This cap is knitted flat on two needles in a series of sections with short-row shaping at the crown. It can be varied by knitting a different number of sections, by working the short-row shaping on more or fewer stitches, by making the straight body section longer or shorter, or by choosing a finer or bulkier yarn.
For those who are familiar with short-row technique, please note that I do not say to "wrap and turn" when you do the short rows. I find that the texture of garter stitch hides any gaps caused by turning the work.
Basic Pattern (shown in turquoise sample):
Cast on 40 stitches in worsted weight yarn on size 7 needles. There will be 10 stitches in the short-row crown of the cap, and 30 stitches for the body.
Knit 30 sts and turn work, leaving 10 sts on needle. Knit to end of the row (the lower edge of cap).
Knit 31 sts and turn work, leaving 9 sts, and knit to end.
Continue this way, knitting one more stitch each time until you have completed the row with all 40 stitches and knitted back to the lower edge.
This completes one section. Knit 30 stitches and turn, leaving 10 stitches on needle and knit to end of row (lower edge of cap). This is the beginning of the second section.
Continue as before until you have completed seven sections, binding off on the last row, from tip to lower edge. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Align the two edges of the cap side by side, and use the tail of yarn to whipstitch the edges smoothly and evenly together. Run the yarn through the purl bumps at the upper edge and pull the hole tightly shut; tie off end.
Short Crown with Brim (shown in green and yellow sample):
This is knitted in Lamb's Pride Bulky at a gauge of 13 stitches per 4 inches. Cast on 18 stitches--8 stitches for the short-row portion and 10 stitches for the body of the cap. Knit 10 stitches, turn, leaving 8 stitches on the needle, and knit to end of row. Continue as above. Knit a total of seven sections and bind off from the point to the lower edge of the cap, but do not cut off the yarn.
Leaving the last stitch of the bindoff on the right needle, turn cap so you can pick up stitches along the lower edge. Knit one stitch in each edge bump of the lower edge. Knit every row, making a garter stitch brim as wide as you like, varying colors as you like. Bind off and cut yarn, leaving a long tail to seam up the cap as above.
Small Hat in Chunky Yarn (shown in purple sample):
Faced with a small amount of chunky yarn, I decided to make a child's cap. I ran out of yarn after finishing only four sections, but that was enough to fit a small child's head. You can see that the small number of sections resulted in a more pointed top than the hats shown above, which have seven sections.
Directions for this one: Chunky Woolease on size 10½ needles, at a gauge of 15 stitches to 4 inches. Work on 30 stitches, with a short-row section of 10 stitches. Work 4 sections. Five would have been better--and would have fit a larger child--but I ran out of yarn.
General Design Principles
Since you knit to the edge and back once for every stitch in the short-row section, each section will be as many garter ridges wide as there are stitches in the short-row part. Once you've knitted one or two sections, you will be able to predict how many sections it will require to reach the head size you want.
The number of sections in the hat determines the shape of the top--eight sections will make a flat top; four sections a very pointed one. Seven seems to be optimal. You can use a different number of stitches in the short-row section if you want to knit more or fewer sections in the whole cap, to produce a different top shape.
The length of the body of the had should be about 6 inches for a small head, or 9 or more for a large head and a turned-up cuff.
Copyright statement: This is an original design by Judy Gibson, 2003. Permission is granted to print and use this pattern for personal noncommercial use, provided this notice is included. No commercial use or publication of this design--in hard copy or electronic form--are permitted without explicit consent from the designer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judy Gibson, Descanso, California.