Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sweetheart Beanie

Sweetheart Beanie

When it comes to making hats, I like to live dangerously. And what I mean by that, naturally, is that I like to use as much of my skein as humanly possible, like in this instance, where I knit the adult size of this hat and had about one yard of yarn left at the end. Of course, I mention this to give you a warning; while I knit this hat out of approximately 135 yards of this particular yarn, you may need more. On the plus side, if you knit both sizes, two skeins will definitely be plenty for both!

The finishing.
Sizes: Child (roughly 20" in circumference) and Adult (roughly 22" in circumference) (instructions for the Adult hat will follow those for the Child hat in parentheses)

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 136 yards [125 meters]/50 grams); #901 Cotton Candy - one to two skeins

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 5, one 16" circular needle in size US 6, one set of double pointed needles (dpn), also in size US 6, and a cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! Using your size 5 needle, cast on 108 stitches loosely (120 stitches for the larger hat), place marker, and join in round. Then we'll knit the following ribbing row:

Ribbing Row: * p2, (k1, p1) twice, k2, (p1, k1) twice, p2, k4; rep from * (larger size: * p2, (k1, p1) twice, k2, (p1, k1) twice, p2, k6 *)

Knit your ribbing row 4 times (7 times for the larger size, or more if you're working with more than 136 yards of yarn and want a hat on the longer side), and then knit the following set-up row:

Set-up Row: * p2, k10, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, k10, p2, k6 *)

And now, it's time to move on to the main pattern, which is a combination of the Knit-Twist Heart Panel found on page 156 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns (as I last used in the Heart Headband) and a simple cable. It's also time to switch to your size 6 circular needle. And as a quick note:

rt (right twist): knit two together, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; next, insert right-hand needle from the front between the two stitches just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again.  Finally, slip both stitches from left-hand needle together

lt (left twist): with right-hand needle behind left-hand needle, skip one stitch and knit the second stitch in back loop; then insert right-hand needle into the backs of both stitches and k2tog-b (knit two together through back loops, inserting right needle from the right)

fc (front cross): for smaller size, slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold in front; k2, then k2 from cn (for larger size, slip 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in front; k3, then k3 from cn)

And now the pattern!

Row 1 (and every odd row): * p2, k10, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, k10, p2, k6 *)

Row 2: * p2, k3, rt, lt, k3, p2, fc * (larger size: * p2, k3, rt, lt, k3, p2, fc * )

Row 4: * p2, k2, rt, k2, lt, k2, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, k2, rt, k2, lt, k2, p2, k6 * )

Row 6: * p2, k1, rt, k4, lt, k1, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, k1, rt, k4, lt, k1, p2, k6 *)

Row 8: * p2, rt, k6, lt, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, rt, k6, lt, p2, k6 *)

Row 10: repeat row 2

Row 12: * p2, lt, rt, k2, lt, rt, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, lt, rt, k2, lt, rt, p2, k6 *)

Row 14: * p2, k1, m1r, k2tog-tbl, k4, k2tog, m1l, k1, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, k1, m1r, k2tog-tbl, k4, k2tog, m1l, k1, p2, k6 *) 

Row 16: * p2, k10, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, k10, p2, k6 *)

Knit rows 1 - 16 twice for both sizes, and then we'll knit the following transition rows before moving on to the decreases:

Transition Row 1: * p2, k10, p2, k4 * (larger size: * p2, k10, p2, k6 *)

Transition Row 2: * p2, k10, p2, fc * (larger size: * p2, k10, p2, fc *)

If you're knitting the larger size, you'll also need to include four extra rows, which go as follows:

Extra Rows 1 & 2: * p2, k10, p2, k6 *

Extra Row 3: * p2, k10, p2, ssk, k2, k2tog *

Extra Row 4: * p2, k10, p2, k4 *

And from here on out, the pattern will be the same for both sizes, and will go as follows:

Decrease Row 1: * p2, k10, p2, ssk, k2tog *

Decrease Row 2: * p2tog, k10, p2tog, rt *

Decrease Row 3: * p1, k10, p1, k2tog *

You may want to switch to your dpns about now...

Decrease Row 4: * p1, ssk, k6, k2tog, p1, k1 *

Decrease Row 5: * p1, ssk, k4, k2tog, p1, k1 *

Decrease Row 6: * p1, ssk, k2, k2tog, p1, k1 *

Decrease Row 7: * p1, ssk, k2tog, p1, k1 *

Decrease Row 8: * p1, k2tog, p1, k1 *

Decrease Row 9: * p3tog, k1 *

Decrease Row 10: * p2tog *

Clip tail and thread through final 6 stitches. Pull tight, thread to inside of hat, and tuck in ends.


  1. Hi Gretchen!

    Just wanted to say that I think you have the prettiest hat patterns and I'm very thankful that you share them so freely. I'm about to knit your Chevrons & Cables and after that, will definitely knit this lovely Sweetheart Beanie! Thanks again, Gretchen.


