Black Spiral Hat for me

I took a break from my moss slip stitch scarf and decided to make a hat for myself, since we’re about to hit our rainy season in Southern California (the bulk of our rainfall hits February through April). I wanted something quick, but fun, so I opted to make a spiral hat for myself.

Since I’m a bit more experienced at making these than when I made my second knit hat a year ago, I decided to try making it a slightly different way. I marked my initial purl stitches with stitch markers, but then I wrapped my knit stitches (without knitting them off) and just did my purl stitches and continued that way around the loom, so that I had a bunch of wrapped pegs where the knit stitches were, and did the purls as I went.

At the end of each row, I went back and knitted off all of the knit stitches, except the ones right before my last purls, so I could keep track.

This way, I didn’t have to move around the stitch markers as much. I’d seen something similar in a Loomahat video last year, where the knit stitches were wrapped but not knitted off so that you can keep track of the 3 knit-2 purl or 4 knit-1 purl pattern.

black_spiral_hat3   black_spiral_hat2

Sorry about the image quality. The picture on the right is closer to the true color of the hat, but I had to take it again with the flash for the spirals to show up.

 

To make this hat, here is the basic pattern:

Tools needed:

* 36-peg wide gauge loom. I used my new Darice loom set.
Note: You need an odd-numbered loom to make the spiral, otherwise you will end up with a rib stitch pattern. Basically, a multiple of 5 plus 1. That plus one is VERY important.
If you want to knit a hat for an adult man or a woman with a larger head, use a 41-peg loom. The 36-peg will make a woman’s or teenager’s hat.
* Knitting hook / knitting tool
* Tapestry Needle for doing the bind off
* 2 skeins of yarn or you can take one skein and wind it up into two balls
(I think I used Red Heart with Love Metallic in Black)
* Optional: Crochet hook to sew in the loose ends when the hat is done.

If you want to know what looms, knitting hooks, and tapestry needles I use, you can click on Venus’ Loom Bag.


Knitting Instructions:

Cast on

(We will do 3 sets of garter stitch rows for the brim. This is NOT a thick, fold-over brim. You’ll need more rows to make a fold-over brim – you can try 6-8 sets of garter stitch)
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl

(Now for the body of the hat, which in my case has a knit 3, purl 2 pattern. You could also do a knit 4, purl 1 pattern, if you prefer). I used an e-wrap stitch.

Knit 3, purl 2 (repeat this for every row).
Note: Because you are using an odd-numbered loom, your starting peg will move with each row.

For an adult hat: Follow this pattern until your hat measures about 9″.
For a man with a large head, you might wish to do 10″. For a teenager, knit 7.5″-8″ long.

* If you are new to loom knitting or find yourself getting very confused with keeping track of your stitch pattern, you’ll want to use stitch markers around the entire loom. See my old post about how I made my first spiral hat. The processed I used was a little more time consuming, but less likely to cause errors in the pattern.

For intermediate/advanced knitters: wrap 3 pegs, then purl 2, wrap 3 pegs, then purl 2 and continue until you have completed one row around the loom. Don’t knit off, just leave the pegs wrapped until you complete your row.

Once your row is done, knit off all of the wrapped pegs. Your starting place has now moved down one peg because you are using an odd-numbered loom. As you start a new row, move your stitch marker to reflect your new starting peg.

If you are working left to right, your starting peg is now one peg to the left of the original starting point. If you are working right to left, your starting peg is now one to the right of your original starting point.

Now, move your starting peg stitch marker and go ahead and knit your next row: knit 3, purl 2 (repeat).

You want to keep track of where your starting peg is for each row. I recommend the Boye stich markers that easily open and close or a diaper-pin style stitch marker as you can remove these without taking your yarn off of the peg.

Continue knitting more rows until your hat measures around 9″ long.

Once your hat is long enough, do a gathered bind off.

A gathered bind off will keep your pattern neat. If you tried to do a decrease, it would most likely throw off your stitch pattern.

Sew in your loose ends at the top of the hat. If needed, tighten your cast on row, then sew in the tail of yarn from when you started the project.

I hope you enjoyed this spiral hat. It was fun and quick to make.

Until next time, happy looming!

black_spiral_hat5

 

 

Loom Review – KB Baby-Knit Looms

My Baby-Knit Looms from Authentic Knitting Board came in this past week! I was very excited to try them out.

Sometimes it is hard to gauge whether you need to use a 24-peg loom or a 31-peg loom when making baby hats (or how many pegs to use on a small-gauge loom like the All-in-One), so this loom takes the guesswork out of the process of making baby hats and baby booties.

