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Hat-a-thon, Beginnings, And A Simple Machine Knit Hat Pattern

knitting machine easy knit stocking hats

Every October, my local machine knitting group holds a Hat-a-thon. We get together with food, knitting machines, and tons of yarn to knit hats for the homeless. Between those who show up and others who work at home, the pile can quickly grow to over a hundred.

This year, I sat next to someone new. She brought her machine, a Studio 321 with ribber, and was learning how to use it with lots of help from Rosemarie. As I listened to her being guided through casting on, how to set up a ribber, and the importance of a new sponge bar, I couldn’t help smiling.

Five years ago she was me, with ironically the exact same machine model. I remember how awkward I felt not knowing how to hang a cast on comb or thread the tension arm. Back then, Jennifer helped me finish my first hat.

So to the new lady on my right, welcome. I apologize for not introducing myself. My name is Kathryn and I hope to see you the 3rd Thursday of each month.

Info

knitting machine easy knit stockinette stocking hat The Hat-a-thon pattern is extremely easy. It was the first garment I ever completed and does not require a ribber. You basically knit a square. Fold the fabric in half. Sew up the side. Gather both ends. Put one end inside the other. Secure the tops together and fold up the bottom to form an extra layer cuff around the ears.

Bulky Gauge Machine
Tension 7 to 9 with worsted weight yarn
Cast on every other needle over 75 to 85 stitches
Knit 4 rows
Bring out of work needles into work
Knit 120 to 140 rows depending on gauge.
Transfer stitches to every other needle
Knit 4 rows
Gather off with double eye needle
Leave enough yarn to sew up side seam
Sew up sides to form a tube
Gather both ends and join together

finished knitting machine knit stockinette stocking hat Standard Gauge Machine
Tension 7 to 9
Cast on every other needle over 150 to 170 stitches
Knit 200 to 220 rows depending on gauge
Transfer stitches to every other needle
Knit 4 rows
Gather off with double eye needle
Leave enough yarn to sew up side seam
Sew up sides to form a tube
Gather both ends and join together

 

For this example, I knit 40 rows white, 40 rows variegated, and 40 rows white in less than 45 minutes.

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October 23, 2006

42 comments

1 Marcella { 08.04.08 at 7:57 am }

Great just great how many times can I say this is wonderful.
A great teacher and artist.
Marcella

2 lb { 08.12.08 at 5:24 am }

I am having trouble visualizing the “gather both ends and join together”. Is it still on the machine when you do this. I am still new at all of this.

3 Kathryn { 08.13.08 at 10:25 pm }

lb,

The “gather both ends and join together” happens after you have removed the fabric from the machine and hand sewn the side seam to form a tube.

You will pull on the loose thread that you ran through your remaining stitches when you took the fabric off the machine. Pull on it to cinch in the top and pull on the corresponding bottom thread to cinch up the bottom. Then manually push one end of the hat tube into the other to form a double thickness.

4 Carmel Cucnotta { 09.23.08 at 7:45 pm }

Hi: I am new to this web site. I want to make the hat pattern referred to above. I know how to use my knitting machine BUT how do you ‘gather with a double eye needle?” I know what the double eye needle is – is use it with my ribber. Can you please tell me how to ‘gather off” with it? Many thanks

Carmel

5 Kathryn { 09.25.08 at 8:04 am }

All it means is to use the needle to gather the stitches off the main bed and pull the thread through each stitch, cinching the top of the hat.

6 T. { 10.29.08 at 5:51 pm }

I could not visualize the hat until you explained it to LB, then the light bulb came one. How wonderful!! With Christmas so close I will be able to make some quick cute gifts. Also thanks for the demo on threading the yarn mask and replacing the KX 350 sponge bar! ..answer to prayer :-)

7 T. { 11.03.08 at 2:48 am }

I tried your pattern on my Bond and loved it. Because I needed less of a “dome” in my hat I continued the EON knitting for 1.5 more inches continuing with a smaller KP. I also picked up the “bumps” and put them on the empty needles to avoid the holes made by just putting needles back into work. When it came to the fold for the turn back cuff I changed to KP4 for 3 rows — this gave me a nice turning edge. I LOVE this pattern and can’t wait to make it out of some fancy yarn and maybe some fun fur for the cuff. I also shorten the length of my hat: Basically for 16×24 gauge, 42 rows for hat, 21 for each cuff section, finishing with 42 rows. Of the 42 rows, 1/3 of them are on EON at the beginning of the hat and the ending. Thanks to nataliesknitting.com for the schematics and wonderful instructions. You both are an inspiration!!

