Plait Hat

Plait Hat by Karen Templer (free knitting pattern)

I thought it might be nice to kick off the new year with a little free pattern — the one I’ve promised you for this easy peasy hat!

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Plait Hat pattern


For this super simple, super warm hat, you need approximately 190-200 total yards of worsted-weight yarn held triple. By knitting with three strands, rather than a single strand of superbulky, you get to create the sweet little braided loop detail up top. You can either wind off three balls of 65 to 70 yards each (i.e., one half skein of Lark per ball), and knit with them held triple. Or, for the safer and easier approach, wind your yarn as usual and use the Navajo Ply method to create the tripled strand as you go. If you Navajo Ply, when you get near the end of the crown decrease section, pull out a crazy-long loop — like 6 feet — to be 100% sure you can finish the knitting and break the long tails for the braid without encountering the bend in your loop. I’d also recommend splicing on the second skein when you come to it.


  • 2 skeins Quince and Co. Lark (134 yards / 123 meters per 50g skein, pictured in Sabine) or approximately 195-200 yards worsted-weight yarn, held triple throughout (see note above)
  • 16″ circular needle and set of DPNs in size needed to match gauge (suggested size US13/9mm)
  • 16″ circular needle two sizes smaller for ribbing (suggested size US11/8mm)
  • 3 stitch markers and 1 contrasting Beginning of Round marker
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends


  • Gauge: 10 sts and 18 rounds = 4″ in stockinette stitch
  • Size: 18″ circumference at brim (unstretched); 8″ tall


Using smaller needle and the long-tail method, and holding three strands of yarn together throughout the pattern, cast on 44 sts; place BOR marker and join for working in the round.

Work k2/p2 ribbing until piece measures 2.5″ from cast-on edge.

Switch to larger needle and stockinette stitch: knit all stitches, all rounds, until piece measures 5″ from cast-on edge. (For a slouchier hat, knit more rounds before beginning crown shaping.)

Shape crown
Setup round: *k2tog, k7, SSK, place marker; repeat from * to end of round. (8 sts decreased; 36 remain)

Round 1: Knit
Round 2: *k2tog, knit to 2 sts before marker, SSK, slip marker; repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat last two rounds (switch to DPNs when needed) until 3 sts remain between the markers.

Next round: *k2tog, k1, slip marker; repeat from * to end. (8 sts remain)

Next round: *k2tog, drop marker; repeat from * to end. (4 sts remain)

Next round: k2tog, break yarns leaving an 8-10″ tail of each strand; thread all three strands onto tapestry needle, thread them through the remaining three sts and pull to cinch hat closed.

Create braid
Remove the strands from the tapestry needle and braid them loosely for about 2″. Holding the braid securely, form a loop with the three strands (right at the end of the braid), pass the tails through and pull tight to secure braid in the knot. Now thread the tails back onto the tapestry needle and pass them down through the center top of the hat — it will stop at the knot, leaving you with a braided loop atop the hat and the tails inside. Now weave in your ends, block as desired, and wear it in good health!

<< Fave/queue the Plait Hat at Ravelry >>

Fringe Hatalong No. 5: Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn

Fringe Hatalong No. 5: Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn (free pattern)

I knew from the outset that I wanted the October hat for the Fringe Hatalong Series to be a cable hat, and one of my favorites is by my friend Kate Gagnon Osborn (of Kelbourne Woolens, distributors of The Fibre Co. yarns). When I asked her if there was any chance of using it, she suggested designing a whole new pattern for us, and the result is Seathwaite, modeled here by Kate herself. Seathwaite is a gorgeous beanie with a toasty double-thick brim and allover cable patterning that looks jaw-dropping but is doable even if you’re new to cables. There are only three different cable crosses involved, with cabling on every other round, so it will be easy if you’re an old hand, and a good challenge and lots of great practice if it’s your first time. As noted in the preview, the pattern is written for The Fibre Co’s new Cumbria yarn, which is a fantastic blend of Merino, Masham and Mohair, and I’m super excited to knit with it. Thank you so much for creating this hat for us, Kate!