My first impressions:

As you can see from the photos, the set comes with a 56-peg loom in a sea-green/blue-green color and a small 24-peg loom in purple. The sea-green loom is designed for infant hats and the purple loom is for baby booties. Both looms are 3/8″ gauge, so you can use one strand of thin yarn. The booklet suggests one strand of #3.

You’ll also find a knitting hook and a booklet that offers basic instructions, which includes one hat pattern and one baby booties pattern. The booklet covers basic stitches: e-wrap, true knit, purl, and u-knit and shows you methods for casting on and binding off. The instructions are written in English and in French (sorry, no Spanish).

   

According to the booklet, a hat made in true-knit or u-knit will fit infants 0-6 months and e-wrap will fit 6-12 months (up to a 17.5″ circumference).

The first thing I noticed when handling these looms is that they are sturdy. The plastic is dense and the quality is good. I tried pulling on some pegs and they are very securely attached, but they have enough give to bend a little. They don’t feel cheap like my Boye looms. They feel heavier, too. Surprisingly, the material feels very soft in the hand.

I think it might take me a minute to get used to the weight, but I’m very impressed with the quality. I have never been disappointed in the quality of any KB loom I’ve purchased.

One plus of this yarn is that you can use a fine baby yarn for a more delicate look (like you’d get with needle-knit or crochet). Of course you can double or triple a thin yarn, but this loom allows you to use one strand, which is nice if you don’t want your hat to feel too thick, such as for a newborn hat in the summertime.

 

Thoughts after knitting with it for an hour:

The gauge is pretty narrow. I think it might be a little smaller than my KB Basics 32-peg loom, but I’d have to measure to be sure as KB doesn’t list the gauge for on the 32-peg loom on their website.

When I got the Baby-Knit Looms, I didn’t have a #3 yarn handy except for a wool yarn I didn’t want to use, so I knitted with a Caron soft #4 and that worked.

So far, I like the loom and as mentioned, I think one of the big selling-points of this loom is it takes the confusion out of making baby sets.

For beginning knitters, if you don’t have an exact pattern you’re working from that calls for a specific size of loom, it can be a little confusing to know whether you should use a 24-peg or a 31-peg loom. I like that this loom can make hats for babies up to 12 months and all you need to do is change the stitch to make the hat smaller or larger. For babies older than 12 months, you’d need to use a wide gauge 31-peg loom or you can make it on the All-in-One loom. Here is a link to some of the baby patterns on the KB website. Right now, KB has 3 patterns for the Baby-Knit Loom.

I would give this loom 4.5 stars.

It’s sturdy and well-made, it takes the guesswork out of sizing, and it is very affordable. I’d like to see more patterns for it, but the product is new and I’m sure designers will start coming up with more adorable baby sets to suit this loom.

 

*Disclosure: I purchased this loom set and did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. This post does include affiliate/advertising links.

 

 

 

Tips for Making a Spiral Hat

I made a hat for a friend of mine a while ago as a belated Christmas gift. It was one of my favorite things I’ve made so far: a spiral knit hat. Though it is a project beginners can do, I would recommend not doing this hat as your very first loom knit project (unless you’re someone who does traditional needle knits or crochet and you’re used to following a pattern where the stitches change frequently). It’s too confusing for a beginner who has never done anything on a loom before.

If you’re brand new to loom knitting and looking for something easier to do, start with a knit stitch, a basic rib stitch, or a garter stitch hat pattern. But if you’ve done a few projects already, or you’re a more experienced loom knitter, here are some basic tips to help you with making a spiral hat.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a step-by-step pattern tutorial, but it does cover how I made my hat, what size looms to use, and the process I used to keep track of the pattern.

I’d recommend using a 31-peg, 36-peg or 41-peg loom (basically any loom that is divisible by 5 plus 1). In the pictures below, I used the Loops & Threads 36-peg loom. I found a spiral hat pattern on Pinterest. It was designed for the Knifty Knitter 36-peg loom. While there are multiple ways to do the spiral design, I’ve seen this basic pattern used in a few tutorials.

What you will need to do this project:

  • A round knitting loom (preferably a 31, 36, or 41-peg loom)
  • Two skeins of worsted weight yarn (use a solid color)
  • Your knitting tool / knitting hook and a tapestry needle
  • A crochet hook (optional, for working in the ends when your project is done).
  • Removable stitch markers in 2 different colors or washi tape (make sure you have at least 10-15 stitch markers of each color)  – If you don’t have stitch markers that easily open and close, then you will need to use a different method to track your stitches.

