Step By Step Fairy Easy Passap Tuck Hat
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to actually use your Passap knitting machine?
Here is a very simple beginner hat in both newborn and adult sizes. It can be knit on any Passap double bed machine. Since this is a very beginner pattern, I’ll take you step by step through a racking cast on, pattern set up, and crown decreases. I realize this will be overkill for many, but I needed lots of pictures when starting out.
Make the newborn size first for practice since it is no larger than a swatch. It’s cute and will force you to practice all the skills required to knit the adult version. When you are ready to experiment with different tuck patterns, you can use this pattern as a base.
Step 1 – Yarn and Tension
I used two strands of 2/24 fuzzy acrylic at tension 4. On the next hat, I’ll probably go up to tension 4.5 or 5 so the fabric won’t be as stiff. Any equivalent yarn will work. If your yarn is thicker and needs a higher tension, your hat will simply be a bit bigger. Remember, the first hat is for practice so don’t get overly concerned about having the same yarn size as my sample. For my yarn, a mast tension of 3 to 3.5 worked well.
Step 2 – Racking Cast On
For the newborn hat, bring up 44 needles on the front bed, and 44 needles on the back bed.
Remember to follow the needle rule – the left most needle is on the front bed and the right most needle is on the back bed. We will be doing a racking cast on for its elasticity. You want the hat brim to stretch.
Lock at right
Yarn in eyelet
Tension 4.25 on both beds
Row counter (RC) 000
Make sure machine is racked to center before starting. Turn the handle if necessary to get to the “0” position.
Now rack front bed to the left (counter clockwise) one full turn. When done, handle will be down.
Knit 1 row to the left. The yarn will be loose in the needles.
Rack the front bed back to the right (clockwise) one full turn. You will be back at the 0 position and the handle will be down.
The first row of yarn will now be slanted in appearance, taking up all the previous slack.
At this point I usually choose to hang the cast on comb. I have far fewer problems knitting tuck patterns with it on. This step is optional.
If your yarn tension is good, the orange strippers should be enough.
To hang a comb, remove the wire running between the comb’s teeth. Go under the knitting machine, comb teeth up, and evenly insert the teeth through the zig zag row of cast on stitches.
With comb teeth well clear of the stitches, reinsert wire. The wire will rest the comb on top of the zig zag row.
Hang a weight from the center hole of the cast on comb. The weight will put even downward pressure across all stitches being knit.
This extra step is worth it to me because I get better stitch construction and significantly fewer dropped loops when I add some weights. Your mileage may vary.
Remove the orange strippers for 2 to 3 lock passes until the metal comb teeth drop down far enough to not rub against the bottom of the strippers. As long as you hang the weight, you won’t screw up your cast on with the strippers temporarily removed.
If you are not hanging a cast on comb, DO NOT REMOVE THE STRIPPERS.
With the cast on comb hung and the lock still at the left, knit 1 row to the right for the second row of the cast on.
Your racking cast on is complete.
Row Counter 002
Step 3 – Pattern Set Up
Bring up one needle on the left end of the back bed, breaking the Passap needle rule. This will insure that the left most tuck loops on the front bed won’t jump off their needle.
Using a transfer tool, locate the purl bump on the left most front bed stitch and transfer it to the back bed. You will now have 45 stitches on the back bed and the same 44 original stitches on the front bed.
Starting at the left, bring a pusher out of the pusher rail for every needle in work on the front bed.
Unless there is a needle in work, do not bring a pusher out of the rail. It could accidentally knit and force you to rip out a row. Leave all pushers locked in their rail on the back bed.
Arrange per the diagram, alternating one up and one down across the bed.
Start the pattern.
Lock at right
N/N and Row Counter 000
Yarn in eyelet
Tension 4 to 5 on both beds depending on your yarn choice
Orange strippers if no cast on comb hung
Knit 4 rows
*If you hung a cast on comb, put in orange strippers after row 2
Lock at right. Double check that your stitch dial is set to the “A” position. If not, rotate the dial to the correct letter. When the letter dial is set, move the lever from N to X and push in the left arrow button at the bottom left.
Knit 4 rows
Repeat these 8 rows to row 80
To speed up knitting and lessen the chance for mistakes, leave the left arrow key pushed in during the four N/N rows. The N setting ignores the pushers from a knitting perspective, but the arrow key will still cause the pushers to change positions even when the N/N rows are knit. Since the pattern is done in sets of 4 rows, the pushers will be in the correction position when you switch the lever to knit the four N/AX rows.
Step 4 – How Not To Get Lost In The Pattern
The row counter is your friend. One of the biggest stresses is the fear of getting distracted by life and losing your place in the pattern repeat. Let the stitches and row counter tell you what is happening.
The pattern is an 8 row repeat, half as plain knit, half as tuck. Remember, the row counter trips half way through each row. It always displays what you just knitted.