See the preview post for additional yarn guidance and download the free pattern to get started. And be sure to share your progress everywhere with hashtag #fringehatalong.


Gauge for this pattern is given as 20 sts (one chart width) = 2.75″, so what you can do is simply knit one repeat of the chart and 4″ of row height and measure that. To keep the edge stitches from being wonky and throwing off your measurement, cast on a couple of extra stitches at each end and work those in garter stitch. Then just measure the 20 pattern sts in the center to get your width. You’ll also need to swatch “in the round.” (See Ysolda’s tutorial if that’s new to you.)


Charts: Everything I said about lace charts holds true here — working from the bottom right corner, how to make it less intimidating, etc. So review that if needed. (See also the chart-reading tutorials on the Kelbourne Woolens blog.)

Provisional cast-on: Kate has posted a tutorial on the Kelbourne blog for their preferred method, which is the crochet method. You may use any provisional cast-on you like for this hat.

Knitting cables: See my intro to cables, for beginners, and Kate’s how to cable without a cable needle if you want to advance your skills

Fixing cables: If you cross a cable the wrong direction and don’t notice it right away, never fear — it can be repaired! The Yarn Harlot’s tutorial taught me this incredibly empowering technique and changed my knitting life in the process. Mistakes are awesome growth opportunities!


For those inclined to donate their hats, this month I want to highlight another group providing warmth and aid to Syrian refugees, organized by knitting designer Laura Nelkin and functioning as Knitting for Munich. You can see all the details at that link, but their next shipment will be going out in mid-November so the timing is good for helping with this effort! If you’re planning to donate, email for where to send your hat.

DOWNLOAD THE SEATHWAITE HAT PATTERN and remember to share your progress with hashtag #fringehatalong wherever you post. Also be sure to fave/queue the pattern at Ravelry. I’ll be on the lookout for photos everywhere, and will be answering questions posted in the comments below. (Sorry, I’m not able to reliably answer questions across multiple platforms!)

Happy cabling!

Fringe Hatalong No. 5: Seathwaite by Kate Gagnon Osborn (free pattern)

Photos by Anna Dianich

Fringe Hatalong No. 3: Hermaness Worsted by Gudrun Johnston

Fringe Hatalong No. 3: Hermaness Worsted by Gudrun Johnston (free pattern)

The Shetland Trader Book TwoI’ve mentioned not once but twice how much I admire and want to knit Gudrun Johnston’s Hermaness hat, from her beautiful collection The Shetland Trader – Book Two. When I thought about how much I wanted us all to knit a quick and simple lace hat this summer, Hermaness was all I could think about, but it’s fingering weight. So I asked Gudrun what she thought, and she generously worked up a worsted-weight version and has made it available to us as a free pattern for Fringe Hatalong No. 3! Just click to download the Hermaness Worsted pattern PDF.

I ADORE it at this chunkier gauge and hope you’ll love it as much as I do. As I mentioned in the preview, this is very simple lace, so if you’re a seasoned lace knitter you can do it in your sleep. If you’re a lace first-timer, it’s an absolutely perfect place to start! And if you don’t believe me, try swatching it — it’s important to swatch anyway, and it’ll be good practice before you start in on the real hat. I’ve got lots of how-to advice below, and the whole Hatalong community will be happy to help if you have any questions or trouble along the way!

If you prefer the fingering-weight version, you can buy that one individually at Ravelry or buy the book. You’re welcome to knit either Hermaness or Hermaness Worsted for the knitalong. Remember to share everywhere with hashtag #fringehatalong.

