Top Down Hat Tutorial with Guest - Jane Richmond

Monday, July 19, 2010

i know i've been talking a lot about sewing on here the last year or so, but that's because it's new and exciting for me. truly though, my very first crafting love affair is with knitting. it's my old pal. the one i go to when i need to de-stress, escape with my thoughts and cozy up with my wool and a worn pair of needles. an old friend. one that stuck with me through bad breakups, illnesses, lonely nights, high school, and even childhood. you can wear it, hold it, decorate with it, make art with it, heck do what you want with it - now where can you find a friend like that? that being said, this bonanza just wouldn't have been complete without one of my fave knitting designers - jane richmond, to come join in.

jane's work is fresh, fun, and timeless. she's a total sweetheart and even lives in the same city as i do now! finally, i get to meet a fellow crafter/blogger who inspires me in person! wowsa! i flipped out the first time i spotted jane's patterns on ravelry and then saw she lived on vancouver island as well. she was one of our early "moms in the mommyhood". you can read her interview with me here. since then i've been hooked and a faithful follower of her patterns. my baby sister wanted a new hat for xmas last year and guess who's won out? you bet - jane's. pasha was made. ahhhhh, lovely...take a peek at my finished pasha here.

so are any of you itching to get knitting? wanna learn how? wanna join in on the addiction? come know ya's fun! you can find jane on ravelry, her etsy shop, her blog and her facebook page. happy knitting! i promise your sewing machine will forgive you :)

now let's hear from jane......

Hi all, my name is Jane and I design knitting patterns. I am so excited to be included in this never ending Baby Bonanza! Let me just say that when I received the invitation from Shannon I thought surely I was on the wrong mailing list because the talent of this crafty Mommy line-up is frankly quite intimidating!

A little about our birth story...

The moment Chris and I began the discussion of babies we were pregnant, it happened so quickly I barely had time to mentally prepare. I had one of those miracle pregnancies where I never had morning sickness, no stretch marks (according to one nurse it’s a redhead thing?), I felt great, my body even put a halt to my cup a day caffeine habit (I couldn’t even stand the smell of coffee!). Being induced 3 weeks early was an entirely different story. I’ve learned so much from my 2 ½ years as a Mommy and Elsie amazes me everyday. Is it just me or do they just get progressively more fun?

Two golden nuggets I’ll pass down to anyone expecting their first...

• don’t have any expectations of how things are going to go because the likely hood of things going as planned is slim to none and you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment.
• if you start planning your second too soon you won’t truly be able to enjoy your first. Once I stopped “planning” I started living more in the moment.

Enough about me, let’s move onto the tutorial I have planned...

A really easy way to use up odd balls of yarn is with a top-down hat. You don’t need a pattern and you can use any yarn you have lying around because there is no recommended gauge to follow.

You will need:

• One random ball of yarn
• Set of 5 double pointed needles
• Yarn needle


K – knit
Kfb – knit into the front and back of the stitch
Rnd(s) – Round(s)


Using one of your double pointed needles cast on 8 stitches. Divide these stitches evenly among 4 of the needles, 2 stitches per needle.

Rnd 1: kfb to the end of the rnd.

Rnd 2: (and all even rnds): Knit to end of rnd.

Rnd 3: [k1, kfb twice, k1] to end of rnd.

Rnd 5: [k2, kfb twice, k2] to end of rnd.

Rnd 7: [k3, kfb twice, k3] to end of rnd.

Continue to work as established by adding 2 stitches to the repeat like so:
[k__ + 1, kfb twice, k__ + 1], for example the next rnd will look as follows... Rnd 9: [k4, kfb twice, k4].

Continue these increases until the desired circumference is achieved, it’s a good idea to stretch your work a little when measuring for a fitted hat that isn’t going to fall off. If you are making the hat as a gift or you don’t have access to your model, below is a chart of average head measurements.

Knit every rnd until the desired length is reached.

*Note: Once you’ve established a few inches of length you can do a fit test, this is of course if you have the recipient on hand. To do this transfer the stitches to scrap yarn or a long circular needle and give it a try on.

Bind off loosely.

Using yarn needle, thread the tail from cast on into the 8 stitches of the cast on row and cinch to close the hole.

Fun Suggestions:

• Stop short of the desired length by a few inches and work a ribbed, garter stitch, or seed stitch brim.
• Instead of closing the hole at the crown add a fun pom-pom to cover it up.
• Use more than one colour to make fun stripes
• Use up odds and ends in your stash by applying simple embroidery
• Add ear flaps for an extra toasty toque

Thanks for having me Shannon, it was a lot of fun putting together!

You're welcome jane! thank you!!! can't wait to meet you and your little lovely in a week or so!

guess what folks, it's the last week of the babyhood bonanza! i'm sad...but i promise to have lots of fun goodies coming up this week! so stick around!

are you on ravelry? leave me a comment below! i love finding you ladies on there! you can find me under "imstitched".


  1. Very cute!! WOuld love to give this a try!

  2. awww I SO want to knit my boys hats this year! HELP though Shan. I don't know anything other than straight knit...good old scarfs...oh wait I made a hat once upon a time... have forgotten...:(
    coffee check, Shannon's blog check, :) THE best way to start my day! thanks for the inspiration, the moments of beauty in a sometimes chaotic day!
    call soon! XO.

  3. ps-not only is Jane's knitting gorgeous she is too! I want hair like that!!!!(but am I too short for too long of hair??)

  4. How timely! I just grabbed my knitting needles from the cupboard to begin my Christmas gifts- thanks for not making me feel hip and not quite so "old"!

  5. Knitting is my most favorite thing to do, for sure! I'm lilarchergirl on Rav. I just finished a sweater for my baby girl with a lifesized sunflower on it - oops! I love it so much, even though the flower is huge!! :)
    LOVE Jane Richmond's patterns! Have my eye on a few to buy soon...

  6. Thank you so much for including me Shannon! I hope everyone enjoys the tutorial, it was fun to do.


    Oh and PS... My hair is nearly as long as me, lol, I'm 5 foot 2 and a 1/2!

  7. I know exactly what you mean! I just learned to knit at the beginning of the year and now I just got a sewing machine. Everytime I pull out the machine I feel like I'm cheating on my needles!
    I'm curdy on Rav. :)

  8. I love Jane's patterns! She rocks! Thanks for doing this on your blog today.

  9. Yippee! Fellow knitters! So glad to hear from you all!

    Krystal - you alredy know I'll teach you girl. We need to start our one night a month craft night.

    Mcfarland-Higgins - You're welcome. I know that feeling, when I was in highschool I always carried my needles and wool with me and let me tell you, knitting was not cool back then, nor hip!

    Erin - Added you on ravelry :)

    Jane - You are so welcome. I gushed some more about you on your post ya sweetheart!

    Sarah - Added you too! I think my knitting needles are very mad at me also right now. I can feel the jealousy oozing off them.

    Robyn - You're welcome hun! Hope you're feeling good :)

  10. Hmm.. I wish I could knit.... I have too many things I'm dabbling in at the moment, I couldn't possibly add another.... ;)
    They all look lovely though!

  11. Wow what talent!! Amazing...thanks for sharing!

    Just wanted to put a little plug in to find out who won the giveaway! I've been waiting anxiously. :)

  12. OOh this is great! I need to make a few of these to keep in the car. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.


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