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June 2010 - Seaman's Cap

Here's a cap pattern that I've been using for years. It's based on an old World War II military pattern, but works just as well for civilians. It can be varied several ways, some of which are mentioned in brackets as you go along. In Briggs and Little 2 ply, it makes an adult-size hat. The grey cap was made with a slightly tapered crown, and the navy cap has a rounded crown.

Pattern

Materials:
100 g. ball worsted-weight wool, shown in Briggs and Little 2 ply
4.5 mm. double-point needles (and 4 mm. ones if you don't use circulars)
40 cm. or 60 cm. long 4mm. and 4.5 mm. circular needles (optional, but preferred)

Tension: approx. 18 sts. per 10 cm. square

Cast on 90 sts. on 4mm. circular needle (or double points).

1st round: *K1, P2. Repeat from * to end of round. (This rib is nice, but a K2P2 or other rib is good too).

Repeat this round about 20 times (depending upon how wide you like the turnup).

Next round: Knit plain (for a fold line, optional).

Repeat 1st round 7 times more.

Change to a 4.5 mm. circular needle (or double points).
Knit every round until cap measures 6 inches from cast on edge.

If you have been using circulars, rearrange sts. on 4.5 mm. double-point needles now or when convenient.

1st decrease round: *Knit 16, K2 tog. Repeat from * to end of round.
Even rounds: Knit.
3rd round: (K 15, K2 tog.) to end of round.
5th round: (K 14, K 2 tog.) to end of round.
7th round: (K 13, K2 tog.) to end of round.

Continue decreasing in this way, 1 st. fewer between decreases on each odd round while knitting the even rounds plain until 10-15 sts. remain.*
This regular decreasing alternated with plain rows gives a slightly tapered crown.
*(For a top that hugs the head more, omit the plain alternating rows after the K6, K2 tog. decrease round, until done).

Break yarn, leaving enough length to gather up stitches with a large-eyed needle and secure on the inside of hat.

- Shirlene Greer