Fringe Hatalong No. 3: Hermaness Worsted by Gudrun Johnston (free pattern)HOW TO SWATCH FOR

Gauge for the pattern is 22 sts per 4 inches in the lace pattern, and it’s an 8-stitch repeat. So if you cast on three repeats [3×8] that’s 24 sts, which should get you 4 inches of knitting to measure. You do need to swatch “in the round” and you’ll need a couple of stitches on either side of the lace to keep it intact and measurable. So I cast on 30 sts: 3 in stockinette, 24 in the lace stitch, and 3 more in stockinette. Target row gauge is 29 rounds per 4 inches, so I worked 30 chart rows: 1-20, then 1-10 again. Block before you measure since lace, of all things, changes once it’s resting.

As far as how to measure this one, Gudrun’s advice is to pick an identifiable spot in the lace to measure from — either a yarnover or a psso — and measure to a spot that is 8 or 16 or 24 sts away from that. For instance, if I measure from the left edge of the left-most yarnover in my swatch to the equivalent yarnover two repeats away (16 sts away) I get 3 inches. 16 sts divided by 3 inches is 5.33 sts per inch. Multiplied by 4 inches is 21.32 sts, so my gauge is slightly bigger than Gudrun’s 22 sts. The body of the hat is worked over 120 sts — at 5.33 sts per inch, that’s a 22.5-inch hat, so I’ll need to go down one needle size. Make sense? Ask questions below if not.

(For further thoughts on the why and how of swatching, see How to knit a hat, part 2: Gauge and size.)

How to knit from a chartHOW TO KNIT FROM A CHART

A chart is simply a picture of the right side of a piece of knitted fabric, with each stitch mapped out. They can be infinitely easier to mentally process than long strings of written-out instructions, and yet charts can seem intimidating when you’re new to them. I think the most important thing to keep in mind right off the bat is that we only knit one row at a time, so if you only look at one row, it will seem instantly less scary! It’s a good idea to use a post-it note or piece of washi tape (or the thousand other really great suggestions people will make in the comments) to track which row you’re working on. Some people stick it below the row they’re working; some stick it above. Do whatever makes the most sense to your own brain — there’s no right or wrong. I’m a post-it-below person, but for the sake of reducing the chart to just Row 1 for you, I stuck it above for this photo. See how much more digestible that is? Go ahead and print out the PDF or have it open on your screen so you can see the whole thing and the legend while we talk about how to work it.

We knit from right to left and each new row is created on top of the one before it, so you’ll see a little number 1 at the bottom right corner of any chart — that’s where you start. Generally speaking, an empty square is a knit stitch, and a square with a black dot in it is a purl stitch, of which there are none in this particular chart. For any symbols you don’t recognize (you’ll memorize the basic ones the more charts you use), there’s always a legend telling you what each symbol means. I classify this as a simple chart for three reasons: 1) it’s only 8 stitches wide, 2) there are only three kinds of stitches (knits, yarnovers and that broom-looking thing we’ll get to in a minute), and 3) there are only three different stitch sequences. At least in the main chart.

Row 1 of this chart tells you to knit the first two stitches, then that broom-y thing (consulting the legend plus the abbreviations list if needed) means “sl1kw (slip 1 stitch knitwise, or “as if to knit”), k2tog (knit 2 together) and psso (pass the slipped stitch over),” then knit two more stitches, yarnover (wrap your yarn once around your needle), knit one, yarnover. You can totally handle those eight stitches — just take them one at a time — and then you simply repeat the sequence until you reach the end of the round. Row 2 is all knit stitches! And then you’ll notice Row 3 is exactly the same as Row 1 — nothing new to learn. In fact, all of the even numbered rows are just knit every stitch, and the odd rows 1 through 9 are all the same. Then the odd rows from 11 through 19 are the same three stitches just in a different order. So like I said, there are only three different stitch sequences in the whole body of the hat, one of which is just knit every stitch. Plus the whole chart repeats, as indicated by the red border. (In some cases there might be stitches on either side of the chart that don’t repeat, but there’s none of that here.)

The other reason this is a great first lace or chart project is that a hat is knitted in the round, which means every row/round is worked from the right side. Since we’re never turning the work and working a wrong-side row, we never have to imagine ourselves behind the chart, like you do when you’re knitting flat. We’ll tackle that some other time! For now, just take pleasure in working every chart row from right to left, exactly as pictured in the chart. By the time you get to the Crown Shaping Chart, you’ll have chart-reading licked.