Making the Spiral Hat:

The first step in creating the hat is to make a brim. A lot of times, you’re working with some variation of a rib stitch or a garter stitch. I followed what was in the pattern above. However, you can do knit 1, purl 1 or knit 3, purl 2 if you want the lines of the rib to match the spacing of the spiral pattern.

Here’s a picture of the start of the brim of my hat.

Spiral Hat - Starting the Brim
Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

I’m going to assume that most of you know how to make a brim already and skip that part of the instructions. This post deals with how to work the spiral pattern itself.

Basically to do the spiral, you’re working in a pattern of alternating knit and purl stitches.

A few of the patterns I’ve seen for spiral hats use a combination of knit 3, purl 2 or knit 4, purl 1. This sounds similar to the rib stitch, but the key to the spiral is that the stitches move EVERY round/row.

If you’re like me and you are bad at counting stitches, the best way to make this pattern work is to use peg markers that are removable.

My favorite peg markers for this purpose are the Boye Stitch Markers, which have a clasp that you can open and close. You could also use Clover safety-pin style markers or removable washi tape. It doesn’t matter what kind of stitch marker you choose as long as it is easily removable. The Boye ones are very flexible though, so I tend to prefer them if I’m moving my peg markers a lot. The Clover ones are rigid.

My method of creating the spiral:

If you want to try my method for the spiral pattern, you will need around 10-15 stitch markers in TWO colors if you are making an adult-sized hat (20-30 stitch markers all together).

Essentially, what you will do is mark the start of the knit stitches in one color and the start of purl stitches in another color. You have three knit, and two purl. Repeat.

Stitch Markers for Spiral Hat
Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

In the left side of the picture above, you’ll see that I have put a yellow marker on peg 1 where the knit stitches begin. Peg 4 is the start of the purl stitches and it has a blue stitch marker (see the middle of the photo). Skip one peg to account for the second purl stitch. Then, I’ve put another yellow marker on peg 6, which is where the second set of 3 knit stitches begins. I count three down and put another blue marker on peg 9.

Hopefully this isn’t too confusing. Basically, you just mark every peg where you are switching over from knit to purl or purl to knit.

Continue this k3, p2 pattern as you work your way around. When you get to the end of the row, you will have an extra peg between your last purl and the peg where you started. This is where you are going to start your second row. Now your pattern has moved one peg to the left of where you started (peg 1).

Now move your each of the stitch markers one peg to the left. After you’ve moved all the stitch markers to their new position, you’ll then start doing your knit 3 and purl 2 around the loom.

Every time you start a new row, your starting peg will move to the left.

Note: There are other methods that you can use to make a spiral hat without using a marker at the start of your knit and purl pegs.

And, if you don’t have enough stitch markers or moving that many stitch markers every row is too time consuming, you can just mark where your purls start, if that is easier.

The main reason I use stitch markers is that I know myself and I get easily distracted. If the phone rings or if I’m watching a movie and I get caught up in what is happening, I might not realize I’ve skipped a stitch on the pattern. Having colored markers makes it so that I always know where I am on the pattern—as long as I move the stitch markers after I complete each row.

Once you get the hang of the pattern, you’ll keep going one row/round at a time until you get the hat long enough. To gauge the length, I basically tried the hat on (still attached to the loom) to see if it was long enough. I’m not good at counting an exact number of rows. I either have to eyeball the project or I need measure by inches/cm.  Since I was making a hat for an adult woman, I used my own head to test the hat until it was long enough.

[Here is a guide I found on Goodnight Kisses which gives a length and circumference for loom knitted hats]

I used the basic method for closing a hat – sewing each loop on the pegs with a plastic tapestry/darning needle and then taking it off the loom and pulling it like a drawstring and sewing it closed. You can find tutorials for this Youtube. TIP: I do use a jumbo Clover needle for a lot of my projects as it has a large eye which can accommodate bulky yarns or multiple threads of worsted-weight yarn. You can find these at JoAnn, Amazon, and Michaels.

I made my spiral hat without a pom pom, but you can definitely add one at the top.

Color Choices:

The friend I designed the hat for loves yellow, so I made this with two Red Heart Super Saver yarns in two different shades of yellow (bright yellow and pale yellow). The hat reminds me of popcorn.

For the spiral to show really well, you want to use solid color yarns rather than a multi-color/variegated yarn. You could use two similar colors as I did. But you don’t want to use a rainbow yarn as it might not pick up the spiral as well.

Hopefully this made sense! It’s a little hard to explain without a video, but I hope this was helpful.

What is your favorite method for marking stitch changes in a loom pattern?