Rock Creek Canyon

Rock Creek Canyon, a free knitting pattern from Free knitting pattern for a colorwork slouchy hat for men and women.


Rock Creek Canyon

beauty shot


Named after a beautiful campsite within Inyo National Forest near Bishop, California, Rock Creek Canyon is a toque inspired by the rugged landscape of the eastern Sierras. Knit in fingering weight wool, the hat is warm enough to brave blustery winter temperatures, yet light-weight enough to wear throughout autumn and spring.

Rock Creek Canyon is knit in the round from the bottom up. The pattern includes Fair Isle color work, ribbing, stockinette stitch, and decreasing. It is a great introductory hat for color work because of its simplicity, but remains interesting for more advanced knitters. Tweed and tonal colorways breathe texture and variety into this otherwise simple knit.

This hat is intended to be knit with 3-5 inches of negative ease for a snug fit around the brim, but larger needles and length add slouch to the body of the hat.

spacer model: John Mojecki

spacer photos: Rachel Brockman


Adult Small[Medium, Large]
Choose a size with approximately 3-5 inches/7-12cm of negative ease in the circumference


Circumference at brim: 17[18, 20.5] inches/ 43[45.5, 52] cm
Length: 10[10.5, 11] inches/ 25.5[26.5, 28] cm


spacer [MC] Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere [70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon; 400 yd/366 m per 113g skein]; color: Torchwood; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Hue Loco Tweed Sock [85% Merino, 15% Nylon; 438 yd/401 m per 100g skein]; color: Fluorescent Yellow; 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 #1/2.25mm circular needle
spacer 16-inch US #3/3.25 circular needle
spacer US #3/3.25 mm needles for small circumference in the round

spacer stitch marker
spacer yarn needle


30 sts/34 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch and colourwork pattern


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

Note on gauge:
It's not unusual for a knitter’s colorwork gauge to be tighter than single color stockinette gauge. Do check your gauge carefully, and if required, use a larger needle for the colorwork portion only. This is important – if you don’t match gauge, you might not be able to get the hat on.




Using smaller needles and MC, loosely cast on 126[135, 153] stitches. Place marker and join for working in the round.

Ribbing round: [P4, k5] around.
Work ribbing as set for 3[3.25, 3.25] inches/ 7.5[8.5, 8.5] cm.

Body of Hat
Change to larger needles, and join CC.
Next round: Work Chart 14[15, 17] times around.
Work as set until chart is complete. Break CC.

Continue even in stockinette in MC for 3.5 more inches/9 cm.

Crown Decrease
As circumference gets too small for circular needle, change to your preferred small circumference method.

Setup round
: (K 14[15, 17] , pm) around.
Decrease round: (K to 2 sts before marker, k2tog) around. 9 sts decreased.
Following round: Knit.
Repeat the last 2 rounds until 18 sts rem.
Final round: K2tog around. 9 sts.

Cut yarn and pull through final sts to secure.


Block and weave in ends.


designername Rachel began knitting in 2012 as a creative outlet. Most of her inspiration comes from nature, from the silhouettes of mountains to the small flora and fauna that can be easily overlooked. Recently, she has expanded her interest in nature and color to the world of natural dyeing. If she isn’t knitting, she can most likely be found rock climbing or playing in the woods with her dogs. Additionally, Rachel is currently working on a Master’s of Social Work and has a day job integrating art therapies into character education with children.

Find her here.

Pattern & images © 2016 Rachel Brockman. Contact Rachel