RC 001-004 N/N <- RC 005-008 N/AX <- RC 009-012 N/N <- RC 013-016 N/AX <- RC 017-020 N/N <- RC 021-024 N/AX <- RC 025-028 N/N <- RC 029-032 N/AX <- RC 033-036 N/N <- RC 037-040 N/AX <- RC 041-044 N/N <- RC 045-048 N/AX <- RC 049-052 N/N <- RC 053-056 N/AX <- RC 057-060 N/N <- RC 061-064 N/AX <- RC 065-068 N/N <- RC 069-072 N/AX <- RC 073-076 N/N <- RC 077-080 N/AX <-
Take some time to look at your stitches between sets of tucking and plain knitting to recognize the differences in their stitch formations. It is much less stressful to “read” your knitting than to try and memorize what each pass of the lock must accomplish. Interruptions will happen. Reading your knitting and double checking the row counter will greatly reduce frustrations.
An N/N row looks like this.
All stitches on both beds knit with each pass of the lock. You can see the purl bumps on every needle in work.
An N/AX row looks like this.
Notice how all the back bed knit stitches have purl bumps while the front bed stitches alternate between needles with knitted stitches to needles with tucked stitches – ie the needle collects up yarn without knitting a stitch. It will knit off on a future pass of the lock, depending on how many tucked stitches the pattern dictates.
Step 5 – Crown Decreases
Before starting the crown, decrease the left most stitch on the back bed.
Using a double eye transfer tool, lift the stitch off the needle…
…and move it to the front bed left most stitch.
There will be two stitches now on this front bed needle. Place back bed needle out of work so it doesn’t accidentally catch the yarn on the next lock pass.
Also, at this time put all the pushers out of work in their rail and clear the arrow key since we are done patterning.
Row Count 080
Knit 6 rows N/N
Row Count 086
Rack the bed a half turn to the left so needles on both bed are aligned. Decrease stitches per diagram. Starting at the left, transfer the back bed stitch directly across to its corresponding front bed needle, doubling up on the current front bed stitch.
Continue across, alternating between moving stitches front to back and then back to front.
When done, you will have decreased the crown by half and your stitches will be in a 1 x 1 rib layout. Knit 4 rows N/N. Row Count 090
Rack front bed one complete turn to the left, aligning with back bed needles. Transfer all back bed stitches directly across to a front bed needle, doubling up stitches. This decreases the total number of stitches in work by half again.
Place all back bed needles and pushers out of work.
Change to Black Strippers
Knit 2 rows BX/N
Row Count 092
Hat is finished. Cut yarn from mast leaving a foot long tail. Thread tail through a double eye transfer tool and gather remaining stitches off of machine. After side seam is woven, you will gently pull on this tail, gathering in remaining stitches to form top of hat.
Step 6 – Weave A Reversible, Flat, Almost Invisible Bickford Seam
At this point, most patterns will tell you to mattress stitch the side seam, which involves catching the horizontal threads on each side. That works well for sweaters where a thick seam is hidden on the inside of the garment. This hat is reversible since tuck patterns look great on both sides. When you turn up the brim, you don’t want to see a thick protruding seam.
This technique works when both edge stitches to be woven are plain knit. You need matching sides of knots and loops. I weave up the side by going through the knots and edge loops in a specific order, pulling my weaving thread tight as I go along. The join is basically flat so regardless of which side is chosen, no ugly ridge sticks out. I’ve seen references calling this type of seam a Bickford Seam. I learned how to do it a machine knitting seminar several years ago with no name attached.
Starting at the bottom, line up the two pieces to be seamed by putting the knot from the knot from the left piece of knitted fabric next to its corresponding knot on the right piece of fabric. Loops will automatically align if knots are aligned.
You will be seaming right knot to left knot, then left loop to right loop. Where you start in the sequence doesn’t really matter, as long as you follow the sequence.
Thread a tapestry needle with yarn. Go up through a left edge knot.
Down through a left edge loop
Up through a right edge loop
Down through a right edge knot.
Repeat these four steps until you reach the end.
This seam can still be seen, but it is the best one I’ve found when you want a truly reversible fabric.
Even with a dark green yarn for purposes of demonstration, the seaming thread is almost invisible.
Step 7 – Gather Top
Once the side seam is woven, gently pull on the yarn tail at the top to gather in the hat. I like to thread a tapestry needle and weave this yarn inside the top circle a few times to secure.
With your baby hat finished, consider knitting a small blanket using the same tuck pattern. It would make a great layette gift.
Step 8 – Adult Hat
To knit the Adult Hat to fit a head 21 to 22 inches, cast on 90 stitches on both the front and back beds (180 total needles in work) and follow the same steps as for the newborn hat. Knit to pattern row 160 for a very wide brim or row 144 for a narrower brim. Complete the crown as above.
Pictured below is an adult sized hat I knit for my daughter with the very wide brim.
January 5, 2009