Monday, August 11, 2008

Free pattern - Lazy Lids

A lot of my personal projects lately have come from patterns that are available free online. In the spirit of good will and paying back all the designers who have shared their work for free, I'm putting up my awesomely easy hat as a free pattern for you to try. They make great holiday gifts, and they take so little yarn and time that you won't even mind (much) when the recipient loses one.

As with all of my patterns, please contact me if you'd like to make these for sale. I can usually be convinced, but it's going to cost you ... chocolate, if nothing else.

Lazy Lids

This knitted wool hat has an easy Fair Isle band that helps keep your head extra toasty. Instructions given for newborn, toddler, and adult sizes, plus tips on how to customize the fit. Please note that I added an inch to the toddler size after taking the photo but before writing the directions, so your kid's ears won't stick out like my kid's do :)

Unstretched Sizing:

  • Newborn - 14” around
  • Toddler – 17” around
  • Adult – 20” around


  • Two partial skeins worsted weight yarn in coordinating colors. I used Wool-Ease in #104 Blush Heather and #140 Rose Heather, which is 3 oz/85 gms per 197 yards/180 meters. Any yarn of a similar weight should work, as long as you check your gauge
  • US size 6 double-pointed needles, and a 16” size 6 circular needle
  • Four stitch markers, tapestry needle, scissors, etc.
Gauge: 21 st and 24 rows = 4 inches on US 6 needles in stockinette stitch.
  1. With main color, cast on 73 (89, 105) stitches on the circular needle. If you’re making this a custom size, cast on a number of stitches that is one greater than a multiple of four (72+1, 88+1, etc.). Join, making sure not to twist the stitches. Mark the first stitch of the round with a marker or the tail of the cast-on.
  2. Work K2P2 ribbing to the last stitch before the join, then K2tog with the last stitch and the first stitch of the next round. 72 (88, 104) stitches.
  3. Continue in K2P2 ribbing for about 6 (8, 10) rounds, or until ribbing is desired height. Knit around one round, increasing one stitch somewhere in the round using any increase method. 73 (89, 105) stitches.
  4. Knit two or three rounds in the main color, then begin the Fair Isle pattern. This is just [K1(main color) K1 (accent color)] all the way around. As long as you’ve got an odd number of stitches, subsequent rows should end up with the colors forming a checkerboard (instead of alternating columns of color). Repeat this round until the Fair Isle band is 8 (10, 10) rounds high, or desired height. Cut the accent color yarn, leaving a 4-inch tail and complete the remaining steps using the main color.
  5. Knit 4 (8, 10) rounds, or until the piece is long enough to cover the person’s head from midway over their ears up to where their head starts to curve toward the top of the skull. The toddler size fits my largish 3-year-old and the adult size fits my largish adult woman’s head, so adjust the sizing accordingly if you’re knitting for someone with a huge (or tiny) noggin. Somewhere during all these rounds, do one K2tog to decrease back down to 72 (88, 104) stitches.
  6. Knit the next round, placing a stitch marker every 18 (22, 26) stitches.
  7. On the next round, knit to two stitches before the marker, then K2tog. Repeat this for each group around, and keep decreasing each group each row until you have 12 stitches between markers. Switch to working on the double-point needles instead of the circular whenever you feel it’s necessary.
  8. On the next round, knit 4 stitches then K2tog and repeat around. This will give you a decrease at the middle and end of each group of stitches.
  9. Next rounds: (K3 then K2tog) around. (K2 then K2tog) around. (K1 then K2tog) around. (K2tog) around. (K2tog) around. You should have four stitches left at the end of this last round.
  10. Cut the yarn, leaving about a 4-inch tail. Draw the yarn through the stitches remaining on the needles and fasten off, burying the tail inside the hat. If possible, try the hat on the intended wearer to make sure it’s long enough … if not, you can frog the rows with decreases and add a few extra rows of stockinette stitch before you redo the decreases. Trust me, it doesn’t take too long, and your recipient’s ears will thank you for it. When the hat is long enough, weave the ends of the yarn in on the inside of the piece, and voila! A hat!

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