Knitty: little purls of wisdom


My interest in knitting has been kept alive over the years by the almost infinite variety of color, pattern, and texture that is found in collections of knitters and museums around the world. Although I love the smooth, quiet repetition of knitting a rectangular scarf in garter stitch using a luxurious yarn, it is the endless diversity of technique and style that keeps me interested in knitting as more than a way to keep my hands busy while watching TV.

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
--from The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

spacer title
beauty shot

spacerby Susan Santos


In the summer of 2014 I was lucky enough to tag along with Donna Druchunas on a Baltic knitting cruise. We docked at many bucket-list places but one of my favorites was Helsinki -- everyone wore black! If I had my way and lots more money my wardrobe would be almost entirely black and gray, except for the hand knits, of course. That's where I love color for socks, shawls, sweaters, gloves, and hats.

While in Stockholm we spent an afternoon in the Nordiska museet -- the Nordic Museum. Fabulous, especially for hardcore knitters! There were wonderful exhibitions of Swedish folk art, fashion, and the Saami (or Sami), the arctic indigenous people of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russian. Summers are brief in this part of the world and winters are long, dark and cold. I imagine when your language has about 300 different ways of describing snow, you need as much color in your life as you can get.

Traditional Saami folk costumes are often trimmed with colorful woven bands of zigzag lines, and decorated with flower-shaped jewelry. I designed this hat to reflect some of the design elements of those bands, but in the slouchy shape that's hot right now.

spacer model: Sarah Sherman
spacer photos: Susan Santos


Depth: 11.25 inches
Circumference: 23 inches



Harrisville New England Highland [100% virgin wool, 200yds/100g skein]
spacer [MC] #28 Iris, 1 skein
spacer [CC1] #76 marigold, approx 1 oz/14g
spacer [CC2] #2 red, approx 7/8th oz/10g

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 #5/3.75mm circular needle
spacer US #5/3.75mm needles for small circumference in the round
spacer 16-inch US #6/4mm circular needle

spacer stitch markers
spacer yarn needle

18 sts/22 rows = 4 inches over St st
16 sts/20 rows = 4 inches over patt st, after blocking


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

The Twisted German Cast On:
Lucy Neatby has an excellent video here.

CDD (centered double decrease): Slip two stitches together as if to knit. Knit one. Pass the slipped stitches over the knitted stitch.


Using small circular needle and MC, with the Twisted German method, CO 96 sts. Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Join CC 1.

Rnd 1: [K1 MC, k1 CC1] around.

Rnd 2: [K1 MC, p1 CC1] around.

Repeat Rnd 2 until cuff measures 1.5 ins from cast on edge.

Latvian Braid
Setup rnd: [K1 MC, k1 CC1 around.

Braid rnd 1: Bring both yarns to the front. [P1 MC, p1 CC1] around, always bringing the new color from under the old color. This will twist the yarns. Don't worry. The next rnd will untwist them.

Braid rnd 2: [P1 MC, p1 CC1] around, always bringing the new color from over the old color. This will untwist the yarns.

With MC, knit 3 rnds.

Change to larger 16-inch circular needle.

Next round: Work Flowers chart around.

Work as set until chart is complete.

Cut CC1 and CC2.

Change to smaller 16-inch circular needle.

Continuing with MC only, work in St st until total length of hat measures 8.25".

Note: as you work Crown, change to needles for small circumference as required.

Rnd 1: [K16, pm] 6 times around.

Rnd 2
: [SSK, k to 2 sts before marker, k2tog] around. 12 sts decreased.

Rnd 3: Knit.

Repeat Rnds 2-3 6 more times, until 12 sts rem.

Final round: CDD 4 times. 4 sts rem.

Cut yarn and pull through final sts to secure.

Block and weave in ends.
Donna Druchunas escaped a corporate cubicle to honor her passions for knitting, world travel, research, and writing. She teaches in the United States and Europe, offers online sock-knitting classes at, and holds retreats at her studio in Vermont. Her newest project, Stories In Stitches is a pattern line featuring stories about knitters and their lives, traditions, history, and travel, all tied together with gorgeous knitting patterns and projects.

Visit Donna's website at

Susan currently resides near Denver, Colorado, because when you live in a place where it sometimes snows in May nobody questions your obsession with knitting. She was born in Germany, went to college in three different states and two different continents, and is currently working on an ebook about Icelandic knitting.

When she isn't assisting other designers with pattern formatting, writing, editing, and stitch charts, she designs, tweets, occasionally blogs, Facebooks and ravs under the name JelliDonut. She considers the iPad and coffee to be critical knitting accessories.