Knittyspin: you like yarn, so make yarn
Schacht Spindle Company
beauty shot


The whorl joined the stick to form the spindle as we know it in the Neolithic period. Whorls have been found in archaeological sites across the world, but sometimes are misidentified as beads or even, strangely, buttons because the wooden spindle shaft has long since rotted away. Ancient whorls were crafted from stone, pottery, bone, wood, and in later periods, glass.

Inspired by the beautiful patterns scratched or painted onto these ancient spindle whorls, Whorled is knit from crown to brim. The slightly slouchy shape flatters many shapes of face, and the ribbed brim can easily be adjusted to fit a larger or smaller circumference head without impacting the rest of the hat design. Note the gauge: the sport-to-DK weight yarn is knit at a loose gauge for a drapey shape. Substituting a thicker yarn would create a denser, warmer hat.

The handspun hat is knit using Bugga! fiber from Cephalopod Yarns. I saw the little bump of mottled greens and maroon at an impromptu trunk show at a friend's house and knew instantly that it wanted to be something earthy and ancient: the spindle whorl pulled straight from the ground at a dig site.

I'd never spun a cashmere blend before, but Cephalopod Yarns made it surprisingly simple. The fiber was incredibly well blended, and the strength of the nylon helped to make up for any problems my cashmere-inexperience offered. Spinning from the fold with a short forward draw helped to keep the even blend of short and long stapled fibers and created a lofty yarn with a slight halo.

Many thanks to Naomi Parkhurst for her support and help with this pattern, as well as for inspiring the take on a spindle whorl in the first place!

spacer model: Sarah Sipe
spacer photos: Naomi Parkhurst
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Circumference: 22 [23.5] inches at widest point
Depth: 11 inches


spacer Cephalopod Yarns Bugga! fiber [70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon; roving]; color: Mushroom Collector; 4 ounces.

Finished Yarn:
spacer Wraps per inch: 14
spacer Ply: 2
spacer Yardage used: 150
spacer Drafting method: From the fold


Spinning Tool: Ashford Joy [scotch tension]
Niddy Noddy: Ashford, 75cm

Commercial Yarn Alternative

spacer Manos del Uruguay silk blend [70% merino, 30% silk; 150yd/135m per 50g skein]; color: 3120; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer US #6/4mm needles for working the crown in the round
spacer US #6/4mm 16-inch circular needle
spacer US #4/3.5mm 16-inch circular needle

spacer yarn needle
spacer stitch marker
spacer cable needle



18 sts/24 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
20 sts/24 rounds = 4 inches in pattern stitch

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

This pattern starts at the top. You can use any cast on you like. The Disappearing Loop cast on creates a nice top.

1-to-3 inc: K1 tbl, leave stitch on needle. K1 through front loop. Remove stitch from left needle. Pick up the vertical bar under the second stitch, twist, and knit. 3 sts made from 1.

3-to-1 dec: Slip 1, slip the next, pass first slipped stitch over the second. Slip remaining stitch back to left needle. Pass second stitch over it. Knit remaining stitch. 3 sts decreased to 1.

1-to-5 inc: (K1, yo, k1, yo, k1) into the same sts. 5 sts made from 1.

K5tog: knit 5 sts together

CDD: Central double decrease - slip 2 sts as if to k2tog, k next stitch, pass slipped stitches over knit stitch.

LPT: Slip next stitch to cable needle and hold to front, purl next stitch, return held stitch to left needle and knit stitch. RPT: Slip next stitch to cable needle and hold to back, knit next stitch, return held stitch to left needle and purl stitch.
LT: Slip next stitch to cable needle and hold to front, knit next stitch, return held stitch to left needle and knit stitch. RT: Slip next stitch to cable needle and hold to back, knit next stitch, return held stitch to left needle and knit stitch.

Body Pattern
Work from Chart (above) or written instructions as you prefer.

Round 1: (K1, yo, k2tog) twice, k16, (yo, k2tog, k1) twice, k8[10].

Round 2: K1, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k2, yo, ssk, k7, k2tog, yo, k2, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k8[10].

Round 3: As Round 1.

