette-Premium-Merino-KPPPM . I no longer know which color it was exactly, and unfortunately it can be very hard to find an old Koigu colorway - sometimes they make a color only once!

Thank you for your questions!
Whitney
February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
I want to make this with just one ball of yarn, is this possible? Would I use a worsted to get the same effect just with plain wool?
April 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranon
Hi Anon -

I'm not sure whether your one ball is long enough to make the hat. I would guess that you'd be safe with 200 yards of yarn, so check your label to see if you have enough.

And, sorry to say, I'm also not sure whether your worsted will work. It depends on whether it's a light or heavy worsted. The gauge of this pattern is 4 3/4 stitches to the inch which is a light worsted weight. I recommend doing a gauge swatch with what you have to see if it will work. Here's our tutorial on knitting gauge swatches: http://www.purlbee.com/swatch-tutorial/

Good luck and thanks for your question!
Whitney
April 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
This pattern is super easy, if not a bit boring to knit, and turned out great. I used Lion Brand Amazing yarn in Olympia (wool/acrylic blend) instead but followed the pattern otherwise and it turned out lovely, with just the right amount of fuzz that you got from the mohair. I like that since the yarn I used has bands of subtle color changes it added some interest to the plain stockinette. Since the pattern is so basic I can see how it's perfect to show off a beautiful yarn. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern, I can see this becoming a favorite hat!
January 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commentererica
Hi, Whitney,

I would LOVE to have the pattern for the Koigu raglan sweater! as pictured here. It looks like it is so cute with the Koigu yarn. Even though the original yarn lot is not available, there are plenty of beautiful choices. I have used Koigu in the past, but not for a sweater. I love this yarn.

Thank you!
August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhyddy
Hello Whitney,

I am wondering which cast on method you used for this hat? Thanks to you and all the folks at Purl Bee for putting together such a nice blog! This is one of my very favorite places to visit on the Web.

All the best,
Angela
August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
i was quite surprised to see that the yarns that the hat was made of are no longer available. Do you have another recommendation?
September 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaynetta
Hi Raynetta.
Both the yarns for the New Simple Pleasures Hat are available! You can click on the yarns listed at the top of the post or on the links listed below.
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/614-Jade-Sapphire-2-ply-Cashmere
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/1025-Alchemy-Haiku
Thanks,
Laura
September 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Phyddy,

Even though I was eight months pregnant in that photo, that sweater sprung right back into shape, and I still wear it and love it! Koigu is amazing!

I knit this sweater without a pattern, but you could easily replicate it with Ann Budd's fabulous book, The Knitter's Hand Book of Sweater Patterns: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/597-Interweave-Press-The-Knitters-Handy-Book-of-Sweater-Patterns . It has basic patterns for five sweater types (drop shoulder, raglan, yoke, saddle shoulder and set in sleeve) in tons of sizes and gauges. That's how I learned to make my own sweaters, and it's a great place to start!

Thanks for asking!

Whitney
September 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Angela,

Although I know some people get fancier when a ribbing is involved, I almost always just use a simple long tail cast on!

Thank you for your question!

Whitney
September 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Do you have a suggestion for a less expensive replacement for the cashmere wool? I have my 'fuzzy' one ready (think it would work with sequins in?) but I can't afford the other :(
September 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNess
Hi Ness-

Any thin fingering weight or a substantial lace weight yarn would work. Swans Island Fingering is a good choice:

http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/6281-Swans-Island-Fingering

As is Anzula Sebastian:

http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8197-Anzula-Sebastian

Thank you for writing in!

Molly
September 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I knit the original hat, and like you mentioned, it has bloomed and gotten bigger. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to "shrink" it so that it's a little more snug when wearing. Can I wash it in hot water?

I am also planning to knit the new smaller-needle version. I love this hat!
September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Hi Whit,
How many skeins of KPPPM do you think are needed for a sweater like the one you are wearing on the photo? I know the answer can't be too precise, but I am just wondering if it is around 10 or 15 or???
All best and thanks,
ida
September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIda
HI Melissa,

You could try a little light felting which is caused more by agitation than hot water actually. So try popping it in the washing machine for a few minutes of the wash cycle. Check on your hat's progress very often, there's no going back!

Thanks for your question. I hope it works out!

Whitney
September 18, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Ida,

No, not that many! I think I used 7 skeins for about a 38-inch chest. I also knit it a little bit loose at 6 stitches to the inch or so. It sounds like you already know this, but just a little warning that nothing is more upsetting than not having enough Koigu! It's so difficult to find more of your same colorway, and when you do, it often looks really different. So, buy more than you think you'll need, don't wind it all into balls, save your receipt and exchange what you don't use!

Thanks for asking!
Whitney
September 20, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just knit this hat in red wool for my first non-flat item, and I love it!! Thank you so much for sharing this and giving me a good starting point that doesn't use scary dpns haha
September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeagan
I'd like to make one of these super Awesome hats with size17 knitting needles for the big bulky look...what do you suggest as far as the pattern goes....?
October 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberlyRae
Hi Kimberly-

If you'd like to use your larger needles we'd suggest finding a different pattern. You can browse all of our free hat patterns here: http://purlbee.squarespace.com/hats-knitting/

Thank you for writing in!

Molly
October 11, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! Love the look of this hat. I have only knit a few hats and the number of knit sts between the decreases are almost always sequential (i.e., k6, k2tog round followed by k5, k2tog round.... until there's only a few sts left to run the yarn through at the end). What is the purpose of going from k21, k2tog followed by k2, k2tog with 21 sts remaining at the end? Does this particular set of decreases result in a flatter but more gathered top?

Just curious. I'm working on a similar hat but with fingering weight yarn -- CO 144 sts and I'm wondering if I can decrease similarly to this pattern and how to work the math on that... Thanks for any insight you can provide!
November 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwendy
Hi Wendy,

Four years later, I honestly cannot figure out why I started the crown with that round of k21, k2tog! Although I suppose no harm comes from making those four decreases, they really aren't necessary, and I intend to streamline the pattern.

And to answer your other question, starting the crown with K2, k2tog decreases and ending with lots of stitches is a rapid decrease that does create a bit of a gathered top, which I like for this style of hat (that part was intentional!).

Thanks for your intelligent question! I'm so glad you pointed me in the direction of a very valid improvement!

Whitney
November 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Love this hat! Do you have this pattern written out for a toddlers size?! Thank you!
December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam
I'd like to make this hat with your new instructions (smaller needles) but am a bit confused about a new gauge with the size 7 needles in the crown. Do you have a gauge and do I still cast on 92 stitches with the #6 needle? I found this on Ravelry and some knitters used two strands of the cashmere throughout and added the mohair for the crown (3 strands total). Any comments about how the finished product might differ from your original of the crown being just two strands? I have the Jade Sapphire 2-ply cashmere and Shibui Silk Cloud. Thank you! Can't wait to make it...
December 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda W

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