A friend of mine has recently been undergoing chemo. I went in search of patterns to make her some hats and found that I didn’t really like the pointy start to knitted hats. That, plus all the complicated increases involved since knitting and circles aren’t really that compatible without a lot of fuss. So, I thought to myself, why not start out by crocheting the initial circular part and then picking up stitches and knit the rest of it, since crochet and circles are very user friendly. And that is what I did.
This pattern is super easy and it takes only a few hours to make. I would like to make some recommendations as to what yarn to make a hat for the purpose of someone who is undergoing chemo.
Use a soft, non-scratchy yarn. Also, make sure it breathes. You want something that wicks, therefore I recommend a natural fiber or blend of fibers. You also want something that is washable. Hand washable is okay, but you don’t want something too fussy, or for that matter, fuzzy.
You want something smooth. This is not the time for knobby yarns or anything that would cause discomfort. My friend said she liked the hat to sleep in. So keep in mind that you want something comfortable: soft, breathable, non-scratchy, and non-lumpy.
Also, a pure cotton yarn wouldn’t work because the hat has to be stretchy. It has to be able to fit comfortably, to do that it must be able to stretch. Cotton doesn’t stretch. A blend of cotton and wool would probably be fine because the wool would lend some stretchiness to the finished product.
The yarn I used for this particular hat was Sublime-Cash Merino silk (color: sage). This yarn was a blend of 75% extra fine merino; 20% silk; 5% cashmere. It is extremely soft and gave the finished hat a tremendous amount of stretch. I used about 175 -200 yards. So you will need 2 skeins of this particular yarn.
Size 5.5 crochet hook
Size 8 – 16 inch circular knitting needle.
ch – chain
sl – slip
st – stitch
dc – double crochet
Ch 4, sl st to join and form circle. Ch 3 (counts as one dc) dc 11 into circle for a total of 12 dc. Sl st to join.
Ch 3, dc into same top of the dc as where the ch 3 is. You will then dc into each top of dc. You are increasing to end up with double the number of stitches. You will have 24 dc at the end of this row. Join by sl st.
ch 3 (counts as first dc). Just as in row 2, you are going to dc 2 st. into each top of the dc to double the number of stitches. You will have 48 st. at end of this row. Sl st to join.
ch 3 (counts as first dc). You again, are going to double number of stitches by 2 dc into top of each dc stitch. Sl st to join. You now have 96 stitches.
Now you are going to knit. With 16 inch circular needle you are going to pick up 96 stitches (the top of each crocheted st. (see photo).
Place a marker at the end of picking up the stitches so you will always know where you row begins. This is important because you are going to be knitting in the round. From here on just knit to desired length of hat. The measurement of the hat I knitted was 12 inches from the top of hat. Since this hat is done all in stockinet stitch, it will curl at the bottom. This is good because then the person can pull it as low or high as they want it to fit.
Bind off very loosely. You want this hat to be as flexible as possible. I bound off with a crochet hook because that way I could control that the bind-off would be even but very loose.