Stitch markers are your friend. I’m a perfectly competent knitter but I have a very short attention span and I also watch TV while I knit (sometimes with subtitles!) so I find it very helpful to place a marker between each repeat. In other words, when you get to row one of the chart, work the 8 stitches of the chart, count that you have 8 sts on your right-hand needle, and place a marker. Then work the 8 sts again, pm, etc, all the way around. Make sure your Beginning of Round marker is different in size, color or something so you know where your round ends and a new one begins. And then be careful, in this case, that the yarnover next to a marker doesn’t try to pop over the marker.

As is counting. Now as you work your way through the chart, if you ever find yourself with more or less than 8 sts between your markers, you’ll know right away that you’ve done something wrong.

Those knit rounds are saviors. If you do make a mistake, just take a deep breath and look at what you’ve got between your markers as compared to what the chart says you should have. Tink back as needed and straighten it out. And if you can’t figure it out — or you spot a mistake in an earlier row — rip back to a knit round. If you rip out a lace round, the one before it will have been all knit stitches, which are much easier to put back on your needle so you can start again. No need to panic about trying to put lace stitches back on your needles!

A lifeline might help you sleep. I think the knit-stitch rows are really all the safety net you need in this case, but some of you might like a lifeline just for good measure. To create a lifeline, you simply thread a length of smooth waste yarn (cotton is best) onto a tapestry needle and run it through a full round of stitches on your needle, being careful not to split your yarn in the process. Why would you do this? If you need to do a big rip, you just rip back to the lifeline and it will hold that row of stitches safe for you to slip your needle back into. So perhaps you want to place one after every five or ten successfully completed rounds. Then just pull it out when you’re all done.

Fringe Hatalong No. 3: Hermaness Worsted by Gudrun Johnston (free pattern)

DOWNLOAD THE HERMANESS WORSTED HAT PATTERN and remember to share your progress with hashtag #fringehatalong wherever you post. I’ll be on the lookout for photos everywhere, and will be answering questions posted in the comments below. (Sorry, I’m not able to reliably answer questions across multiple platforms!)

I can’t wait to see your hats!

And make sure to save/fave it on Ravelry: Hermaness Worsted


PREVIOUSLY in the Fringe Hatalong Series: No. 2 L’Arbre by Cirilia Rose

Fringe Hatalong No. 2: L’Arbre by Cirilia Rose

Fringe Hatalong No. 2: L'Arbre Hat by Cirilia Rose #fringehatalong

Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads by Cirilia RoseThank gawd today is here because the suspense has been killing me! Finally I can tell you that the hat pattern for Fringe Hatalong No. 2 is Cirilia Rose’s L’Arbre Hat — from her beautiful book Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads — which I’ve been wanting to knit since I first laid eyes on it. (You can see the full range of patterns included in this book on Ravelry.) Major thanks to Cirilia and the fine folks at her publisher, STC Craft, for making the hat available to us for the knitalong.

Click here to download the free pattern. Be sure to post your progress here, there and everywhere with hashtag #fringehatalong. And for newer knitters, see my two-part How to Knit a Hat tutorial: Part 1. Anatomy Lessons and Part 2. Gauge and size.

“Arbre” is French for tree and the hat features a stitch pattern called Little Tree, which is just knits and purls and — now that I’ve swatched I can say this for certain — so much fun to knit! As I mentioned in the preview post last week (which contains yarn suggestions and a discount code for the recommended yarn, so if you missed that go look) you will definitely want to swatch for this hat — both to get the hang of the stitch pattern and to measure your gauge, because if you’re working this stitch tightly at all, that will affect the outcome. You’ll also want to block it because it does create a sort of corrugated fabric that relaxes when blocked, so measuring without blocking will give you a deceptive measurement. Below you can see the difference in my swatch before and after blocking. (For the record, this swatch is knitted with Purl Soho Worsted Twist from my stash — Purl sent me several colors awhile back and I’m debating! But I’m exactly on gauge.)

