Braid-edged Cap

© Judy Gibson, 2001

[The basic cap, in bulky yarn on size 8 needles.] This easy cap is knitted on two needles, in short-row garter stitch wedges with a braided cable along the edge. It makes a cap to fit a head about 21" in circumference. Changes in brackets make a child's size cap for an 18" head. The smaller size has 5 sts fewer in the plain garter portion, and one less section worked.

Use worsted or bulky weight yarn on size 7 or 8 needles, or needle size to give approximately 4½ sts per inch. A cap requires about 120 yards of yarn, or a bit more. Photo to the left shows the larger size cap done in Cleckheaton Country 12, a bulky yarn, on size 8 needles. The cap to the right is knitted in a thicker yarn--Lion Brand Homespun--and has the braid edge turned up. Because this yarn gives a larger gauge, only five sections are knitted.It is suitable for an adult chemo hat.

[In a thick yarn it can be worn with the braid turned up.]

Cast on 36 [31] stitches.

Row 1: k 25 [20], p 1, k 10.
Row 2: sl 1 as if to purl, p 9, k to end.
Row 3: k 25 [20], p 1, k 10.
Row 4: sl 1, p 9, k 16 [11], turn (leaving 10 sts still on needle).
Row 5: k 15 [10], p 1, (braid) place 3 sts on cable needle and hold to front, k 3 sts, k the 3 sts from cable needle, k4.
Row 6: sl 1, p 9, k 17 [12], turn (leaving 9 sts).
Row 7: k 16 [11], p 1, k 10.
Row 8: sl 1, p 9, k 18 [13], turn (leaving 8 sts).
Row 9: k 17 [12], p 1, k 10.
Row 10: sl 1, p 9, k 19 [14], turn (leaving 7 sts).
Row 11: k 18 [13], p 1, (braid) k 3 sts, place 3 sts on cable needle and hold to back, k 3 sts, k the 3 sts from cable needle, k1.
Row 12: sl 1, p 9, k 20 [15], turn (leaving 6 sts).
Row 13: k 19 [14], p 1, k 10.
Row 14: sl 1, p 9, k 21 [16], turn (leaving 5 sts).
Row 15: k 20 [15], p 1, k 10.
Row 16: sl 1, p 9, k 22 [17], turn (leaving 4 sts).
Row 17: k 21 [16], p 1, (braid) place 3 sts on cable needle and hold to front, k 3 sts, k the 3 sts from cable needle, k4.
Row 18: sl 1, p 9, k 23 [18], turn (leaving 3 sts).
Row 19: k 22 [17], p 1, k 10.
Row 20: sl 1, p 9, k 24 [19], turn (leaving 2 sts).
Row 21: k 23 [18], p 1, k 10.
Row 22: sl 1, p 9, k 25 [20], turn (leaving 1 st).
Row 23: k 24 [19], p 1, (braid) k 3 sts, place 3 sts on cable needle and hold to back, k 3 sts, k the 3 sts from cable needle, k1.
Row 24: sl 1, p 9, k to end.

[Top of cap, showing the six sections. Red arrow shows the whip-stitched seam.]

These 24 rows complete one section of the cap. Repeat 5 [4] times for a total of six [five] sections, and bind off. Hold cast-on and bind-off edges side by side, and carefully whip stitch so that the seam stays flat and not too obvious. The whip-stitched seam is indicated by the red arrow in the photo to the right. If done neatly, the cap will be reversible. Run yarn through the end stitches at the top of the cap and draw the hole closed.

TIP: The stitches left on the needle by the short-rowing process can serve as row counters--cross a braid on every row where you have 10, 7, 4, or 1 stitch remaining. Remember to knit two full length rows in each section.

For a very simple cap without the braid edging, cast on more stitches (say 45 or 50) and follow the top shaping given in the pattern above, but work the rest of the cap in garter stitch (ignoring the instructions for the 11 sts at the start of even rows and the end of odd rows). It will be deep enough for a folded-up edge.

For an extra soft and bulky hat for a chemotherapy patient, choose a thick, soft yarn and knit on large needles. You may need to stop after five repeats instead of six (as I did for the Homespun cap in the photo). It is worn "inside out" with the braid turned up for extra bulk around the face.

(c) Judy Gibson, 2001. Permission granted for personal noncommercial or charity knitting. You may make copies of the pattern to work from and may give copies to friends, but may not publish the pattern in any publication or on the internet without express permission from the designer. Contact: jgibson@cts.com.


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