This is a perfect quick gift for the crossword obsessed
amongst your friends and family - or yourself! You can
leave the beanie unadorned, or add some apt words using
This crossword beanie is an easy introduction to fair
isle knitting. The stranded section is only 8 rows in
all. The second row in each line of crossword squares
is a copy of the previous one, so you only have to count
stitches in 4 rows. The regular grid design also makes
it easy to follow, and there are only two colors.
As a puzzle writer, I spend my days surrounded by words,
letters, crossword grids, and other patterns. Adding
them into my knitting seemed the logical next step (or
possibly a sign of madness!).
model: Jenny Sutherland photos: Denise Sutherland
Hat circumference (unstretched): 20 inches Will comfortably stretch to fit head circumference up to 24 inches
Naturally Loyal DK [100% superwash wool; 115yd/105m per 50g skein];
1 skein each color
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
1 set US #6/4 mm double-point needles
1 16-inch US #6/4 mm circular needle Note: If knitting this hat for someone with a small head circumference, using a smaller needle size for the brim will give a snugger fit.
needle and white thread (optional – used
to attach letter beads)
needle and black embroidery thread (optional – used to
21 sts/26 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st, worked in the round
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
As written, this hat has a white brim and black crown. It can also be worked with a black brim and white crown.
In these photos, the American-style crossword grid is shown on the beanie with the black brim, and the British-style crossword grid is shown on the beanie with the white brim.
1x1 Rib (Worked in the round over an even number of sts): All Rounds: [K1, p1] to
There are two crossword grids to choose from:
1) American-style crosswords
have few black squares, and nearly every letter in the
grid appears in two words (ie Across and Down entries).
This pattern is a bit easier to knit, as it has fewer
2) British-style crosswords (which are found in all Commonwealth
countries) have many more black squares, and roughly half
the letters appear in only one word. This is a little more
challenging to knit because there are more black squares.
Chart: Click here to
see the chart; it will
print on a single letter-sized
page by itself.
BRIM Using long-tail
method and MC, CO 108 sts onto circular needle.
Work one row 1x1 Rib, then
place marker and join to
work in the round, being careful not to twist. (Working
a row before joining makes it easier to avoid twisting.)
Work 19 rounds in 1x1 Rib.
K 20 rounds.
Work Rounds 1-11 of preferred
Break MC, leaving a tail.
Using CC, k 5 rounds.
CROWN Round 1: [K7, k2tog] to end. 96 sts.
Even-Numbered Rounds 2-10: K all sts.
Round 3: [K6, k2tog] to
end. 84 sts.
Round 5: [K5, k2tog] to
end. 72 sts.
Round 7: [K4, k2tog] to
end. 60 sts.
Round 9: [K3, k2tog] to
end. 48 sts.
Round 11: [K2, k2tog] to
end. 36 sts.
Round 12: [K1, k2tog] to
end. 24 sts.
Round 13: [K2tog] to end.
Round 14: [K2tog] to end.
Break yarn, leaving a tail.
Draw tail through remaining
sts and pull tight. Weave in end securely.
Use yarn tail from CO to
sew closed the small gap in CO edge.
Weave in ends.
If desired, form words in crossword squares by sewing
letter beads to hat using sewing needle and thread. Alternately,
words may be embroidered using embroidery thread.
Use an online puzzle resource such as OneLook
if you want to figure out
interlocking words to
fill in some or all of
your crossword grid.
She lives in Canberra, Australia with her astrophysicist husband, their two grown-up kids, four rats and one chihuahua. Denise blogs here, and has free knitting patterns, (including more crossword-themed patterns) and puzzles on her web site.