How to swatch for the L'Arbre Hat #fringehatalong


The pattern is written for a heavy-worsted/aran weight yarn, and the stated gauge is 18 sts over four inches. (Recommended needle size is 5mm/US8, but you should use whatever needle size gets you the correct gauge.) And gauge is given in the Little Tree pattern stitch, so that’s what you need to knit your swatch in. You will need to “swatch in the round” — here’s a good tutorial if you haven’t done that before. And be sure to knit your swatch with the same needles you’ll be knitting the hat with. Your gauge will be different if you switch from bamboo to metal, etc.

You need your swatch to be at least 4 inches wide in order to measure it correctly. This particular stitch pattern is a multiple of 8 stitches (k5, p3, repeat) and we know the pattern says 18 sts is meant to be 4 inches. So we need to cast on a multiple of 8 that is greater than 18 to be sure we’ve got four inches of knitting. In addition to edge stitches being messy and unmeasurable in an in-the-round swatch, you won’t be able to work this stitch pattern from the first stitch with this method. To be really safe, cast on 36 stitches: 32 for the stitch pattern (4 repeats) plus two extra stitches at each edge, which I’ve just worked as knit stitches. So knit the first two stitches, work Row 1 of the pattern stitch four times, then knit the last two stitches. Proceed to work through the four rows of the pattern stitch, and repeat those four rows until you have several inches of knitting. Ideally you would swatch at least four inches high as well to measure row gauge. I’m trying to conserve yarn so am taking my chances and will measure row gauge on the actual hat once I get to four inches.

Once you’ve got a big enough swatch, bind off and block it, then lay a ruler across the middle four inches and count the stitches. A stitch pattern like this makes it really easy to count, because each 5- and 3-stitch section is easy to see and add up. Even in my photo above where the ruler is not directly on the swatch, you can see there are 18 stitches between the 0″ and 4″ marks on the ruler — 5+3+5+3+2.

How to knit the L'Arbre Hat by Cirilia Rose #fringehatalong


Like I said, this pattern is just knits and purls but there is one nifty, simple little maneuver that creates the “tree” pattern. On Row 2 of the stitch pattern, you slip five knits with your yarn in front — so it’s sticking out the front of your work five stitches over — then lay the yarn across those five stitches, moving it between the needles and to the back of the work in order to knit the next stitch. If you pull that strand too tight, it will cause your stitches to cinch or bunch up in the final fabric. So the trick is keeping the width of that strand loose and even. My advice is to spread out the five stitches on your right-hand needle to their natural width, then lay the yarn across them so they accurately determine the width of your strand, as pictured above. If the stitches are bunched up on your right needle, chances are your strand will be too short, and vice versa.

Then on Row 4 of the stitch pattern, you’re told to “work the loose strand.” All you do, when you get to that stitch, is insert your right needle under the strand and then into the next stitch on your left needle, as pictured here. Wrap the yarn around the needle as usual, and pull it back through both the stitch and the strand, letting the stitch drop off your left needle. And voilà, the strand is now behind the stitch you just knitted. Magic!


Whether you’re working from the book or the PDF here, note that there is one small error: Under SHAPE CROWN / RND 1, where it says “k4” it should say “k1, p3” — that will preserve the garter stitch section correctly on that row.

Also, the PDF includes the coordinating mitts pattern (bonus!), but it’s missing the instructions for completing the thumbs after the stitches have been set aside. If you’ve knitted mitts before, you won’t have any trouble figuring out how to finish them!


There is one abbreviation in the crown decrease section that’s in the back of the book and didn’t make it into the PDF. Here’s how to work it: “Slip the next 2 stitches to the right-hand needle as if to knit 2 together, k1, pass the 2 slipped stitches over.”


