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Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

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March 2007: Rolled Brim Hats for Everyone

Baby rolled brim hat, knit out of SandnesGarn's "Lanett" superwash 100% merino yarn

If you have some yarn and a head measurement, you can make a hat to fit that head perfectly! It's not hard at all...just some simple math and a knitted swatch.

Here we go: Knit a swatch with the yarn you wish to use (if you don't know it's stitches per inch), use the recommended needle size that is on the ball band (if you have no ball band, just make an educated guess and try until you find a knitted fabric that you are pleased with). Knit a square that's about 3 inches wide and 3 inches tall. Measure carefully in the inside of the square how many stitches there are in an inch. Now get the head measurement (in inches) and do the math! If your sample has 5 stitches in an inch and the head you want to fit is 20 inches around, you need 5 X 20 stitches, so 100 stitches on the same needle size that the swatch was knitted on. Simply put, you multiply the stitches per inch by the number of inches that the person's head measures and that is the number of the stitches to cast on.

To do a rolled brim as pictured here, work stockinette stitch for about 1/2 to 1 inch and then purl one round. After this, go back to all stockinette stitch. Work in this way for the desired length - guidelines as follows.

Newborn - 3 1/2 "

6 to 9 months - 4"
9 to 18 months - 4 1/2"
18 months to 4 years - 5"
4 years to small adult - 5 1/2 "
adult medium to large - 6"

Then begin decreasing for the crown. Round your stitches off to the nearest multiple of 10. So, if you have 115sts, on the next round decrease 5 stitches evenly spaced on the round so that you have 110. If you had 118 sts, you could increase to 120 sts. Next round, *knit 8, k2tog*, repeat till you have completed one round. Work 2 plain rounds. *K7, k2tog*, repeat for round. Knit 2 rounds without decreasing. Continue in this fashion, knitting one stitch less before the k2tog and doing 2 plain rounds in between until you come to *K1, k2tog*. Do this round, then break the yarn and thread it in the remaining stitches, draw tight and sew in the end on the wrong side. Alternatively, you can do an i-cord embellisment or a pompom or a tassel to finish your hat off.

I-Cord: Using double pointed needles, cast on (or pick up) 3 or 4 sts. Knit these stitches, do not turn work. Slide stitches to opposite end of needle. Repeat this until cord is the desired length. (You can knit it as long as you like and then stitch it into place to make one like that in our sample). *Click to see the I-Cord featured on a previous stitch of the month.

****NOTE**** These instructions are written for knitting the hat on 12 or 16" circular needles, and/or double points, in other words in the round. Even if using circulars you will need the double points when you start the decreases.

- Heather Tunnah