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Subtle Hat

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here’s nothing overstated or complex-looking about this hat, but it has a few hidden secrets.

For a start it has a novel, fun construction - why start at the bottom or top when you can start in the middle? And although much of it is knit flat (with a bit of circular knitting on the crown and brim), there is no seaming. It also has interesting changes in direction of the knitting, which might be lost on the non-knitter, but are intriguing for those in the know. The construction method also gives the hat a really great, flattering shape because of the (subtle) structure provided to the facric.

Its subtle patterning makes it a great unisex knit. My grey sample has a feminine twist provided by a soft-coloured (and, of course, subtle-toned) edge to the brim (this was a scrap of very beautiful hand-dyed hanspun). The construction method offers lots of options for using up scraps of colour for two colour versions or completely multicolored and totally unsubtle versions, without the need to work with two colours at once. Strega732’s version in blue and brown shows just some of the ways to use colour to highlight the interesting changes in direction created by the construction method. Various suggestions for this are provided in the pattern.

This is an easy hat and would be a good project for a relative beginner to learn a few new techniques and indeed learn knitting in the round as you don’t have to battle with keeping a circular cast-on untwisted.

Many thanks go to my lovely testing team

Choose a size 2-5 cm (1-2 in) less than your actual head size for a snug fit.

Finished circumference
Preemie : 30/11¾ in
0-6 months: 35cm/13¾ in
6-18 months: 38 cm/15in
18 months – 4 years: 40cm/15¾ in
4 years- adult small: 50cm/19¾ in
Adult medium: 55 cm/21½ in
Adult large: 58 cm/22¾ in

Suggested yarn
New Lanark Wool & Textiles Aran 100% Wool (used in sample)
Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran
New Lanark Wool & Textiles Aran Donegal Silk Tweed
Yarn weightAran / 10 ply (8 wpi) ?

3.9 stitches = 2.5 cm
in garter stitch

Needle size
US 7 - 4.5 mm
Yardage 70 - 250 yards (64 - 229 m)
Sizes available
preemie, 0-6 months, 6-18 months, 18 months-4 years, 4 years-small adult, medium adult, large adult
You will get a PDF (656KB) file

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