As I’ve mentioned before, part of my goal for this Fringe Hatalong Series is to highlight worthy charities that take hat donations. You may be planning to knit this hat for yourself — totally cool! — or you may be one of those knitters who deliberately knit more hats than you can use, with the intent to donate them. For this installment, I’m featuring Halos of Hope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide hats to cancer patients. With the density of the textured stitch in this pattern and the incredibly soft recommended yarn, I think L’Arbre seems like a great “chemo cap.” So if you are inclined to donate your hat, give Halos of Hope a look. You can find a donation location here, and I believe they’ll also be at Stitches South next weekend, as will we!

DOWNLOAD THE L’ARBRE HAT PATTERN and remember to share your progress with hashtag #fringehatalong wherever you post. I’ll be on the lookout for photos everywhere, and will be answering questions posted in the comments below. (Sorry, I’m not able to reliably answer questions across multiple platforms!)

Happy knitting!


PREVIOUSLY in the Fringe Hatalong Series: No. 1 Audrey by Jessie Roselyn

Fringe Hatalong No. 1: Audrey by Jessie Roselyn

Fringe Hatalong No. 1: Audrey by Jessie Roselyn — a mini-knitalong

My darling friend Anna Dianich of Tolt Yarn and Wool commissioned Jessie Roselyn to design a set of patterns for her Snoqualmie Valley Yarn last fall, and it’s super charming. (You know I love a good chevron stitch!) The complete Audrey Collection includes a hat, mittens and socks all in the same reverse-stockinette-with-chevrons stitch pattern. The hat, though, can be worn either side out and was photographed both ways. The photos on the model above show it stockinette side out, which is how I actually prefer it, so that’s the modified pattern I’ve chosen for the first Fringe Hatalong Series knitalong and am publishing below, with Anna’s permission.

In addition to the mittens and socks, the PDF version of the pattern includes a chart, so if you want the chart, the additional patterns and/or to have it in PDF form, you can purchase the complete set at Ravelry. I’m very grateful to Anna for giving us (this modified version of) the hat pattern for the knitalong. A portion of the proceeds from the pattern yarn is going to Seattle Children’s Hospital and Anna asks that, in exchange for the free hat pattern, you please donate a dollar or two to the same cause. You can make a donation through Seattle Children’s Hospital’s site.

The full hat pattern is below!

I’ll be answering questions (to the best of my abilities) in the comments section on this post. I hope you’ll share pictures of your hats here (link to wherever from the comments), on Ravelry and Instagram using the hashtag #fringehatalong. But I will only be able to answer questions posted here in the comments.

NOTES FOR BEGINNERS: In addition to being just knits and purls, this pattern is written with beginners in mind, including indications for where you should reset your row counter if you’re using one. (You could also just make tick marks or check marks on paper, or whatever works for you, as long as you’re consistent in doing it!) I would add that the stitch pattern for the body of the hat (beginning with the Pattern Rounds) is based on a 12-stitch repeat. To make it easier to keep your place and catch mistakes quickly, you might want to use 10 extra stitch markers to separate the repeats. You’ll already have one marker marking the beginning of your round, and that marker should be different from the rest (a different size, shape or color) so you know which one is the BOR (beginning of round) marker versus the rest of them. When you get to the first Pattern Round, work the first 12 stitches as indicated (p1, k11), then place a marker; work the next 12 stitches (p1, k11), place another marker, etc. On the successive rounds, you’ll simply slip each marker from the left to right needle as you come to them. You might drop them when switching to DPNs or during the last of the Top Shaping rounds once they’re in the way, but keep your BOR marked. Also, I strongly recommend you use the nicely stretchy Long-Tail Cast On.

For details on how to swatch for this hat, I’ve spelled that out in the comments. For general guidance and advice on how to knit a hat, see Anatomy lessons and Gauge and size.

. . .

Audrey Hat pattern by Jessie Roselyn

Fringe Hatalong No. 1: Audrey by Jessie Roselyn — a mini-knitalong

This pattern provides instructions for two levels of slouchiness: You can work an additional pattern repeat to create a more slouchy fit.

