Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Miss Babs Hand-Dyed yarn & Fibers
beauty shot Veronica Parsons


I love the unique fashions of the jazz age. At the same time, I love to take inspiration from the natural world. One day I dreamed up a cloche hat reminiscent of a snail’s shell, and (well, after a long series of failures) Escargot was born.

Knit in a richly dyed, lustrous wool, Escargot is a perfect companion to a winter outfit and waiting for the train. Warm and stylish, this pattern is also good for using up leftovers or showing off spinning experiments in the trim.

Some hats are embellished with something added after the fact. Escargot is knit all in one piece, from the brim to the top.

spacer model: Veronica Parsons, Jen Wang, Eileen Conner, Caroline Moore
spacer photos: Jennifer Albrecht-Buehler



Circumference: 20 inches
Depth: 9 inches at the deepest point


Brown cloche with green trim
Dragonfly Fibers Blue Faced Worsted [100% Bluefaced Leicester wool; 200yd/182m per 4oz skein]
spacer [MC] Chestnut; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Titania; 1 skein

Green cloche with brown trim
Dragonfly Fibers Blue Faced Worsted [100% Bluefaced Leicester wool; 200yd/182m per 4oz skein]
spacer [MC] Titania; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Chestnut; 1 skein

Burgundy cloche with orange trim
Miss Babs Hand Dyed Yarns & Fibers Northumbria Aran [100% Bluefaced Leicester wool; 180yd/166m per 100g skein]
spacer [MC] Russet; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Bittersweet; 1 skein

Note: MC requires approx. 140yd and CC requires approx. 35yd. One skein of the above yarns in each of 2 colors will make 2 hats.

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 #7/4.5mm circular needle
spacer 1 24-inch or longer US #7/4.5mm circular needle
spacer Optional: 1 set US #7/4.5mm double-point needles

spacer Stitch markers
spacer yarn needle



20 sts/28 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch in the round

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

The brim and spiral are worked flat and are shaped by both decreases and short rows. The body of the hat is worked in the round.


Brim and Spiral:
Using CC and the cable cast-on, CO 240 sts onto longer circular. Do not join.

Row 1 [RS]: K120, pm, k120. The first 120 sts will become the spiral; the 2nd 120 sts will become the brim.

Row 2 [WS]: K120, sl m, [k1, k2tog] to end. 200 sts.

Row 3 [RS]: Break CC and switch to MC. K across in MC.

Row 4 [WS]: P120, sl m, p64, w&t.

Row 5 [RS]: K64, sl m, k100, w&t.

Row 6 [WS]: P100, sl m, p48, w&t.

Row 7 [RS]: [K1, k2tog] to marker; sl m, k80, w&t. 184 sts.

Row 8 [WS]: P80, sl m, p16, w&t.

Row 9 [RS]: K16, sl m, k60, w&t.

Row 10 [WS]: Purl across, picking up wraps and purling them tog with wrapped sts as you go.

Row 11 [RS]: K2tog to marker, sl m, k40, w&t. 152 sts.

Row 12 [WS]: P40, sl m, p16, w&t.

Row 13 [RS]: K16, sl m, k20, w&t.

Row 14 [WS]: Purl across, picking up wraps and purling them tog with wrapped sts as you go.

Row 15 [RS]: K2tog to marker, sl m, [k4, k2 tog] to end, picking up wraps and knitting them tog with wrapped sts as you go. 116 sts.

Row 16 [WS]: Purl

Row 17 [RS]: BO 16; remove marker. Do not break MC; join CC and k to end. 100 sts.

Row 18: [WS]: Knit.
Row 19 [RS]: Knit.
Row 20 [WS]: Knit. 2 ridges of garter st in CC show on RS of work.

Hat body:
Break CC.
Switch to shorter circular needle and MC and join to begin working in the round. PM to mark beg of round.
Work even in st st until hat measures 4 inches from top of band.

Set up round: K10, pm, [k20, pm] 4 times, k10. You will begin decreasing at these 5 marked points for the crown of the hat.
Round 1, decrease round: [K to 2 sts before marker, ssk, sl m, k2tog] 5 times, k to end. 10 sts decreased.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: Knit.

Rep Rounds 1-3 once more, then rep Rounds 1 and 2 until 30 sts rem, switching to dpns or magic loop on longer circular as necessary.

Work Decrease round twice more. 10 sts.
Next round: K2tog around. 5 sts.

Break yarn; with tapestry needle, draw yarn through all sts on needle twice, pull to close, and weave in on WS.


Wet-block hat, taking care to shape spiral so that it is flat and round.

When hat is dry, tack down spiral. Using a length of MC and a short running stitch, begin at wide point of spiral near CC edge of hat brim and work your way in towards the center. Sew down BO sts at center of spiral and use CC ends to sew down end of CC trim.

Sew band sts tog on inside of hat. Weave in ends.


designernamespacer Veronica knits, reads, and takes on crazy cooking projects in northern California. Sometimes she writes about these things on her blog.

You can also find her on Ravelry as GoldenIris.