Reversable Hats for Charity by Natalie Langkilde

Approximate Sizes: Adult to Age 5, Toddler to age 3yrs, Infant newborn to 6mo , (3 inch cuff if desired)

Any yarn, any stitch, any size hat, or headband, hand or machine knit version:

(scroll down for how to make this in any yarn, hand or machine knit)

(Same Hat, with tails click here)

I made this hat when I first started knitting for years, for my kids. The floats of fairisle are contained in the layers. If they dirty it, reverse it until you can wash it! Or you can have a 2 look hat, in one hat. A headband can be made just by making the cuff only, and sewing it closed, but measure that head first! These can be used in very cold climates, or use thinner yarns for warmer winter climates. Use those scraps and unwanted yarn! Great for trying out fair isle patterns! Good first project for a knitter. Try it with designs on the main part of the hat, or just the cuff, or different colors inside or outside. Or, use the ugly color inside and the nice yarn outside. Leave the cuff off if you want a skully (you might want the child version for this to make it tighter)!

For thinner hat, or less yarn: You can even just make the cuff double, and leave the main part of the hat single layer. Starting at the cuff begin knitting until you have 2 cuffs. Hang it like a hem at the beginning of the body of the hat. Then you have only one layer for the head of the hat, but a flip up cuff. Make it in thinner yarn for warmer climates, thicker for cold climates.

Standard gauge Machine version I used:

SIZE: Adult size, with child under 5, and infant size in parentheses ( ) heavy fair isle will make hat tighter, plain stockinette will fit a large head. (or add some stitches to the cast on for large with fair isle according to your experience or swatch gauge)

GAUGE: In Stockinette (adjust a few stitches bigger for fair isle) Approximate tension 7.5 st, 10.5 rows per inch

YARN: Mary Lou yarn, or similar weight. (Or read below for how to use your yarn)

TENSION: Main Tension 8, Turning row tension 10, beginning and ending tension 3. Standard gauge machine, Each end (start and finish) has one inch of tension 3 on EON to reduce bulk at ends.


Main body of hat: RC-00 Tension 3--Cast on 160st (135st, 120st) in EON.

Knit 10 rows (tip, leave cast on comb in to help you find stitches to draw up at finish)

RC-00 Tension 8--bring out the non working needles so that now you have every needle in work and knit 78R (62R, 52R)

Cuff: RC-00 Tension 8--knit 31R (31R, 31R)

Turn Row: Tension 10--knit one row across to make fold line

Next Cuff: RC-00 Tension 8--Knit 31R (31R, 31R)

Next Main Body of Hat: RC-00 Tension 8--Knit 78R (62R, 52R)

Tension 3--transfer EON to the next st (this can be accomplished quickly with the lace carriage if you place them in D position and pass carraige over) Knit 10 R (10R, 10R)

Finishing: Take a long tail of yarn and take the EON st on machine off on a needle (I used double eye needle). Draw up each end and sew the one long seam. It helps to whip stitch around the drawn up area for stregnth. Stuff one end of the sausage into the other, and secure each top to each other with some stitches so it doesn't come askew with wear. Knot end and cut. Weave into hat.



Get a gauge swatch. Meaning knit a piece of fabric and mark it with yarn ties. I knit a 100 X 100 piece, when I have enough yarn for machine knitting. Hand knitters can do much smaller gauge swatch and just count the stitches.

Machine version gauge swatch: I knit a few inches, then knit one row of contrast color, then set row counter. I set out to knit between the contrasting row 60 rows. I mark it with a yarn tie (tying the ends before washing) on needles 30-0-30 so that I have marked off 60 stitches inside that box. Knit the 60 rows and do one more row of contrasting yarn. Now knit a couple more inches, being sure to transfer every other stitch over to make it a reminder of what tension you did this swatch ex: if you knit this at tension 8, then transfer until you have made 8 holes, leaving the empty needles in work so they pick up and knit the next row. The 8 holes will remind you that this tension is 8.
Note: if I'm looking to see what tension will work out I sometimes do a whole row of these in different tensions. ex: I might do tension 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Finish by binding off, or just sew a double zig zag (or serger line) and toss it in the washer and dryer. Maybe more than one cycle of this to be extra sure it's done growing or shrinking! If you plan to block or kill this fabric, do so before measuring.

Now measure: measure the 60 st by 60 row sections between the lines and markers. Divide your measurement by 60 and 60. Now you have your gauge! The amount of rows and stitches it takes to make one inch of your hat!


Calculate Hat from gauge: This hat, I decided was best to cover my ears and everyone in this house if I made it 22 inches wide for an average head. 8 inches tall. It had 3 inch cuff, then the inside 3 inches of cuff, then 8 inches of hat again. Armed with how many rows and inches your gauge (at tension you picked) will knit. Lets pretend it was 7 st and 10 rows. (Plug in your numbers instead.)

Sooo.... if you got 7 st multiply that by how wide in inches you want your hat. Because stitches = width in this hat. 7 X 22 = how many to cast on (pull out those needles, then pull back every other needle, in this pattern)

If you got 10 rows per inch, then multiply that by how many you wanted the body of the hat to be. I made mine 8 inches tall. So because rows = length, I knit 8 X 10 rows for the body of the hat.

Thus if you know how tall, how many inches you want the cuff, and remember to do this for each section (inside of hat, inside cuff, outside cuff, and outside of hat) you will know how many to cast on, how many rows to do for each section. Change your row counter to keep track and make a little drawing of what your doing with the numbers written in that you are knitting to help you.

Hand knitters decrease every other stitch, and knit in smaller needles at the top and beginning of this hat for one inch. Machine knitters decrease tension drastically for one inch, and use every other needle at the start and finish of the hat. So top of hat is not bulky.

Now once you've made a plain hat, you can plug any amount of patterning in fair isle you want in either the body, or the cuff of the hat. Because you can see with your own eyes how it works. If your really cleaver you could put a name or a picture and have it right side up when it's folded up into a cuff!

See "finishing" on the standard gauge pattern to sew this up for a finished hat.


Copyright © Natalie Langkilde 2005

All rights reserved unless permission from the author. You may make this hat for charity, and print it for your club charity projects, but not for profit.