Knitting a sun hat that is cool and breezy

This week, I’m working with Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Speckles, which is a sumptuous worsted weight 100% cotton that is incredibly soft and perfect for summer garments and accessories. To complement the brilliant pops of Fruit Punch colors that decorate the creamy base, I’m also using a solid color of Cotton Supreme in Lavender.

Based on yesterday’s playtime test swatch, I’ve opted to go with a denser gauge to give the hat more body. The hat is knit with Cotton Supreme Speckles in Fruit Punch and embellished with Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender.

Cotton Supreme Speckles in Fruit Punch and Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender

I mentioned in my first post this week, Hot fun in the summertime with cool cotton, that part of the theme for this week is tubes and cords. With that in mind, I’m starting with a tubular cast on technique for the brim so that I can insert a thin wire to make it rigid.

The Tubular Cast on is often used in two-color brioche and double knitting, and is also a great technique for top-down socks. It can be done in the round, but since I intend to insert a wire into the tube, I’ll be working flat using a provisional cast on with scrap yarn.

materials

yarn

needles

  • 1 – 32” US5 [3.75mm] circular needle for magic loop or double pointed needles or 2 circulars and a similar sized crochet hook for the provisional cast on 

gauge 22sts = 4” in stocking stitch (approximately)

abbreviations

K = Knit

P = Purl

St(s) = Stitch(es)

K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together

Inc = Increase

Dec = Decrease

Rep = Repeat

Rnd = Round

Sl = Slip stitch purl-wise.

Slwyf = Slip stitch purl-wise with yarn in front.

Sl YO = Slip the YO stitch.

M1 = Make 1 stitch by picking up the bar between the two stitches and knitting it through the back loop.

RH = Right hand needle.

LH = Left Hand needle.

PM = Place Marker.

YO = Yarn Over, bring yarn to front of work and knit the next stitch.

DYO = Double Yarn Over, bring yarn to front of the work, wrap it over the RH needle, bring back to the front of work and knit the next stitch.

INSTRUCTIONS

Tubular Cast On

Using scrap yarn, circular needle and a crochet hook, chain 3 sts then proceed with a crochet cast on for 91sts, then chain 3 or 4 more times.

Row 1: With Cotton Supreme Speckles and leaving a lengthy tail, knit across all sts and turn.

Row 2: *P1, m1, repeat from * to last st, P1. (181sts)

Row 3: *K1, slwyf, repeat from * to last st, K1.

Row 4: *Slwyf, p1, repeat from * to last st, Sl1.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 once more.

Join in the round for the brim

Rnd 1: Slip the last st from the RH needle onto the LH needle and K2tog, knit to end of round and PM. (180sts)

Rnd 2: *YO, k2tog, k12, k2tog, yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.  (10sts dec = 170sts)

Rnd 3: Knit.

Rnd 4: *YO, k2tog, k11, k2tog, yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.  (10sts dec = 160sts)

Rnd 5: Knit.

Rnd 6: *YO, k2tog, k10, k2tog, yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.  (10sts dec = 150 sts)

Rnd 7: Knit.

Continue working in this fashion, i.e., knitting 1 st less between k2tog stitches and knitting the next round until 90sts remaining.

Begin the hat band

Rnd 1 and 2: Purl.

Rnd 3: *DYO, k1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 4: *Sl yo letting the extra yo drop off the needle, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 5: *Knit yo and slipped stitch from previous round together, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 6 and 7: Purl.

Begin the crown

Rnd 1: Knit.

Rnd 2: *YO, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 3 – 18: Repeat Rounds 8 and 9 – 8 more times.

Rnd 19: Purl.

Crown decreases

Rnd 1: Knit all odd-numbered rows.

Rnd 2: *(YO, k2tog) 4 times, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.  (9sts dec = 81sts)

Rnd 4: *(YO, k2tog) 3 times, k2tog, k1, repeat from * to end of round.  (9sts dec = 72sts)

Rnd 6: *(YO, k2tog) 3 times, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.  (9sts dec = 63sts)

Rnd 8: *(YO, k2tog) 2 times, k2tog, k1, repeat from * to end of round.  (9sts dec = 54sts)

Rnd 10: *(YO, k2tog) 2 times, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.  (9sts dec = 45sts)

Rnd 12: *(YO, k2tog) 1 times, k2tog, k1, repeat from * to end of round.  (9sts dec = 36sts)

Rnd 14: *(YO, k2tog) 1 times, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.  (9 ts dec = 27sts)

Rnd 16: *K2tog, k1, repeat from * to end of round.  (9sts dec = 18 ts)

Rnd 17: K2tog to end of round.  (9sts dec = 9sts)

Rnd 18: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round (3sts dec = 6sts)

Cut yarn and draw through remaining sts and secure. 

Wire the brim

I acquired a spool of decorative wire from my local dollar store to thread through the cast-on tube of the brim. This wire is very flexible, so I was able to thread it through the eye of a blunt needle and then through the brim. I left it a bit longer than the actual brim which created a scalloped effect. I secured each end together by twisting it around itself and seamed up the tube with the tail from the cast on.  This should survive a delicate wash cycle, but if not, I have lots more wire to rethread if needed.

Starching

I wanted to make the hat stiffer so I researched making a fabric starch. I haven’t done this before so it was an experiment. Most of the sites I found had a similar recipe:

¼ cup lukewarm water

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 cups boiling water

Dissolve the cornstarch in lukewarm water. Add the boiling water and stir or whisk vigorously to remove all lumps. Let it cool then place it in a sprayer.

Sounds simple enough, however, my sprayer didn’t mist. Maybe the liquid was too thick for the sprayer or maybe it wasn’t the right sprayer. Instead of misting, it came out like a stream. I spread it around the hat best I could, which reminded me of decoupage. The hat was placed on an old straw hat to keep its form while the starch was drying … it took a long time due to the amount of starch on it. Oh well. It worked. My hat is stiff and looks great.

Hat Band

The hat is one size, however, all heads are not the same. It fits my head but as you’ll see from the photo, it’s a little big on DeeDee. A sun hat shouldn’t be snug on your head, but an adjustable hat band can help to size for fit.

To make the hat band, I used Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender with a US-E [3.5mm] crochet hook and US4 [3.5mm] circular knitting needle.

Using the crochet cast-on method, cast on 250sts onto the circular knitting needle.

With the crochet hook, slip the 1st stitch off the knitting needle and chain 1, then slip the 2nd stitch off the knitting needle and do a single crochet.  This technique essentially does the knit stitch and cast-off stitch all in one motion. Continue across the balance of the stitches until all have been worked and weave in the ends.

Hat brim close-up of the crocheted ribbon in Cotton Supreme DK. The tubular cast on was perfect for the brim.

The result is a crocheted ribbon that is then woven through the band section of the hat and tied into a bow.

Finished sunhat made with Cotton Supreme Speckles in Fruit Punch embellished with Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender.

My hat is complete and I’m very pleased with the results even though it took a lot of work to remove the overspray of starch from my table. It’s just how I envisioned it and DeeDee looks great wearing it. The mesh crown should allow the breeze to flow through and the crocheted ribbon hat band makes it adjustable. The wired brim and starch treatment help to keep its shape and it’s washable.

I really enjoyed this project and hope you’ll join me tomorrow as I make a bag to match using Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Speckles.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Knitting swatches with Cotton Supreme Speckles | French Knitting with DK

Go to part 4: Knitting a tote to match the knitted sun hat

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