John has been wanting me to knit him a hat since I learned to knit. So while stuck in bed this week I decided to finally take on knitting in the round and make him a hat.
Things I learned:
1. Your needles have to be smaller than the object you're knitting. So for a hat you need a 15 inch circular needle.
2. You don't HAVE to go to double pointed needles if you don't want to towards the end of your hat. It's a bit harder to knit, but really I got down to about 30 stitches before it got really hard and 24 when I cast off.
3. No matter how many videos I watch, knitting on double points looks like a big giant mess that I'm not ready to attempt.
4. Stitch markers make your life so much easier when you're decreasing and on pain meds. I'm sure stitch markers are your friends when not on pain meds as well though.
Finally, there is this wonderful method out there called Magic Loop.
You can also see it here and here. (I love The Knit Witch's tutorials)
Magic Loop lets you knit a small item on long circular needles. I haven't tried it just yet, but will soon.
Here's my finished hat:
John loves it!
I knitted John's hat with size 8, 15 inch circular needles. I used Lion's Brand Wool-Ease. I measured John's favorite hat to figure out the size. My pattern says a Large is 18 inches and X-Large is 22 inches. I made a large and chose to cast on 88 stitches rather than 90. Why? Symmetry. You want your stitches to be easily divisible. I did 88 and did 8 decreases as apposed to the 9 you would do with 90. I liked the even number of decreases over the odd.
I did 4 rounds of knit 1, purl 1 ribbing. When knitting in the round you'll always knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches for ribbing. Then I knitted every round until my piece measured 5 inches (that's when the decreases started on John's favorite hat). Just knitting results in stockinette stitch. If you want your hat to have a rolled edge, skip the ribbing and just knit.
When I got to 5 inches I started my decreases. I placed stitch markers every 11 stitches. I knitted 9 and then k2tog and repeated the full round. (Use a different colored stitch marker at the beginning of each round so you know where the beginning is) Knit the next round. Repeat these two steps until you have 30 stitches left and then bind off.
Use mattress stitch to sew your seams together at the top of the hat. You can see how to do mattress stitch here and here.