Hat is knitted in the round with a circular needle. When you reach the point where there are not enough stitches to stretch around the circular needle, switch to double-pointed needles. The hat may be worked entirely on double-pointed needles if you don’t have a circular, or if you prefer that method to knit in the round.

[see note on dimensions below]

. . .


Approximately 175 yd / 160 m of light DK weight yarn
Sample shown in 8″ fit knitted in Snoqualmie Valley Yarn (100% wool, 250 yd/230 m per 100g skein)

5 stitches/9 rows = 1 in/2.5 cm in pattern stitch

Needle sizes are recommendations only; always use needle size necessary to achieve given gauge.
US6/4.0 mm needles — a 16-in/40-cm circular needle and set of double-pointed needles (or use your preferred small-circumference method)

Stitch marker, row counter, tapestry needle

. . .

CO 88 stitches. Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Setup Rounds
Rounds 1-10: [K2, P2] repeat to end
Round 11: [K4, M1] repeat to end (110 stitches)
Round 12: [K5, M1] repeat to end (132 stitches)
Reset row counter.

Pattern Rounds
Repeat pattern rounds 1-15 a total of three times for the 8″ hat (pictured) or four times for the slouchier 9.5″ hat.
Round 1: [P1, K11] repeat to end
Round 2: [P1, K11] repeat to end
Round 3: [P2, K9, P1] repeat to end
Round 4: [K1, P1, K9, P1] repeat to end
Round 5: [K1, P2, K7, P2] repeat to end
Round 6: [K2, P1, K7, P1, K1] repeat to end
Round 7: [K2, P2, K5, P2, K1] repeat to end
Round 8: [K3, P1, K5, P1, K2] repeat to end
Round 9: [K3, P2, K3, P2, K2] repeat to end
Round 10: [K4, P1, K3, P1, K3] repeat to end
Round 11: [K4, P2, K1, P2, K3] repeat to end
Round 12: [K5, P1, K1, P1, K4] repeat to end
Round 13: [K5, P3, K4] repeat to end
Round 14: [K6, P1, K5] repeat to end
Round 15: [K6, P1, K5] repeat to end
Reset row counter; repeat as indicated above for desired length

Top Shaping
[NOTE: this section was tweaked at 8:55am PST to include one extra decrease round.]
Round 1: [K10, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 2: [K9, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 3: [K8, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 4: [K7, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 5: [K6, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 6: [K5, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 7: [K4, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 8: [K3, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 9: [K2, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 10: [K1, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 11: [K2tog] repeat to end
Bind off by pulling working yarn through remaining stitch loops with tapestry needle.

Weave in the ends and block.

. . .

CO: Cast on
K: Knit
K2tog: Knit 2 together (1 stitch decreased)
M1: Make 1 stitch — insert left needle under bar between stitches from front to back; knit this stitch through back loop (1 stitch increased)
P: Purl


Pattern and photos © Tolt Yarn and Wool; published with permission

Two of my favorite patterns, now as kits!

Double Basketweave Cowl free knitting pattern

It’s been long enough since I published a knitting pattern here, and there are so many more people reading now than there were then, that likely a lot of you don’t even know I’ve published patterns! There are two I’m extremely fond of and have always regretted their having gotten short shrift in the photo department, plus they were never tech edited. So I’ve had them both photographed by the amazing Kathy Cadigan (modeled by Anna!) and tech edited by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, have formatted both into neatly designed patterns, and today I’m pretty damn pleased to be re-releasing them — as knit kits! They are the Double Basketweave Cowl knit kit (above) and the Wabi Mitts knit kit (below). The cowl features Sincere Sheep’s naturally dyed Luminous wool-silk blend, and the mitts feature Habu’s beautifully slubby N-68 wool-linen blend. Both are pleasurably simple knits that yield finished items you’ll love and wear for years. And both are amazing yarns that aren’t necessarily that easy to come by, all of which is why I wanted to make them available to you as kits.