8 andy { 12.28.08 at 10:48 am }

Could you please be more specific with the standard gauge hat please? What thickness of yarn should I use? And where the pattern says “Cast on every other needle over 150 to 170 stitches,” how can I then change to every oter needle again?

9 daine { 01.03.09 at 1:26 pm }

hi im new and dont know much about machine knitting at all and would like to try and knit your hat? buy do not know to cast on every other needle,thank you for any help anyone can give me.also can anyone help me with a jumper for my 10 year old girl as she would love me to knit her on.

10 Kathryn { 01.09.09 at 1:59 pm }

andy and daine,

I’ve been thinking of redoing this pattern with more step by step photos. Until then, you will need to look in your instruction manual for directions specific to your machine for the cast on. You need to pick a cast on that is very open and loose so those stitches can be pulled snug later on to form the top of the hat.

11 Margot { 02.01.09 at 8:31 pm }

Cant thank you enough this pattern is totally sheer simple brillance. Made it in minutes. Only errow i made when sewing up the tube i put right side to right, so when i turned it inside it self i got the joining seam exposed. Loved it and that you so much. Will make a great gift

12 Pauline { 02.15.09 at 5:51 pm }

I have made several hats using this pattern for our church’s layette ministry. However, how can I get the bulk out of top of the hat. After gathering the top and bottom of the hat and putting one inside of the other, at the very top there is a lot of ” bulk” like a bump. I have several rows of “holes” from the eon. Why several rows….should I be gathering all the “holey” rows (4) or just the last row or what?

Do you have a pattern using darts to reduce the size of the crown or is there a way to keep the bulk from the top of the hat.

Thank you so much. Pauline

13 Jennifer { 03.04.09 at 6:36 am }

Hi jennifer here, I have just retrieved my knitmaster 302 from the back of the loft, its been there for over 15 years was going to take it to help the age, but I thought I’ll just have a look and see what condition it is in ( no good giving it away if it dosent work) so on opening my belovered Knitmaster whom I did a lot of work on in days gone by, it was in perfect order for an old machine, so hence the story I have now got the bug to start again, I had thrown away the instructions and cards, but some kind person has put them on the net so I’m well away only I cant remember much about working it so will have to start from scratch, but its nice to now there is somewhere I can come to if I get stuck.
Great site I shall come back again and again.

regards Jennifer Dance

14 Sophie { 04.09.09 at 7:23 pm }

I am over whelmed at what I just witnessed….I’m so happy to find you. I’ve been away from my machine for a long time and to see what you do will inspire me to try and go on again. And as one of the notes say they will know where to go if they need help. And so will I….Thank you
Sophie

15 Helen { 08.01.09 at 6:16 am }

I am a new machine knitter for the past 3 months. Have knitted only scarfs. Tried knitting this hat, however, got stuck with the directions re: gather up with double eye needle. Maybe because I am a new knitter, I am having a problem envisioning that process. I know that this question is a redundant one, but please someone help!!!!! I am knitting with a Brother 260E Bulky, and having fun. I also own a Studio 560 Electronic (standard bed) Knitter, and a Brother KX390 Convertible Hobby Knitter (knits 4.5 & 9 mm) Anticipate sitting down with someone locally to help me to learn how to use the Studio 560 knitter. I do have a double eye needle. Am I to feed the yarn through the stitches in order to get the yarn off the machine? As for the original cast on stitches, what process do I use to keep these from unraveling? Please remember, I am a very new machine knitter, who has never been a hand knitter (not usually the homemaker type), and trying to broaded my horizon by trying something new, yet productive.

16 Nancy Penney { 08.31.09 at 4:00 am }

Just discovered your website via your post on ‘Knitting for sale’ and have spent far too long this AM reading. I’m so impressed and will be back. This afternoon I will make a bulky hat and start a pair of socks. Thank you for sharing your talent. Nancy

PS I didn’t buy anything as I’m well stocked with books, magazines, patterns, yarn and machines. Just need to get knitting. You have inspired me.

