Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Knitting Iceland
beauty shot

This hat is a celebration of the fascinating landscapes of Yellowstone National Park. The purl stitches and acidic greens of the corrugated rib evoke the boiling, caustic waters of Cistern Spring in Norris Geyser Basin (see photo below).

In stark contrast to the brilliant hues at the brim, the body of the hat is worked in smooth stockinette stitch in dramatic vertical stripes representing the dead lodge pole pine trees framing the iconic pool. The raglan decreases create a geometric finish reminiscent of leaning trees as they fall slowly into the serene water of the pool.

The fingering weight yarn used in this hat creates a fine texture while the multiple strands of the Fair Isle make the hat warm and cozy. The quickly changing colors of the brim make this hat an entertaining knit.

Not a challenging knit, but the multiple Fair Isle techniques and raglan decreases keep the mind engaged never allowing for a boring moment.

spacer model: Heather Ranck Bowman
spacer photos: Erica Dirks
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Brim circumference: 20 inches, unstretched; hat comfortably stretches to fit most adult heads
Depth: 10.75 inches, measured with cuff turned up.


Lancaster Yarn Company Kettle Dyed Sock [75% superwash wool/25% Nylon; 484/443m per 115g skein]; color:
spacer [MC] Buggy, 1 skein
spacer [CC4] White, 1 skein

Harrisville Shetland [100% wool; 217yd/198m per 50g skein]; color:
spacer [CC1] Lime, 1 skein
spacer [CC2] Seagreen, 1 skein
spacer [CC3] Woodsmoke, 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 16-inch US # 4/3.5mm circular needle
spacer US #4/3.5mm DPNs for working the crown decrease

spacer yarn needle
spacer stitch markers

24 sts/32 rounds = 4 inches in 2-color stockinette stitch

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

The brim is worked in corrugated rib. This is a simple Fair Isle ribbing technique. Two colors alternate in a knit one, purl one rib resulting in a striking, but somewhat less stretchy, fabric. Both yarns are kept at the back while working. Knit the MC stitches as normal. To work the purl stitch, bring the contrast color yarn to the front, purl the stitch as required and immediately take the yarn to the back, before knitting the MC stitch.

Throughout the hat, when changing from one color to another, be sure to leave long tails to weave in.


CO 120 sts in Color A, using the long tail method. Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Join CC1.

Round 1: [K1 MC, p1 CC1] around.
Work as set for 6 more rounds.

Round 8: [K1 MC, p1 CC2] around.
Work as set for 6 more rounds.

Round 15: [K1 MC, p1 CC3] around.
Work as set for 6 more rounds.

Round 22, turning round: [P1 MC, p1 CC3] around.

Turn work inside out to start knitting in the opposite direction.

Round 23: [K1 CC3, k1 MC] around.
Work as set for 4 more rounds.

Round 28: [K1 CC4, k1 MC] around.
Work as set for 7 inches from the turning round.

Final round, place markers for crown decrease: [Work 29 sts in pattern as set, place marker, k1 MC, place marker] around.

Round 1: [K2tog MC, work in pattern to 2 sts before marker, SSK MC, SM, k1 MC, SM] around.

Round 2: [K2tog CC4, work in pattern to 2 sts before marker, SSK CC4, SM, k1 MC, SM] around.

Repeat these two rounds until 16 sts rem, ending with a Round 1. Cut CC4, leaving a long tail for weaving in.

Last round: With MC, [SSSK, k1] four times. 8 sts remain. Cut MC leaving a long tail.


Thread the tail of MC through remaining 8 sts and pull to close. Weave in all ends. Block Hat flat with the brim folded at the turning round.


designernamespacer Erica Dirks is an Anthropology student from Pennsylvania focusing on the archaeology of coastal British Columbia, Canada. She avidly knits and photographs her daily life in the countryside of Lancaster County.

She blogs here.