When I decided to write an easy beanie knitting pattern, I wanted to make it with the stranded colorwork technique, and use two yarns to make a snowflake motif on a dark background color.
I love colorwork knitting, but I must admit, I’m a bit of a cheater. My favorite kind of colorwork design is working with a solid yarn as the main color and a variegated or self-striping yarn as the contrasting color. This combo is magical; as you work the motif, the colors change as the contrasting color is knitted. For flurries, I’ve knit the snowflake motif in a self-striping yarn that changes from blue to purple repeatedly. I think this a gorgeous combo for snowflakes, don’t you?
For this design, I chose easy-care, affordable Berroco Vintage. This worsted-weight yarn is wonderful to knit with, and it washes up well (machine wash inside-out in cold water). There are lots of color choices, too.
This flurries hat is the perfect project for people just learning how to knit colorwork. The result is so gratifying, and there are only two colors to deal with. The snowflake chart for this hat is easy to follow, too, with two alternating columns of the main and contrasting color separating each snowflake motif.
This hat is sized for an adult, but a toddler size is provided at the end.
Flurries Hat Pattern
Finished Size: 20″ / 51 cm circumference and 9″ / 23 cm tall
Needles: US 6 (4 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm) 16″ / 40 cm circular needles, US 7 double-pointed needles
Yarn: 2 skeins Berroco Vintage (52% acrylic, 40% wool, 8% nylon; 217 yds [198 m], 100 g); #5219 Charcoal (MC) and #5189 Purple Haze (CC)
Notions: Stitch markers, tapestry needle
Gauge: 22 stitches and 28 rounds = 4″ / 10 cm in stockinette stitch on larger needles
Note: If you want to make this a woman’s beanie-style hat, work just two rows of stockinette after the ribbing, and then start the colorwork. This will make the hat a little shorter.
CC: contrasting color
CO: cast on
k2tog: knit 2 sts together
MC: main color
With MC and smaller needles, CO 112 stitches. Place marker and join to knit in the round. Work in k1, p1 ribbing for 1″ / 2.5 cm. Change to larger needle and work in stockinette for 1″ / 2.5 cm.
Next Round: Work Snowflake Chart for 15 rounds, then work in stockinette for 1″ / 2.5 cm.
Round 1: [K2tog, k12] 8 times—104 sts rem.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: [K2tog, k11] 8 times—96 sts rem.
Round 4: Knit.
Round 5: [K2tog, k10] 8 times—88 sts rem.
Round 6: Knit.
Round 7: [K2tog, k9] 8 times—80 sts rem.
Round 8: Knit.
Round 9: [K2tog, k8] 8 times—72 sts rem.
Round 10: Knit.
Round 11: [K2tog, k7] 8 times—64 sts rem.
Round 12: Knit.
Round 13: [K2tog, k6] 8 times—56 sts rem.
Round 14: Knit.
Round 15: [K2tog, k5] 8 times—48 sts rem.
Round 16: Knit.
Round 17: [K2tog, k4] 8 times—40 sts rem.
Round 18: Knit.
Round 19: [K2tog, k3] 8 times—32 sts rem.
Round 20: Knit.
Round 21: [K2tog, k2] 8 times—24 sts rem.
Round 22: Knit.
Round 23: [K2tog, k1] 8 times—16 sts rem.
Round 24: [K2tog] 8 times—8 sts rem.
Break yarn, thread tail through rem sts twice.
Weave in ends and block.
Follow the same directions as for the adult hat, omitting the inch of stockinette after the ribbing (knit one round of stockinette after the ribbing section, then start the Snowflake Chart. And, here’s the most important part, use fingering-weight yarn (also known as sock yarn) instead of worsted-weight yarn. How easy is that?
(Flurries Hat pattern © Kathleen Cubley, 2017)
Tips for Stranded Knitting
- Use markers between repeats. You’ll find it easier to follow the chart when you know that one repeat is between each marker. Use different type or color of marker to denote the beginning of the round.
- Hold your yarn loosely to prevent puckering. Before switching colors, I spread out the stitches of the current color (on the right-hand needle) a bit. This adds a little more length for the float across the back (the new color) so it doesn’t pull too hard against the old color, causing the stitches to pucker. I did a quick video to show you how I knit colorwork with two hands and how to avoid puckering, too.
- Hold your yarn in two hands for easy colorwork! I learned to throw when I was a new knitter and switched to picking several years in. Now I pick almost exclusively, but when I’m knitting colorwork, it’s all about the throw-pick combo!
I blocked my hat by getting it damp and laying it out on a table to dry completely. (Vintage is washable, so I could do this without the hat shrinking. The yarn has a beautiful bloom, which means that it gets a little bit of a halo when wet and dried, making it look (and feel) very soft.
If the hat is snug on you, just get it really wet, roll it in a towel to get out some of the moisture, and lay it out on a flat surface. Measure your head, and pin out the hat to half of that measurement (since you’re blocking a round object). DO NOT stretch the ribbing out to your head measurement. You need it to be snug so that the hat won’t droop over your eyes. When the hat is dry, it’ll be ready to wear.
If the hat, fresh off the needles, fits you perfectly, I still recommend a light blocking just to even out the stitches (especially the colorwork portion). Use a spray bottle to dampen the hat, and smooth it with your hands until the colorwork portion is to your liking. Pin in place, without stretching, and let dry.
I’ve provided a PDF download of the flurries hat if you prefer. I hope you’ll try this easy, free beanie knitting pattern!