The kits themselves make marvelous gifts for knitters, of course, but these are quick enough projects there’s also still plenty of time for you to knit them up and give the finished cowl and/or mitts for the holidays, if you can stand not to keep them for yourself.

The original blog-post versions of the patterns have also been updated to match these revised editions: Double Basketweave Cowl and Wabi Mitts. And you can also find both patterns on Ravelry.

Wabi Mitts free knitting pattern

Whichaway Mitts

Whichaway Mitts free knitting pattern from Fringe Association

OK let’s face it, there are (at least) two things I can’t get enough of: this Anna yarn and tubes with thumb slits. What can I say? I mentioned when I posted the Stadium Mitts and Stadium Hat patterns that I had enough yarn left to knit another pair of the mitts. But when I picked that yarn back up, something else came off my needles.

I’ve had this very simple idea in my head for a long time, and the ebony and ivory Anna seemed like the perfect yarn to finally make it with: a pair of knitted tubes with the thumb slit placed dead center, colorblocked half and half. So there’s no top or bottom — you can pull them on thisaway, thataway or one of each. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and I still have 50 yards of the natural left to play with! (It’s like the fishes and the loaves, this yarn.)

Although it’s just a few simple mods from the other mitts, I’ve written out the pattern details below for the benefit of beginners or anyone who just wants to cast on and go!

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Whichaway Mitts pattern

For these mitts (and the coordinating Stadium Hat and Stadium Mitts) you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination. You could also use four different colors, or omit the colorblocking and knit them solid, or whatever your heart desires. The beauty of a project this simple is how easy it is to make it your own!

Construction notes:
The thumbhole portion of these mitts is worked in flat rows (with two stitches of garter at each end), treating the three needles holding live stitches as if they’re a single left-hand needle, and turning the work with each row, before rejoining in the round at the top of the thumb opening. In order to be able to wear the mitts either direction, as pictured, it’s critical that the cast-on and bind-off edges both be stretchy. I’ve used the long-tail cast-on and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off, but you may use whatever stretchy cast-on and bind-off you like. Directions for EZ’s sewn bind-off follow the pattern.


  • approx 60 yards (30 yards each of two colors) of Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric you like — the stretchy ribbing will fit a wide range of hands regardless of precise gauge
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 5 stitches and 6.25 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 6 inches; length is 5.75 inches


With color A and a US8 needle, and using the long-tail or other stretchy cast-on method, CO 32 stitches, then divide onto 3 DPNs (12, 8 and 12 sts). Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, and join for working in the round. Use your tail (or pin a marker) to keep track of needle 1.

Knit in the round
Rounds 1–12:  *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round

Create thumbhole
(For this worked-flat portion, all odd-numbered rows are WS rows, and all even-numbered rows are RS rows)
Row 13: turn work (WS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Row 14: turn work (RS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Rows 15–17: continue alternating WS and RS rows as above
Row 18 (RS): Switching to color B, knit all stitches
Row 19–22: resume alternating WS and RS rows in pattern as established in 13 and 14

Rejoin and finish knitting
Round 23: rejoin in the round; *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 22–34: *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off (below) or other stretchy bind-off.

Weave in ends. Repeat from beginning for second mitt.


How to work Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off:
Wrap the working yarn loosely four times around the mitt, add a few inches for a tail to weave in, and break the yarn. Thread this long tail through a tapestry needle. Step 1: Pass the needle purlwise through the first two stitches on the needle and pull the tail through, leaving the stitches on the needle. Step 2: Pass the needle back through the first stitch knitwise, dropping that stitch off the needle, and pull the tail through. Repeat these two steps until one stitch remains on the needle. At this point, my method when binding off in the round is to pass the needle purlwise through that last stitch plus the front leg of the first bound-off stitch, neatly closing up the round. Then pass it knitwise back through the last stitch, drop the needle, and weave in the end.


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CO = cast on
k = knit
p = purl
sts = stitches
WS = wrong side
RS = right side