Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


A hat to combine two, okay three, of my favorite things: Chickens, stranded colorwork and wool!

Rhode Island Red features a provisional cast on, lined brim and stranded colorwork.

The yarn for this hat is from Romney Ridge Farm in Maine. I knew I wanted to do a chicken hat but hadn't found just the right yarn and had almost given up hope. I saw this yarn and eureka, my chicken hat came to life.

I was able to make 2 hats out of 2 skeins of yarn.

The hat begins with a provisional cast on to create a double-layer brim for extra warmth. I also wanted to have the extra space from not having ribbing to add a motif along the bottom edge.

spacer model: Pam & Bethany Sluter
spacer photos: Steve Sluter

Child's Large/Adult Small[Adult Medium, Adult Large]
shown in sizes Child's Large/Adult Small, and Adult Large

Circumference: 19[21, 23] ins
Depth: 8.5[9.5, 10.5] ins



Romney Ridge Farm Farm Blend [wool with small percentage of mohair; 200 yd/183m per 113 g skein]
spacer [A] Natural, 1 skein.
spacer [B] Mulberry, 1 skein.

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 16 inch US #5/ 3.75 mm circular needle
spacer US #5/3.75 mm needles for a small circumference: DPNs, 1 long circular, or 2 short circulars, as you prefer, for crown decrease

spacer stitch marker
spacer H-8/5mm crochet hook and scrap yarn for provisional cast on
spacer yarn needle



18 sts /28 rows = 4 ins in stockinette stitch in single color
20 sts/ 28 rows = 4 ins in stranded colorwork, after blocking

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

The hat begins with a provisional cast on.
Use your preferred provisional cast on technique; directions for one technique may be found here.

Stitches are picked up along a crochet chain and worked for 3 inches. The work is folded up and a row of decreases is used to create a double layer of fabric along the brim.

There are some long floats while working the chicken chart. I highly recommend catching the floats every 5 or 6 stitches to help improve the quality of the finished hat. This also aids in keeping the work from being too tight and puckering. This article on Knitty provides a good tutorial

Note that colors are used differently for the different sizes. Pay attention to which color is used.

Choose a size with approximately 1 inch of negative ease.

The charts for this pattern are very large and fit on a letter-sized page.
Click here and print the resulting page.

With scrap yarn, provisionally CO 90[100, 110] sts.

For first size, join Color B, for second and third, join Color A.

Place marker and join for working in the round. Work stockinette stitch (k every round) for 1.5 ins.

For first size, join Color A, for second and third, join Color B. Do not cut the other yarn.

Knit 2 rounds in Color A[Color B, Color B].

Next round, establish chart: Work Chart A 18[20, 22] times around.

Work as set until Chart A is complete.

Knit 1 round in Color A[Color B, Color B].

Joining round: With right side facing, fold work so that wrong sides are together and provisional cast on is parallel to work on needles. Carefully remove provisional CO to expose a few stitches at a time, placing them on a spare needle. Hold spare needle parallel to circular needle and work a k2tog with one stitch from each layer. Continue working in this manner to end of round.

Bottom hem is now complete, 90[100, 110] stitches on circular needle.

First Size Only:
Next round, increase: With Color A, [k9, m1] around. 100 sts.
Next round: Knit.

Second size only:
Using Color A, k 2 rounds.

Third size only:
Next round, increase: With Color A, [k7, m1, k8, m1, k7, m1] 5 times. 125 sts.
Next round: Knit.

All sizes:
Work Chart B around.
Work as set until all 21 rows of Chart B are complete.

Knit 4[2, 2] rounds in Color A.
Knit 0[2, 2] rounds in Color B

Work Chart A once.

Work even in Color A[Color B, Color B] until hat measures 7[8, 8.5] ins from bottom edge. At this point, you can cut the unused color.

As you work the following rounds, change to your small circumference method when hat gets too small for circular needle.

Rnd 1: [K3, k2tog] around. 80[80, 104] sts.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: [K2, k2tog] around. 60[60, 78] sts.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: [K1, k2tog] around. 40[40, 52] sts.
Rnd 6: Knit.
Rnd 7: K2tog around. 20[20, 26] sts.
Rnd 8: Knit.

Break yarn, leaving 6 inch tail. Using yarn needle, draw tail through remaining stitches.


Weave in ends. Block.


Pam Sluter is a knitting designer and teacher living in Rhode Island. She enjoys the company of her husband, four children, two dogs, two guinea pigs and six chickens. She enjoys working with natural fibers and has a weakness for small farm yarns. She is currently at work on an e-book collection, Knit Fresh Rhode Island, featuring yarns produced in Rhode Island.

You can find her on Ravelry and on the web.