17 Jean Lathan { 01.07.10 at 2:47 am }

Hi,
I have just aquired an Old Empisal 700 machine from a now extinct knitting group.
It was going to be thrown out so I took it home to see what is what. There is no intruction booklet and no needles in the main bed but the ribber is complete. It seems in very good order considering its lucky escape. Is it worth buying needles and small tools for it or should I consign it to the tip?
I really would like to get it up and running but have a very limited budget.
Many thanks
Jean

18 rene' { 01.24.10 at 7:02 pm }

hi, i want to buy a knitting machine to make baby hats for my 3 grandsons, ages 3,2 and due any time. can i make baby hats and sweaters for them on a knitting machine, or will the sizing be a problem? thanks Rene’

19 Kathryn { 01.25.10 at 7:31 am }

Children and baby clothing are frequently made on knitting machines. You simply use fewer needles than adult items.

20 Diane { 01.27.10 at 6:04 pm }

hello, I am new to machine knitting and own a brother 260 bulky. I want to make felted slippers but can not figure out how to transfer EON when it is too tight to be able to move them. Is there a video that will show me how to do that. The patteren is already EON with 2 strands of yarn. Help.

21 TracyKM { 01.31.10 at 10:58 am }

How many rows do you knit EON before going to EN, on the standard gauge pattern? I assume you do that, because then after 200 rows you say to go to EON :)

22 DON ZIEBELL { 03.28.10 at 6:24 am }

just bought a passap 201 speed o knit machine. i think most of the parts are here. i would like to knit hats for the homeless. who can help me get set up and help me learn? i live just south of charlotte nc, any one in this area? THANKS DON

23 mary akins { 06.23.10 at 8:49 am }

do you have instructions for the knit leader and how to figure the cm and mm gauges after knitting the swatch, thanks

24 mary akins { 06.23.10 at 8:51 am }

I need instructions for the knit leader

25 Alan { 07.26.10 at 2:00 am }

Hi,

I realise this is a very old post but I’ve just come across it and wondered how you cast on initially so that you can draw string the cast on edge together. I usually either use waste yarn to cast on with or cast on for a finished edge so would like to know how to start this hat please.

Thanks

Alan

26 peggy { 11.14.10 at 9:14 am }

HI can anyone help with information on what books would be good to start off with my passap80. i didnt get much informatic with the machine. thanks for everyones help.

27 Jackie { 11.29.10 at 6:49 am }

I am knitting on a studio LK150. I am kinda new at this and have made dishclothes. Now on to larger things. I would love to make this hat pattern, but I am confussed at the directions to cast on every other needle, knit 200 rows and then transfer to every other needle. Does this mean to add twice as many stitches? PLEASE Help!!!!
Thanks

28 Alyssa Dodd { 02.16.11 at 10:54 am }

How do I cast on EON such that I can later gather it? When I cast on EON there’s no thread to pull to gather it; when I pull the thread it unravels the stitches. I am using a Toyota 901 machine.

Thanks.

29 Carol Mangis ( ciygirl) { 01.02.12 at 5:51 am }

Hello I found when making this hat it was helpful to mark every 15-20 rows witha piece of yarn on each end. This makes it easier to sew the sides together evenly, especially when using a plain color. It’s a very nice pattern

Citygirl

30 Kitty { 01.08.12 at 11:25 am }

I have tried making the hat and can’t keep the cast on edge from raveling off. I am using the Bulky Hat pattern. Am I doing something wrong?

31 Patty { 01.14.12 at 12:01 pm }

does anyone have a pattern for chemo hats or caps?

32 Lisa(new comment) { 01.23.12 at 7:12 pm }

Is there a pattern for needle knitters for this hat? Thank you.

33 Viv Forder(new comment) { 06.20.12 at 12:39 am }

please can you tell me what the abbreviation are for a knitting machine , thank you Viv from Aussie

34 Eileen(new comment) { 08.27.12 at 7:59 pm }

i have bought an “ultimate knitting machine” and i am just a beginner, any nice patters for beginners including simple fairisle? thank you Eileen

35 Knitting a quick, verry warm hat… « It's Just A Guy Thing(new comment) { 11.14.12 at 7:56 pm }

[...] didn’t want to do a seam… So I improvised a little bit. I started from the pattern described here, changed how the cast on worked, and knit the whole thing in the round. Now I have the warmest hat [...]

36 Ericjt(new comment) { 12.06.12 at 8:21 am }

Hi,

In this pattern you write:

“Cast on every other needle over 75 to 85 stitches
Knit 4 rows
Bring out of work needles into work
Knit 120 to 140 rows depending on gauge.
Transfer stitches to every other needle.”

If they were cast on to every other needle, how does one then transfer them to every other needle again?

