Lesson 3




             Congratulations!  You have moved beyond beginning knitting.  The skills you are about to learn are somewhere between advanced beginner and intermediate.  Don’t forget to practice more beginner knitting patterns but don’t be afraid to go for more complex patterns either!

I’m calling this a Prep Hat because it was written solely to prepare you to make the gauntlets.  Everything you learn in this project except for the decreases at the crown of the hat will be used in the gauntlets.  Later, I will write this pattern in standard form.  For now, I’m going to write it in a step by step tutorial fashion. This lesson is done in phases so that the hat is completed in the correct order…remember no jumping ahead…KNIT ON!


Project 3: Prep Hat

This project requires approximately 100 yards of worsted weight yarn such as Lion Brand Heartland and size 9 US (5.5 mm) dpns and a cable needle.  A 16 inch circular needle also size 9 US will make the task easier but isn’t necessary.

Step 1: Provisional Cast On


The provisional cast on is a temporary cast on.  You will need a waste yarn, preferably in a contrasting color and preferably heavier than your working yarn.  This will eventually be pulled out or “unzipped”.  You will then insert a needle into the open stitches.

Provisional cast on has different functions.  It is used when you want to work in two directions such as a mirror image shawl where the lace or cable pattern run away from the center.  It is also used when you want to add a decorative edge to your work later.  This use for it is to provide live stitches for a 3 needle bind off, which makes a good hidden seam.

Study the link and practice this process before proceeding.  The instructions for the provisional cast on are at the top of this page.




Be sure to tie the ends of your waste yarn together after casting on your stitches.


Step 1:  Using the provisional cast on method, co 19 stitches.




Cables are a design element of raised knitting that twines around on the fabric.  Sometimes it is raised against a background of stockinette stitch and sometimes it is raised against a background of purl stitches.  It can be done without a cable needle if it is a small, uncomplicated cable.  A lot of people are afraid of doing cables.  Trust the pattern.  The pattern will describe to you how to perform each cable to get the look that the designer is going for.

To make a cable, the knitter slips the required number of stitches onto the cable purlwise.  It is important not to twist the stitches.  Slip them on straight.  The cable needle is then placed either in front of the work or behind it according to instructions.  Again, make sure you don’t twist it.  Knit the required number of stitches from the left needle and then the stitches from the right needle.

The cables we are working on for this project are a straight forward 6 cable.  That means that it is worked over 6 stitches.  3 stitches will go on the cable needle and 3 will be knit from the left needle.  I’m sorry for the lack of good video.  Rather than share a bad video, I have provided pictures from Purlbee.  Remember this part is just so you have an idea what to do, you still have to follow the pattern and make the cables according to the pattern and not the tutorial.




c6f – (cable 6 front) – slip the next 3 stitches onto the cable needle.  Hold the stitches in front and knit the next 3 stitches from the left needle.  Then knit the 3 stitches from the cable needle.


c6b – (cable 6 back) – slip the next 3 stitches onto the cable needle.  Hold the stitches in the back of you work.  Knit the next 3 stitches from the left needle.  Then knit the 3 stitches from the cable needle.


Cable Pattern:

Row 1 – k3, p2, k9, p2, k3

Row 2 – p3, k2, p9, k2, p3

Row 3 – k3, p2, c6f, k3, p2, k3

Row 4 – p3, k2, p9, k2, p3

Row 5 – k3, p2, k9, p2, k3

Row 6 – p3, k2, p9, k2, p3

Row 7 – k3, p2, k3, c6b p2, k3

Row 8 – p3, k2, p9, k2, p3


Repeat rows 1 – 8 thirteen more times for a total of 14 pattern repeats.  Unzip the provisional cast on and place the live stitches on a needle.


Binding off


Now you have 19 stitches on 2 needles each.  It is time to learn how to bind them off and seam this strip together all at once.  We are going to use a 3 needle bind off to do this.  Remember to lay the right sides together so that the seam will be on the inside of the hat.




NEXT : Phase 2




Project 3: Prep Hat (Phase Two)


            Now you’ve done the hard part.  Just a few more skills to learn.  Phase Two has three new skills.  The first one is the “pick up and knit” and the second is knitting in the round and the third is the stretchy bind off.  Like everything in knitting, there’s more than one reason for doing things a certain way and there’s more than one way to do anything.


Pick up and knit


This doesn’t mean pick up your project and start knitting, well okay it might.  When we pick up knit within a pattern, we are going to be turning the knitting in a different direction.  This is seen in entrelac knitting, sock heels and of course, hats that have a cable band.  You will be picking up stitches from the sides of the work and knitting into it.  It sounds harder than it is.



Pay special attention to the second half of this video as that is the very next step you will be taking.


Knitting in the Round –


            Because you have the cable strip guiding the direction of all the stitches, you won’t have to worry about twisting your stitches for this project but it is important to learn about joining in the round.  Of course, we all like knitting in the round *wink because there are no seams to sew up at the end.  It also means that we don’t have to worry about the back side of the stitches.  You’ll always be knitting the front of the stitch.



*Along the bottom edge of your cable strip, pick up and knit 88 stitches.  Join into a circle and place marker (pm). Proceed with k4, p4 ribbing by knitting into the first stitch you picked up. This creates a full circle, you will not be turning your work and working on the back side of it.  Continue with the k4, p4 rib for 10 rows or 2 inches.


I’m not going to include a video for ribbing.  Like the k1, p1 rib, this is worked exactly the same way only you will have k4, p4 ribbing.  Because you aren’t turning your work, there is no need to worry about what to do on the back side of your work.  You’ll never be there except to bury your thread ends later.


Stretchy Bind Off


The bind off I’m going to show you this time is my favorite bind off for a stretchy edge.  Some bind offs are so stretchy that you have a little ruffle on the bottom of the work and that’s not really appropriate for this hat edge.  I also use this same bind off for sock tops, shawls, wrist bands, anywhere I need a stretchy bind off but not a ruffled one.



NEXT : Phase Three – the final phase!


Project 3 – Prep Hat (Phase 3)


Top it off – It’s time to make the crown of the hat.  You are going to use previously learned skills for most of this.  You will be picking up and knitting stitches and you will be using the k2tog for the decreases.  Your only new skill here will be using double pointed needles (dpns).


Crown Instructions


Pick up and knit 88 stitches along the other edge of the cable band, just like you did in Phase 2.


Begin alternating decreasing rows, switch to dpns when necessary.   There is no fear in working with double pointed needles.  You are still only knitting with 2 sticks and the others act as stitch holders until it is their turn.



Row 1: *k9, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row  (This means that after the first k2tog, you will again, k9, k2tog.  This will naturally end with a k2tog)

Row 2 and all even rows:  Knit every stitch (Every other row between decrease rows is a row of plain knitting.  These even numbered rows will no longer be mentioned in the pattern.)

Row 3: *k8, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 5: *k7, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 7: *k6, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 9: *k5, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 11: *k4, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 13: *k3, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 15: *k2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 17: *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row

Row 19: *k2tog, repeat from * to end of row


*In the future when you see a pattern established like this, the designer will write out a few rows and then follow with the instructions to continue the established pattern until…


Cut the thread 8 to 10 inches long and thread it onto a yarn needle.  Thread all of the loops on the knitting needles onto the end yarn and remove the needles.  Pull tight and close the remaining hole.  Thread the yarn to the inside of the hat and secure the hole closed and bury the thread.  Bury any remaining threads and ENJOY YOUR HAT!



You can download a pdf version of this lesson to print here Lesson 3