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better now beanie

A new hat knitting pattern from me today – scroll down for details and to download the pattern!

I like knitting garments. Sweaters and cardigans and tops that I wear almost every day. Accessories never held quite the same appeal, and I’d rather work on jumper-sized items than fiddly hand-sized pieces. Recently it dawned on me that maybe the reason I haven’t enjoyed making or wearing accessories so much is because I haven’t made the right kind of accessories. Obvious, I know, but hear me out! I think mittens look cute, but how often is it actually cold enough to wear mittens in the UK? Summer wraps look lovely, but usually if I’m a little chilly I’ll reach for a cardigan, not a wrap (although I possibly should). The one accessory that does come in handy for at least 5 months of the year though? Hats. Cosy-but-not-too-chunky beanies, to be precise. The type thick enough to ward off a chill, but not bulky enough to feel like you’re wearing a woolen helmet. Once this dawned on me I quite fancied stepping away from garments for a week to knit a couple of hats, and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out!

The Better Now Beanie is simple but (I’d like to think) effective. Triple layers make for a super squishy brim, with the hidden layers worked in rib for extra grip. I wanted the overall look to be fairly minimal so kept the rib hidden, but it definitely helps the hat fit better! Picot edges are worked in a contrast yarn, which if you’re anything like me will involve stash-diving for an hour before deciding to use the very first yarn you pulled out. Smooth, ‘crispy’ yarns give the best picot effect; I used cotton for one and acrylic for the other.

This is my first pattern to include children’s sizes – I’d love to venture into kidswear at some point so a hat seemed like a good place to start. No reason why a child’s hat should be any different style to an adults, right? This hat knitting pattern doesn’t include newborn sizes since I think the triple brim would be a bit much on a teeny tiny head, but from what I can gather about infant head sizes online, the smallest size should fit a baby of around 6-12 months. I test knitted the smallest size, and it’s super cute and quick to knit!

Speaking of knitting speed, I found DK weight to be the perfect balance of being relatively quick to knit, but also looking neat and fine. It was actually mistaken for a store bought hat on my Instagram post, which in a (weird) way was what I wanted; sometimes you want handmade items to look handmade, and sometimes you’d rather they look almost machine knit. Albeit with beautiful handdyed yarn, in this case. Adds to the satisfaction when someone asks where your hat’s from and you can proudly say ‘I made it myself’, right?

BETTER NOW BEANIE DETAILS

SIZING: to fit head 16-18 (18-20; 20-22; 21-23; 22-24) inches / 41-46 (46-51; 51-56; 53-38; 56-61) cm

CHOOSING SIZES: Samples shown are Size 4 on a 22.5” / 57 cm head. Sizes 1-3 roughly correspond to childs’ sizes and sizes 4 & 5 adults’, but choose a size based on the head circumference. The pattern includes optional increases to accommodate voluminous hair without increasing the brim size.

YARN: DK weight yarn, 105 (140; 183; 210; 239) metres / 115 (153; 200; 230; 261) yards total.

You will need approximately 94 (128; 169; 196; 224) metres / 103 (140; 185; 214; 245) yards of the main colour, and 11 (12; 14; 14; 15) metres / 12 (13; 15; 16; 16) yards of the contrast colour.

Main colour yarns used in samples: Juno Fibre Arts Sirius DK (discontinued), Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK (discontinued).

NEEDLES & NOTIONS: 3.75mm needle(s) of your preferred length for working small circumferences. Sizes 3, 4, & 5 will be able to work the main body of the hat on a 16” circular, however sizes 1 & 2 will need to use magic loop or DPNs. All sizes will need magic loop or DPNs for the crown shaping.

You will also need 4 lockable / removable stitch markers, 1 additional different marker for the beginning of round, and a tapestry needle.

GAUGE: 23 sts and 31 rounds to 4” / 10cm in stocking stitch on 3.75mm needle, blocked.

YARN CHOICES: any DK weight yarn will work for the main body of the hat; the only fibre I wouldn’t recommend using is 100% cotton, as the hat will likely fall out of shape. Combining yarns such as 4ply held with laceweight mohair should also work well.
For the contrast picot trims, I would recommend choosing a crisp yarn with little to no fuzz for the best effect. Cotton, acrylic, or bamboo yarns work particularly well for this, and the fibre content won’t affect the overall shape of the hat. Since so little of the contrast is required this is ideal for using yarn scraps and leftovers.

I LOVE seeing people knit my patterns and make them their own – if you could tag @lilykatemakes and #BetterNowBeanie on Instagram that would be great!

The Better Now Beanie pattern is also available via Ravelry here.

Lily Kate x

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