37 Ericjt(new comment) { 12.06.12 at 8:42 am }

Nevermind, I figured it out: it’s a way of reducing bulk, and the last line refers to a row of “decreases” – transferring every other stitch onto a needle to one side – to reduce bulk on the edge again where the fabric will be gathered.

38 Ruth Rittichier(new comment) { 12.08.12 at 8:25 am }

Kathryn, thank you so much for this brilliant pattern. It’s so simple and easy, and ends up with a beautiful and very warm hat.

I’ve already made a lot of them for the homeless, and will be making more. They all have the variegated foldback brims as your photo shows, and are so pretty and cheerful.

When I take them to the homeless hat collection places, everyone raves about them.

Ruth

39 Darlene(new comment) { 05.26.13 at 3:32 pm }

Love your site ! Will be back often. This is just a little trick that I found in other hat patterns & I’ve adapted into my hat pattern, not sure if you want any independent ideas or not? If not, I understand-

On my pattern for hats on my elna machine (standard gauge) I cast on EON & hang the cast on comb. To keep so much bulk out of the hat I leave the EON in position for about 30 rows. I bring the out of work needles back into position & do my plain knitting. When I finish the plain knitting & am ready to go to EON again at the top of the hat I take my cast on comb up, being careful NOT to drop the stitches ( I have a piece of 1″ pvc pipe I lay in the “valley” to keep tension on the cast on comb stitches) & I place them on EON (on top of the stitches already there so will end up with 2 stitches on EON) then setting my tension at least 1 full number higher (or 2 if it’s hard knit across) I knit across to lock the stitches together. Then I transfer stitches to EON & knit the very top. I find that the less bulk at the very top works well & still is plenty warm because it is only 6-10 rows & I usually add a pom pom on top which gives warmth also. I love this pattern working the white, variegated, white so you have a built in design from the yarn for the cuff ! Tried it with baby yellow , baby variegated, baby yellow & really liked it. Little spot of bright in a winter hat-

40 Darlene(new comment) { 05.26.13 at 3:40 pm }

Carol Mangis- What a super idea ! I’ve been knitting for 15 years at least & you are someone who proves we can always learn something new ! Especially useful when doing a design as this will make sure we’re where we should be when we get to that area ! I’ve frogged a seam more than once cause I was off a row or 2 when I got to the first row of the design. Hate it when the design doesn’t line up right ! I am going to remember this one – I tie a marker yarn when I do my double mittens at the beginning & ending rows of the ribbed cuff but never thought of plain knitting- Thanks !!

41 Tracey(new comment) { 06.06.13 at 12:59 am }

I’m also confused by this instruction:

Cast on every other needle over 150 to 170 stitches
Knit 200 to 220 rows depending on gauge
Transfer stitches to every other needle
Knit 4 rows

This reponse:
Ericjt(new comment) { 12.06.12 at 8:42 am }
Nevermind, I figured it out: it’s a way of reducing bulk, and the last line refers to a row of “decreases” – transferring every other stitch onto a needle to one side – to reduce bulk on the edge again where the fabric will be gathered.

Seemed to be starting to be helpful but wasn’t quite clear enough. I understand that I’m doing a cast-on onto “every-other needle” (pushing down every second needle between 0-150/170 stitches, rather then all 150/170 needles)

Now, what I believe is happening after I do my 200/220 rows is decreasing. Does that mean that, regarding ONLY the working needles, that I transfer the stitch from the first needle to the second, the third to the fourth and so on until I reach my last active needles? Thus reducing my stitches down to half the number. That sounds reasonable to me.

42 Tracey(new comment) { 06.06.13 at 2:47 am }

For anyone coming to this and wondering how to gather off the cast-on end, this is what I just did:
* When you thread the carriage, draw out a long tail and leave it dangling
* Leave the cast on comb attached once you have finished knitting your 200/220 rows and gathered off (with your double ended needle) the last row.
* Take the knitting (with comb attached still) and sit comfortably on the couch and rest the comb on your lap
* Using the double ended needle or a wool needle, thread the long tail I told you to leave at the beginning, onto your needle.
* Insert the end of the needle into the first stitch on the cast-on comb then lift off the stitch, insert needle into second stitch and lift it off the comb, repeat until you get to the end of the row and you have thus gathered all your cast-on row and can pull it tight into a nice little bundle just like the other end.

Once you sew the sides together, you will have a tube with two gathered ends. Push one gathered end inside the tube, all the way up, fold over a rim, and you’re done, one nice thick hat.

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