    1. Thank you! I'm so glad to hear you like my patterns! And please, if you have any questions or issues with either of them, let me know. I'm always here to help!

  2. Thanks, Gretchen ... will do! :)

  3. You are so kind and generous to share your patterns. I also have stash buster goal and this beauty will be great! I will be making this for my daughter. Thank you!

    1. I'm so glad to hear you like it! And please, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to let me know :)

  4. Thank you for sharing the pattern and I can't wait to finish knitting it! Im new to cable knitting and I've been having a problem which I can't seem to understand as I have been following the instructions and looking up you tube videos about how to do front cross. On the left hand side of the cross, I seem to get a loose long strand linking to the purl stitch on the left of it. I've googled it and some suggestions say to knit tighter which I have done and it doesn't change it. I've tried a few other suggestions but it still doesn't work. I was wondering if you have any suggestions as to how to get it as nice as your's? Thank you :)

    1. I'm glad to hear you like my pattern! And I know exactly what you're talking about with the cable knitting - by nature, that strand will always be a bit long since the cable tugs on it. Unfortunately I'm not sure I have any particularly good advice... of course you'll get better with practice, so there's that. You can also simply manually tug the yarn tighter through the adjacent stitches to distribute the extra a bit more. I end up doing that sometimes, if I get ladders knitting on double pointed needles, or if my stitch tension simply isn't distributing the way I want it to. I just use the blunt end of a tapestry needle to pull the yarn into the next stitches, one at a time. Does that make any sense? :)

    2. Yes, that makes sense! I will give that a go! Thanks again Gretchen and I have just joined your Facebook page so I don't miss out on anything :)

    3. Glad to hear it! I hope it turns out well for you :) And if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

  5. I absolutely adore this pattern. The only problem is I have a huge head 24 inches in circumference & the adult only fits 22. To increase the adult hat to a 24 inch size, what would I need to do to accomplish that? I have read in other patterns to cast on 12 stitches more. Does that sound right? Sorry to bug you I have really been dying to knit a cabled hat & really want to do this one so bad! It is beyond beautiful! Any help would be very appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Hello there! This pattern repeat actually has 20 stitches, so you would need to cast on 20 more if you were going that route (and that would make an awfully big hat). I think your better bet would be to simply use slightly larger yarn & needles - use something that gives you 20 stitches per 4 inches. Just remember to do your ribbing in a needle one or two sizes smaller than your gauge. Also, this hat is on the shorter side, so I recommend repeating the pattern rows one extra time before you move to your decreases as well. Hope this works out for you :) And please, let me know if you have any other questions.

    2. Thanks so much for the input & the pattern again! So I need to repeat the 16 pattern rows again & then the additional 4 before the decreases? Odd question but do you know how long large hat is from top center to side edge? I know you said it was short so I was wanting to make sure I did enough rows of ribbing and pattern to fall where I want it to on my face. Thanks so much again! I really do admire your work it is beautiful!

    3. Hello again! Yes, go ahead and knit the pattern three times, knit the transition rows, and then you'll need those extra 4 rows as well (those 4 rows simply reduce the extra stitches to the size of the children's hat, so that the rest of the decrease can be performed the same for both sizes). And I do actually still have this hat (my three year old stole it), so I can tell you that the original measures about 8" from top to side. Hope that helps! :)

    4. Awesome! Goodness thank you so much for your fast response & for helping me through this. I guess I'm a bit of a beginner at knitting (veteran crocheter though) & this is my first major project! I'm so excited!

    5. Of course, I'm delighted to help! And I started crocheting too... although I must admit I've come to prefer knitting (although fixing mistakes in crochet is at least 1,000,000 times easier!). Anyway, just let me know if you have any more questions.

  6. Hi, thank you for sharing your lovely patterns, can you tell me are your needle sizes UK or US sizes, many thanks

    1. Hello there! I've been trying to include this information lately, and I just updated this pattern too! But it's US. And please, let me know if you have any other questions :)

    2. Many thanks for the reply Gretchen being from the UK it can get confusing some times and thanks for updating too :)

    3. Any time! This is something I just didn't even think about when I started my site... Whoops!

    4. Well we love your patterns over here too :)

  7. Thanks for the pattern, it worked out beautifully for a purple beanie that I just completed today!

    1. I'm so glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know. :)

  8. I would like to know what the abbreviations m1r, and m1l are, please, so I can continue making this lovely sweetheart beanie.
    Many thanks, Irene

    1. Hi Irene!

      M1r and m1l are make 1 right and make 1 left, respectively, and you can find directions for these stitches here: http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/component/content/article/92-how-to/1046-make-1-left-or-right-m1-m1l-m1r

      Also, in general, you can find answers to any terminology questions here: http://www.ballstothewallsknits.com/p/glossary-of-knitting-terms.html (there's also a link to this page at the top of every page, below the header)

      Finally, please let me know if you have any other questions! I'm always happy to help. :)