Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Phat Fiber
beauty shot


As a native Floridian, it’s not often that the need strikes for cozy knitwear. Where people wear bikinis and swim trunks almost year round, it’s generally too warm for sweaters, and scarves and mittens seem silly. A good hat though, especially a silly one, is never out of order during the one or two weeks of chilly weather. And what would a silly hat be without super-bulky yarn and pompoms?

The bright cheery colors are perfect for feeling sunny even through the cooler months, and the bulky yarn spins up quickly. The colorway is my own creation, using a combination of muddy browns and contrasting warm pastels. Each single was spun with a different combination of colors, resulting in a multi-color, two-tone, blended effect.

As the owner of an antique spinning wheel (rescued from an attic, no less) with a less-than-adjustable tension, I’ve chosen to embrace the bulky thick-and-thin yarns it puts out. Once plied, the yarn is pretty even and glows with handspun character. This hat can easily be knit up in an afternoon, just in time for the cold fronts blowing in.

spacer model: Christine McCormick spacer photos: Taylor Jamrok



Hat circumference (unstretched): 20 inches
Will comfortably stretch to fit head circumference up to 24 inches

Fiber: Corriedale Wool Top

Yardage used: Approximately 150 yards
3.6 ounces
8 wraps per inch


spacer WCMercantile Corriedale Wool [100% Corriedale wool top]; 4 ounces
(For this hat, I hand-dyed my own roving.)

Finished Yarn:
spacer Wraps per inch: 8
spacer Yardage used: 150

Drafting Method:
spacer Long-draw. 3:1 ratio.

spacer 2

Commercial Yarn Alternative

spacer Knit Picks Wool Of The Andes Bulky [100% Wool; 137 yd/125 m per 100g/3.53 oz skein]; color: Spumoni; 1 skein


Spinning Tool: Antique upright 13” spinning wheel; [Scotch tension]

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 set US #10/6mm double-point needles
spacer 1 16-inch US #10/6mm circular needle

spacer Stitch holder
spacer Stitch marker
spacer Yarn needle
spacer Scissors



14 sts/21 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch in the round


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

Using a double-pointed needle, CO 3 sts.
Next Row: Instead of turning work around to work back on the WS, slide all sts to other end of needle, switch needle back to your left hand, bring yarn around back of work, and start knitting the sts again. I-Cord is worked with the RS facing at all times.
Repeat this row to form I-cord. After a few rows, work will begin to form a tube.

CO 3 sts on dpn, leaving a long tail. Work I-cord for 12 inches.

Transfer sts to circular needle.
Row 1 [RS]: K.
Row 2 [WS]: P.
Row 3 [RS]: K1, kfb, k1. 4 sts.
Row 4 [WS]: P.
Row 5 [RS]: K1, kfb, kfb, k1. 6 sts.
Row 6 [WS]: P.

Row 7 [RS] Rows: K1, kfb, knit to last two stitches, kfb, k1.  2 sts increased.
Row 8 [WS]: P across.
Repeat the last two rows until there are 20 sts on the needle.
Next row [RS]: K.
Following row [WS]: P.
Repeat the above two rows for 2 inches. 

Cut an 8-inch tail, and transfer sts to st holder.

Make a second earflap, but leave sts on the circular needle and do not cut the yarn.

Body of Hat:
Setup: K across 20 sts on the earflap. CO 18 sts. Transfer sts from the first ear flap to left needle, and k across the 20 sts. CO 6 sts, pm, CO 6 sts. 70 sts.
Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.  The marker indicates the start of round.
Body round: K.
Repeat until hat measures 5 inches from join.

Decrease for Crown:
Decrease for top as follows. Switch to dpns when round is too small to work comfortably on circular needles. When a complete k2tog cannot be done before hitting marker, knit to marker.

Round 1: [K3, k2tog] around. 56 sts.

Round 2: K.

Round 3: [K2, k2tog] around. 42 sts.

Round 4: K.

Round 5: [K1, k2tog] around. 28 sts.

Round 6: K.

Round 7: K2tog around. 14 sts.

Round 8: K.

Round 9: K2tog around. 7 sts.

Round 10: K.

Round 11: K2tog three times, k1. 4 sts.

Cut yarn leaving a 12-inch tail. Using yarn needle, thread through remaining 4 sts. Gather stitches tightly and tie off.

Using remaining yarn make three pompoms:

Wrap yarn around your palm (or a piece of cardboard 3.5 inches wide) approx 25 times. Carefully slide the bundle off, and using a 7-inch long piece of yarn, tie across the midsection of the bundle tightly. Cut through both sets of loops.

Using the long tails at the ends of earflaps and tops of hat, tie pompom tightly using a double knot. Fluff the pompoms to achieve desired look. Cut the tail, leaving an extra three inches.  Let the tail hang down into the pompons – it’s more secure that way.



A 20-something college student, Christine has been crazy about yarn since learning to crochet 12 years ago. After tackling her first knit project (a worsted-weight cotton sock) in her dorm room one night, she hasn’t stopped knitting since. Christine currently lives in Florida, where she tends to her chickens and forces her fiance to wear wool sweaters whenever the temperature dips below 85.

She can be found on Ravelry.