Round 4: K1, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k3, yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, k3, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k4[5], 1-to-3 inc, k3[4].

Round 5: (K1, yo, k2tog) twice, k16, (yo, k2tog, k1) twice k3[4], RPT, p1 tbl, LPT, k2[3].

Round 6: K1, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k2, (yo, ssk) twice, k3, (k2tog, yo) twice, k2, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k2[3], RPT, p3, LPT, k1[2].

Round 7: (K1, yo, k2tog) twice, k16, (yo, k2tog, k1) twice, k3[4], p5, k2[3].

Round 8: K2, ssk, yo, k1, ssk, yo, k3, yo, ssk, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k4, ssk, yo, k1, ssk, yo, k1[2], RPT, p5, LPT, k0[1].

Round 9: (K1, yo, k2tog) twice, , k16, (yo, k2tog, k1) twice k2[3], p3, 1-to-5 inc, p3, k1[2].

Round 10: K1, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k2,( yo, ssk) twice, yo, CDD, yo, (k2tog, yo) twice, k2, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k2[3], p3, k5tog, p3, k1[2].

Round 11: (K1, yo, k2tog) twice, k16, (yo, k2tog, k1) twice, k2[3], p7, k2[3].

Round 12: K1 (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k3, (yo, ssk) twice, k1, (k2tog, yo) twice, k3, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k1[2], LT, p5, RT, k0[1].

Round 13: As Round 7.

Round 14: K1, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k4, yo, ssk, yo, CDD, yo, k2tog, yo, k4, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k2[3], LT, p3, RT, k1[2].

Round 15: K1, yo, k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, k15, k1, yo, k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, k4[5], LT, p1, RT, k2[3].

Round 16: K1, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k5, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k5, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k4[5], 3-to-1 dec, k3[4].

Round 17: As Round 1

Round 18: K1, (k1, ssk, yo) twice, k6, yo, CDD, yo, k7, ssk, yo, k1, ssk, yo, k8[10].


Circular cast on
Using the larger needles for working in the round (DPNs, long circular or 2 short circulars), cast on 6 sts. Distribute sts across needles as you prefer and join for working in the round.

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: Kfb in each stitch. 12 sts.

Rounds 3-4: Knit.

Round 5: Kfb in each stitch. 24 sts

Rounds 6-9: Knit.

Round 10: Kfb in each stitch. 48 sts.

Rounds 11-16: Knit.

Round 17: Kfb in each stitch. 96 sts.
Note: At this point, you can change to the 16 inch circular needle.

Rounds 18-21: Knit.

Round 22: Purl.

Round 23: [Yo, k2tog] around.

Round 24: Purl.

Round 25: Knit.

Round 26: [K7, kfb] around. 108 sts.

Size M only, Round 27: K.
Size L only, Round 27: [K17, kfb] around. 114 sts.

Round 28: Knit.

Round 29: Purl.

Round 30: [Yo, k2tog] around

Round 31: Purl.

Rounds 32-34: Knit.

Body of Hat
Body round: Work Body Pattern 3 times around.

Work as set until 18 rounds of Body Pattern are complete.

Rounds 1-3: Knit.

Round 4: Purl.

Round 5: [Yo, k2tog] around.
Round 6: Purl.

Rounds 7-10: Knit.

Round 11: Purl.

Round 12: [Yo, k2tog] around.

Round 13: Purl.

Rounds 14-15: Knit

Size M only, Round 16: [K3, k2tog] 20 times, k8. 88 sts.
Size L only, Round 16: [K4, k2tog] 18 times, k6. 96 sts.

Switch to smaller needles.

Ribbing round: [K2, p2] around.

Work ribbing as set for 2 inches.

Bind off in pattern and block lightly.


designernamespacer Sarah Sipe fled a government job in Washington, DC, for a not-so-quiet job as a stay at home mom to two boys, two border collies, and three grey cats in Durham, NC. During the blessed hours of naptime, she knits, crochets, spins, and is learning to weave. She doesn't admit it to her husband, but yes, the baby's closet IS full of yarn.

You can find her on Ravelry, blogging here or in her Ravelry group (with Naomi Parkhurst).