Knitted Pith Helmet

Our little explorer is coming! And he or she needs hats – explorer-appropriate hats!

What’s more appropriate for a tiny explorer than a tiny knitted pith helmet? Apparently this isn’t something that’s been done before – why, I don’t know. But I had to come up with a pattern that would create the right kind of brim and contouring. Pith helmets look pretty much like this:

…and following a couple of prototypes, my tiny knitted one looks like this!




Baby hats are possibly the BEST knitting project out there because they’re the maximum amount of adorability in the minimum amount of time. It took me a little while to work out the pattern here, but my third attempt (shown) knitted up in two short evenings – I could easily have done it in one.

Behold, the pattern!

Cast on 72 stitches on 3 double-pointed size 6 needles.

Rounds 1-6 (inside of brim)

R1: Slip 1, K71
R2-5: Knit
R6: Purl

Rounds 7-12 (bottom of brim)

R7: K11, K into F&B, repeat.
R8: Knit
R9: K12, K into F&B, repeat.
R10: Knit
R11: K13, K into F&B, repeat.
R12: Purl

Rounds 13-19 (outside of brim)

R13: Knit
R14: K13, K2tog, repeat.
R15: Knit
R16: K12, K2tog, repeat.
R17: Knit
R18: K11, K2tog, repeat.
R19: Knit

Now we join these up, so the brim is a 3-D feature.

R20: For each Knit stitch, pick up one cast on stitch from R1. Knit the current row’s stitch together with the cast on stitch for entire round.

Rounds 21-25 (band)

R21: Purl
R22-24: Knit
R25: Purl

From here on we need to repeat a pattern that will make 6 raised vertical lines. To make this easier, slip the first stitch from each needle onto the previous needle, so that it becomes the last stitch on that needle.

R26: K into front and back, K10, K into front and back, repeat.
R27: K13. With left needle, reach back behind two stitches and pick up the previous row’s stitch (3 stitches prior). Knit one stitch into this stitch and the current stitch at the same time. Repeat.
R28 & 29: Repeat round 27.

Now, the air holes on the sides of the hat:

R30: K13, pick up & K (as described in R27 – from here on this will be called PU&K). K2, YO, K2tog, K4, YO, K2tog, K4, PU&K. K13, PU&K. K13, PU&K. K2, YO, K2tog, K4, YO, K2tog, K4, PU&K. K13, PU&K.
R31-32: K13, PU&K, repeat.
R33: K13, PU&K. K5, YO, K2tog, K6, PU&K. K13, PU&K. K13, PU&K. K5, YO, K2tog, K6, PU&K. K13, PU&K.

Now the rest of the hat (with decreases). To make this easier, before each decrease row, slip the first stitch from each needle onto the previous needle, so that it becomes the last stitch on that needle.

R33-34: K13, PU&K, repeat.
R35 (decrease row – slip first stitch on each needle to last stitch on previous needle before beginning): K8, K2tog, K2, SSKtbl, repeat.
R36-39: K11, PU&K, repeat.
R40 (decrease row): K6, K2tog, K2, SSKtbl, repeat.
R41-43: K9, PU&K, repeat.
R44 (decrease row): K4, K2tog, K2, SSKtbl, repeat.
R45: K7, PU&K, repeat.
R46 (decrease row): K2, K2tog, K2, SSKtbl, repeat.

Finally, the button on top of the hat!

R47: P2, P2tog, P2tog, repeat.
R48: Purl.
ending: P2tog until there are only 6 stitches left on the needles. Pass yarn through 6 remaining stitches, hide ends, and block!

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